Recently the IT department where I serve added an additional wireless network, creating both a “Guest” network and an “Employee” network. However, once this dual Wi-Fi environment went online, we discovered a problem. Our guest's electronic devices automatically try to connect to the “Employee” network.
A number of times each day, we face the repeated scenario of a quizzically-faced visitor approaching the desk, device-in-hand. With an affirming head-nod and a warm smile acknowledging their frustration, we offer this counsel. “You will want to click on the ‘Employee’ network and tap, ‘Forget This Network.’ Then choose the ‘Guest’ network, type in the password, and it should connect.”
It should have come as no surprise then that when I recently brought my iPad to work, the device attempted to connect to the “Employee” network. Heeding my own advice, I dutifully tapped, “Forget This Network.” As I touched the screen, I sensed a gentle whisper from the Holy Spirit. “There is another network that you need to ‘Forget.’”
Opening my heart to this unexpected interaction, I whispered back, “I’m listening."
The Counsellor tenderly continued. “Son, as easily as your iPad seeks to connect to the 'Employee’ Wi-Fi, sometimes your mind Auto-Joins an ‘Old’ network. When connected, you operate in old patterns of thinking that subvert your growth. Robust in the vast bandwidth, you become negative, critical, and sarcastic. All of which fuel your petty, passive-aggressive behavior. Son, you need to ‘Forget This Network.’”
Can you relate?
I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit does not correct without offering a better path forward. Though a bit startled by this unambiguous download, I did not feel scolded. Instead, I felt invited. Winsomely wooed to connect to a “New” network.
Paul boldly writes in the book of Philippians, "Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies" (4:8-9 MSG). The Amplified Translation simply says, "If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]."
Now, before you impulsively respond by vowing to try harder to think better thoughts, there's something I want you to remember. Our faith journey is not one of winning God's approval by performing better. We do not "strive to try harder," instead, we "choose to surrender more."
In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts, "So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering." He then offers his rationale. "Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you" (12:1-2 MSG).
And the best news? The password to this "New" network is easy to remember. “Enter with the password: ‘Thank You!’ Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him” (Psalm 100:4 MSG). May you know, "[practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself]" (Ephesians 3:19 AMP). Amen.
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