If you’re reading this, you probably know what software is. You probably also know what an operating system is. Microsoft Windows is the world’s best known operating system. A more recent operating system is Linux. Apple has a different operating system. Then there are 1000’s of software programs.
Why am I writing about this? In living abroad for most of my adult life, I came to realize that living in my home county of the US is a little like learning a software program. But it’s not really an operating system. And that’s where a lot of people get mixed up.
If I’d moved to London or Amsterdam back in my early 20’s, like I did, and still tried to run my “American software”, it would have really not worked so well. But the thing is, I’d just had a new “Operating System” installed in me personally. It went by the name of Jesus Christ, His Power and His tutorials to mankind.
My hard drive had crashed. There were fatal errors. But God had reached down, wiped my hard drive and installed a new operating system: Himself. I’d been upgraded. And this made it extremely easy to learn the differences from one “software program” to another, from one country I lived in to another. My new Operating System effortlessly supported all of them. I ended up living in or traveling in around 40 countries over 36 years and it was nearly seamless.
I found that my Operating System made it so that I could identify the similarities between software programs (changes between one society or country and the next) fairly easily. There wasn’t usually very much culture shock because running in the background was a guidance system that kept explaining things to me all along the way, little pop ups and genies that kept pointing me in the right direction when I’d encounter something strange that I’d never run into before. And there were consistent universals, like love, faith, kindness, flexibility and many others that I found worked across every platform. There were even upgrades and newer versions from time to time; Jesus called it “new wine”. (Luke 5:38)
It was kind of a shock to even recognize that my own country is not really an operating system, it’s a software program. When I moved back here, it took some time to make an adjustment back to the old keystrokes that I’d known long ago. But also, having become accustomed to relying on my Operating System (The Lord and His Word) all these years, I still keep that as my default system. I can honestly say it’s never crashed on me, I don’t think it can. Things can get tough and difficult. But if I go back to the tutorials, or even the forums and message boards, there’s always a work around and it just reboots, both itself and me.
I try to explain all this to friends here who are Christians. I tell them that you may be an American but your basic operating system should be the programming that you receive from God, not your country. We even talk about what would happen if our American “software program” would crash.
What would we do if the stores weren’t open, martial law was in effect, electricity was on 2 hours a day, water was running one hour a day, what would we do?! Well, it’s rarely happened in this country but it has more often in other countries. That’s when folks have to rely on their operating system but maybe all they know is that one software program. It’s called modern America.
But if your operating system is the Lord and His Spirit within you, that “power” (Acts 1:8; John 1:12) won’t be shut off. You’ll still have “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) as He promised. You power source will never go down so you’ll still be able to get a signal, even “a voice behind you” (Isaiah 30:21), even if the internet crashes or they’ve done some pulse bomb to knock out all the computers. Maybe you’ll be picking up His live streaming, in fact “streams in the desert” (Isiah 35:6) better than ever before, once all that other static turns off.
So, operating systems or software programs? I think so many in my country don’t really know they have an operating system running in the background, or at least they should have it there. They’re so afraid of a software crash but they aren’t really that familiar with their operating system.
I expect that one day there will be quiet a few software crashes that won’t be getting restored. But if you have the Lord, salvation, His Word in your heart and mind and are operating according to the streaming of His Spirit, you really won’t have to worry about much. Unless of course you’re so hooked and hung up on your software program that you’ll be like Lot when God tried to get him out of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19)
Just as the angels were leading him out of Sodom, Lot said, “Behold this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh, let me escape thither; is it not a little one? And my soul shall live.” (Genesis 19:20) Lot was saved but he didn’t seem to appreciate it very much. The angels were leading him to safety as Sodom was destroyed and all Lot could think about was getting back on the grid in another nearby worldly city and society, rather than really unplugging and following God like his uncle Abraham had done years before.
God delivered “just Lot” (II Peter 2:8). But he was more comfortable in the “Babylon the Great” of his day than he was in the eternal power of God and following His way. Some people are really going to feel lost if their society, their Babylon, their software crashes and doesn’t come back. But if you’ve installed “The Operating System”, the eternal power and wisdom of God, there may be some adjustments but you should be okay.