By Kevin L. Prince
Some have resisted the intrusion of the computer into their lives. For most of us, the computer—whether a desktop, a laptop or a smart phone—has become a significant part of our life. It is our pen and paper, travel agent, navigation assistant, dictionary, appointment book, research tool and our principal source of communicating! A friend, speaking of his iPad, said humorously, “That’s half my brain!”
Have you ever had your computer freeze up? Or display “the spinning wheel of death?” It seems to come at the worst possible time.
What do you do when that happens? Many times I have called my brother Kenny, who is a computer expert. Amazingly, he did not tell me how to reprogram the operating system or some other high-tech procedure. Instead, he would ask if I had turned the computer off and back on. He declares—and I have found it to be true—that turning a computer off, and then back on, solves over half of the world’s computer problems!
How does this solve the problem? As the computer powers down, it rids itself of commands that are in conflict with one another and have it in gridlock. When it powers back up, it returns to the default settings that are designed to keep the computer’s systems running in harmony. In short, when it returns to its defaults, it works.
Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam on the highway of life? At cross-purposes with yourself and perhaps even with the will of God for your life? How can you recover? How do you get out of the jam? By returning to some defaults!
The Apostle Paul had three main defaults that he returned to without fail. When he wrote to the churches of the New Testament he was constantly reminding them of these three defaults. Notice them as he addresses the Colossians:
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel (Colossians 1:3-5).
Paul notes these same three defaults when addressing the Thessalonians:
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father (I Thessalonians 1:3).
Faith should be our first default. When threatened by immobilizing fear and doubt, we would do well to return to faith. We know fear is not a default that God programmed into the believer:
For God bath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Fear and doubt can leave us wavering in attle and headed for defeat. Faith on the other hand is the default for an advancing, victorious Christian:
• But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind ‘and tossed (James 1:6).
• Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16).
When fear and doubt seek to paralyze us, let’s decide to dump that muddled mess and return to the default of faith!
Love must be our second default! Love is a word that is used very loosely in our culture. The love to which we are to default is a sacrificial, giving kind of love. It makes loving others paramount.
Paul mentions all three defaults in I Corinthian 13:13 but placed the greatest priority on love:
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” ( John 15:13). And he also said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” ( John 13:34-35).
One of the greatest hindrances to revival is selfishness. When we become focused on ourselves we forget the lost, and we even forget our brother and sister whom we are to join in the harvest. When “all seek their own,” the kingdoin suffers. It’s when we join hands, when we choose to love—preferring the lost and our brothers and sisters—that we build trust and become the kind of mutually supporting community that God planned for the church to be.
The final default is hope. When you read of hope in the Scripture, you find it is most often tied. to the return of Christ:
• For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven (Colossians 1:5a).
• Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (I Corinthians 15:9).
The hope to which we must default is one that keeps eternity in view. This life is not about this life. Eternity is the elephant in the room. We sometimes fail to go there when we know we should.
Houses, cars, and possessions are temporal. We must default to a hope in the eternal. We must demonstrate that hope in how we live and by what we are invested in.
May we all return to the defaults that God programmed into us when we were born again. Let’s embrace faith. Let’s love sacrificially. May our greatest hope speak to eternity!
The above article, “What Are Your Defaults?” is written by Kevin L. Prince. The article was excerpted from the Apostolic Sentinel.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.