Saturday, February 28, 2009

The renewing of our mind..

This is a follow-up to the previous post on my conversation with God where He used the analogy of the computer to teach me lessons. A couple of days later after that conversation, God had a part 2. He started to explain to me about the different parts and functions in a computer and how it related to Him and my life.

1. Hardware
The hardware of the computer is the physical components onto which can be loaded into a multitude of software that enables the computer to perform functions. Hardware is liken to the Word of God. The Word is the foundation of all we can do. It provides our core values and belief systems. It is the basis of whatever we do and determines our actions and words.

2. Software
Computer software is a general term which sums up all the programs that perform some tasks on a computer system. Software is liken to our understanding, our mind or our intellect.
(a) Anti Virus
Anti Virus is like our defense system against the evil one. We are constantly in warfare and need to be updated with the latest and most efficient tools. No use defending with a wooden shield when others have missiles. We need to be aware of the enemies viruses that seek to corrupt our mind and most importantly know how to defend ourselves or counter attack.

Programs are like new artillery. New programs enables us to carry out tasks in a more efficient way. Imagine still entering numbered codes to type out a letter. We need to have innovative ways to carry out the assignment that God has given us. We need to keep up with times and constantly update ourselves to keep up with our surroundings. We should actually be the ones coming out with the new programs with Godly and kingdom principles. We should be the trend setters, not trend followers!

3. Warranty (Authorized Dealer)
All products have a warranty and the company will only honour the work of an authorized dealer in regard to repairs, and any violation of this agreement would result in the cancelation of the warranty. God (Manufacturer) created us (Product) humans to be placed on earth for a purpose. Since Adam violated the warranty, God sent His one and only Authorized Dealer, Jesus Christ to repair our damaged relationship with the Manufacturer. Therefore, our relationships with God can only be restored through Christ.

4. Source of Power
With all the hardwares and softwares in place, it will not power up without the source of electricity or power. Therefore, the Authorized Dealer (Jesus) came to restore the Spirit of the Creator to our lives. We are now able to connect to our Power source. God is our only source of power and we cannot do anything without Him.

As the old chinese saying goes, 'As we live to a ripe old age, so we will learn to a ripe old age'. The hardwares need to be changed over time as we grow in maturity. The hard disk needs to be upgraded to have larger space to accomodate the things that we have learnt. The softwares need to be up to date with the newest technology available to be relevant to the world and aligned with God's new move and plan. We must always rely on our only Authorized dealer, Jesus and not violate the warranty. Finally, our power comes from the ultimate source of all, God our heavenly Father.

The mental transformation in this computer analogy would be the downloading or updating of new software. It is a process that will take time and it will involve the changing of ingrained perceptions, thoughts and habits. It involves the passing of the old and installation of the new. This is the process of the renewing of our mind.

'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.' Romans 12:2

Monday, February 16, 2009

Time to upgrade!

I was feeling down but not knowing the reason. I was feeling moody which was totally unlike me at all. I didn't know what was going on with me. Others realised it, and asked me how they can pray for me. I didn't know how to answer them because i genuinely do not know why. I just felt it. I cried out to God. It was a strange feeling because i didn't know what i was crying out about. But the following was my conversation with God.

God:' Isaac, why are you still using windows 95?'

*Wah, this hit me like a brick. I knew what it meant straight away. I have been living on my past. I have not been growing enough. I thought i was accomplished enough. I was in the mindset of mediocrity. I did stuff just enough to get by. One specific area i knew He was refering to me was in the studying of His Word.*

God:' Isaac, i want to teach you how to use Windows 2011. Ok?'

Isaac: *very excited* 'Yes, of course i want to learn. Teach me now!'

God:' Ok then, i will install it for you.'

*after a short pause*

God:' Sorry, i couldn't install because there wasn't enough memory. Too much junk. And you really need to update your anti-virus software.'

*I was speechless. This was a follow-up to His recent directions in asking me to FOCUS. I had too many things on my plate and needed to focus and prioritise on the things that matters most. I needed to clear out lots of the rubbish that i have been having. I need to free up memory for the new software.*

I think this is God's way of telling me that i need a renewing of my mind!

