by Graham Mol
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
These words have been uttered countless times whenever someone has had a problem operating their phone/computer/printer/router or pretty much any piece of technology. And there is a very good reason why that advice is given because 9 times out of 10 it works. The more technical term is “reset” and the reason why it often works is because it clears out any programs or instructions that are running on the device, flushing its memory, and starts over with the initial, “bootup” instructions. This means that any program or instruction that had stopped working properly, or was preventing another instruction to function, gets cleared and reset. In layman’s terms: “The Wi-Fi has stopped working!” Reset. “Something’s wrong with Whatsapp on my phone!” Restart the device. “My computer is frozen!” Reset.
Sometimes, like our beloved devices, we too need a “reset” every now and again. This can also apply to our faith walk.
We can get so caught up in things, meanings of Scripture, Christian debates and issues, how well we are doing, “Are we doing enough?” We start to focus more on our service to God than on our relationship with Him. And like some of those computer programs stop responding or start causing issues in other programs functioning, we find ourselves confused, distracted and discouraged in our faith. Sometimes we just need a reset.
These are Jesus’ words to the Church in Ephesus in John’s revelation:
2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:2-5)
The Ephesian Church were doing a great many things well, Jesus commends them for their works, their toil and patient endurance, their standing up for the truth, resisting evil. But they had lost sight of the most important thing, their relationship with the Lord. Jesus calls them to repent, to go back to the things they did at first in pursuing Christ in their hearts and lives. You could call it a reset.
The Gospel is simple despite the depth of its significance and impact. At the end of the day, we must return to the basics of our relationship with Christ. A simple reset can fix a great deal of problems in our lives, “9 times out of 10”.