Monday, October 27, 2003
I used to just be concerned about me or someone I love picking up a virus. Now I have to be concerned about my computer picking up a virus! And more and more of them are infecting various computer systems. Now, if one of those viruses contaminates your computer, it can cause you to lose valuable data. It can even cause your computer to crash. But, thankfully, I have this special software feature that's called a virus scan. When I turn on my computer, basically the virus scan checks to see if any of those destructive little bugs have gotten in, and it warns me if they have. And that's a good thing. You want to get it before it infects everything.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Virus Scan."
You know your soul can pick up viruses, too? And if you don't catch them right away, they can spread throughout your system and infect everything. That's why you need to install God's virus scan. David talks about it in our word for today from the Word of God from Psalm 139:23-24. He says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." David knew the subtle, infectious way that sin can creep into the human heart. And he knew all too well the damage it can do. So He prays that God will see if some spiritual virus has found a place in his heart and to reveal it to him as my virus scan reveals to me what is threatening my computer.
This has to be a prayer that we pray at least once a day. A spiritual system that may have been virus-free yesterday may have picked up something damaging in the meantime. Each new day - every time you turn your mental computer on - you need to ask God to reveal any trash that has invaded your system. Preachers call it the "conviction of the Holy Spirit" - God, who lives inside you, revealing what's out-of-line in you and moving you to do something about it.
As you open yourself up to the Holy Spirit's searching of your heart, you may see a bad attitude that is starting to take root, a little resentment, a little jealousy, a little complaining, a little negativity. It's little now. It won't stay that way. That's why you need to recognize it and repent of it right away while it's still small and not doing a lot of damage. For example, God warns us to "see to it that ... no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15). In other words, catch the bad attitude while it's still small before it deepens into something very expensive.
God's scanning of the viruses in you may expose some "trash talking" you've been doing - words that have hurt people. Critical words, backstabbing words, angry words, gossiping words. Or God may show you that some lustful fantasies have been allowed to infect your heart and mind. You may have watched something you never should have watched, listened to something you never should have listened to, lingered on something you should have turned away from, flirted with something you should have fled from.
Or it could be that you've told some lies lately or at least spoken less than - or more than - the truth. God wants to confront those now so you won't get into a pattern of deceit. In fact, that's the reason we need to see and attack any sin right away. Because sin unconfessed becomes sin repeated and repeated until it starts poisoning so much we care about.
So invite God often to scan for viruses you may have allowed into your heart. Computer viruses not dealt with can make a computer crash. Spiritual viruses not dealt with can make you crash.