Every few years, we get a new handphone. Why? Because our old one broke or most of the time we felt the need to upgrade. There are new technologies and we want to keep up with times. Every few years, we get a new laptop or computer. Why? Because the old version is too slow. New softwares, hardwares and systems are available.

How often do we upgrade our spiritual system? Are we constantly updating our spiritual softwares? Are we keeping up with the spiritual times? Do we have the latest spiritual anti-virus software to protect our system?

Like everything else, we need to keep up to date with times. We need to constantly study the Word of God. We need to be up to date with God's move in His church locally, nationally and internationally. Renewing our mind. Changing from the old to new wineskin. Constantly listening to Him day by day, not get a word and feed on it for the next 1 year. We need a fresh Word from God every single day.

Lord, may my mind be renewed every single day or my life. May i be broken before you everyday. That i will be constantly aligned with Your will and purpose. That i may not stray from Your plan and Word. That my eyes will always be fixed and focus on You! This i pray Lord, Amen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being still in the midst of the storm..

I recently attended a business conference by a well known American Christian business man. It was very interesting, and a first such conference of its kind for me. One of the principles that he spoke about was ‘Focus’. It’s a simple principle but one that few master. He was explaining about our productivity rate. Most people operate at a 20-30% rate of productivity when carrying out a particular task.

The reason: We are often distracted by our surroundings.

Our mobile phones are usually the biggest distractions. An incredible piece of technology that has revolutionised our lives has become more of a nuisance than an asset of convenience. A loud beep like thunder announces the arrival of a text message into the inbox. Fancy music rings into the air of an already sound polluted environment. It has become a habit for most that we must attend to the beeping of a text message or a ringing of a call, immediately. Our minds cannot refocus until we reply that message or see whose call we actually missed. Sound familiar? An average manager is being interfered by their mobile phone every 7 minutes.

There was a study that was done by the University of Michigan. A particular guy was able to operate at an 80% level of productivity when on a particular task. What they did was to place another project file on his desk for his next task even before he had completed the first task. At that point of time, his productivity immediately dropped from 80% to 50%. When yet another file was place on his desk his productivity dropped yet again to about 20%. Therefore, a crowded or in most cases a messy work table, results in a low productivity rate. Some people might beg to differ.

I have actually personally experimented this and I found it to be true. I’m naturally quite tidy and can’t work with a messy table. But I will usually place my assignments or tasks that are to be done stacked orderly on the side. But when my eyes appear to catch that piece of work on the table, my mind immediately wanders about those projects. So now, I put them away under the table or in a drawer. And I realise that I get the job done quicker. Not only quicker but at a standard of higher quality. I never thought about it before, but it trains my mind to be focus.

According to research, it is said that students usually only have an attention span of 20 minutes. Sermons have to be cut short because the congregation has a short attention span. Conferences now have multiple tea breaks for just a morning session. These are all just excuses of indiscipline. What has happened? Man has allowed too many distractions into our lives that we have lost the ability to be focussed.

In the same way, it is similar to hearing the voice of God. The famous quote from the Bible, ‘Be still and know, that I am God’. How often are we still before God? Can we focus on God? When we are in church listening to the sermon, are we actually hearing from God or thinking about what we will be having for lunch later. When we are doing our quiet time, are we actually focussed on God or thinking about which route will allow us to avoid the jam to school. When we are worshiping, are we actually worshipping or thinking about making new friends with that new girl.

Have you ever thought why we close our eyes to pray? Who came out with this bright idea? Did Jesus pray with his eyes closed? I don’t think so. The Jews pray with their eyes open. They still do. Somewhere along in history, someone started to pray with their eyes closed to help focus on God better. That is usually the explanation given. Why? It was because the surrounding was a distraction. I am not trying to open a debate about open and closing of eyes, but merely pointing it out as a thought to think about.

I realise that as we practice concentrating our focus on the Lord. Focus on tuning our frequency to the Lord’s. Shutting off all possible distractions when we come before Him. And just being STILL before the KING. It is a special moment of reverence before our creator. When all things around us do not matter. The storm, the wind and the snow fade in the background. Our eyes are fixed with total FOCUS on Jesus! It is then that we truly experience the awesomeness of God!
Do not ask God to still the storm, instead that we may be still in the midst of the storm!