I love my laptop computer. Wherever I go, it goes with me. It’s almost like an extra appendage to my body! But I don’t like everything on my computer. In fact, I hate the design that my desktop screen is set on. It has this really cheesy “Toshiba” logo on it (like all the other ones I see at the computer stores). Well, little did I know that I could change that! With the help of my computer savvy wife, I learned that I can go into this little place called “the Control Panel” and change the default screen to a picture that shows me with my lovely wife and my two adorable grandkids. Now I feel even better about my laptop!
One of the great truths of the Gospel is that, through the power of Jesus Christ, we can change the “default” settings in our lives. As we practice Whole Life Worship, the Holy Spirit can access to our “Control Panel” and transform the way we live out our lives.
You see, our lives are set to a default that the Bible calls the “sinful nature” or the “flesh.” Paul tells us that this default was programmed into humanity since the fall of Adam and Eve (Rom. 5:12, 18). This default program taints everything we do. When we get tempted, the flesh wants us to sin. When someone does something bad to us, we want to react badly back to them. Even when we do something good, our sinful nature quickly puffs up our soul through pride. Some try to “manage” their fleshly default through religion or will-power, but it always falls short of really taking care of the problem. If we took an honest look at our sinful nature we would cry out like Paul in saying, “What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24)
The good news is that Jesus Christ not only forgives our sins, but that Jesus Christ gives us power to overcome our sinful nature (Rom. 8:2). Many Christians know this “theologically” (in their head), but have never applied this great truth to their lives. Like my laptop computer’s previous state, they’ve never allowed God to practically access their control panel and change the default settings.
This is where Whole Life Worship comes in. Our motto is “Jesus 24/7” and our creed is to “offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices as our act of worship” (Rom.12:1). I want to show you how this works to overcome the sinful nature in a simple illustration:
One of the vulnerable areas of my flesh is when I drive. When someone cuts me off, my default is to react. Now my religious protocol keeps me from reacting with uncouth hand gestures, but that doesn’t keep my flesh from reacting in anger – and that anger ends up infecting my soul and others in the course of time. So when that happens, the Whole Life Worship response is to not embrace anger but, instead to allow the Holy Spirit access to my “control panel”. This means praying something like, “Lord, that person’s selfish act makes me want to hold onto anger. Please come and take control. Give me the grace to let it go and the strength to do what is right in Your eyes.” Usually the Spirit will then guide me to pray a prayer of blessing on the person who just cut me off (and you know it’s the power of the Holy Spirit when you can pray like that!) The end result is that, instead of being driven by anger, I am being driven by the Lord.
Now there will be times (and they are many) where I defy the Spirit and choose to live according to my sinful default, but I find that as I proactively live out Whole Life Worship these times are becoming less frequent. This leads to transformation of character. And transformation is the Kingdom portal to freedom and abundance in life!
Tired of that ugly screen on the “desktop” of your life? Let Christ into your control panel and let Him transform your default into something cool, powerful and beautiful. And then you’ll have another reason to worship Him.
“All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful of my life.”
(Bill and Gloria Gaither, Something Beautiful)