People everywhere talk about all the advances that have been made because of the computer. For example, we now have numerous things at our fingertips which other generations could only dream about.
In an interesting article Google’s boss, Eric Schmidt, talks about the future of computers and shares his thoughts on subjects like automation and digitalization. That’s all very well, but I have to admit that I’m still a skeptic.
While Eric Schmit has big ideas, he also has a big wallet. Why would he want to say anything bad about the computer industry when he’s rolling in the money? The article says nothing about how technology has caused heartache and inconvenience for millions.
But I did hear him tout the future of robotics. For example, Mr. Schmidt stresses robots’ creative use in the workplace, and talks about how life will be much better because of them. While this may be true in some cases, Eric glosses over the fact that millions of people have lost their jobs because of machines, and the fact that this job replacement is easier on the employers’ pocketbooks.
Now although this is extremely minor by comparison, I hope you will bear with me as I tell you about one of my pet peeves. It is what I like to call the password plague, and it has become a real epidemic in our world. There is no vaccine for this plague. If you don’t have your password for any given wwebsite, app or computer program, you are locked out, and you have to go through all the fun of creating a new password. But never fear–there is good news for those who seek God, as they are never locked out of His program for mankind.
Looking at what I have written, you may be asking, “What do you mean, passwords to prayer?”
Well, let me tell you. Unlike a computer program which has only one password, there are several key words in scripture which you might call passwords in a loose sense. They speak about characteristics that can enhance our prayer lives, and they help us as we walk through this life. Therefore, I will give examples of two of these words here, although there are many more.
We will start by looking at the invitation which Jesus issues to all of us: “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Jesus is saying that anyone who hungers for God can come to Him. But He also says that in order to do this, you and I need to enter the password of belief.
Belief is more than just head knowledge. It is the faith in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and rose to give you a new life.
You may be a follower of Jesus, but another level of unbelief limits God’s working in our lives. Remember the gospel story in which Jesus couldn’t do many mighty works because of unbelief? It is the same today.
While all of us go through times of doubt or condemnation, God tells us in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us. He also says that He has separated our sins as far as the east is from the west. I don’t recommend going west by traveling east, since this is impossible.
But in a figurative sense, many of us are doing just that. We bow to our anxieties and fears, rather than the God of the universe.
Not only getting our eyes on the problem, but keeping them there, leads to the next step. Life’s fears and anxieties may begin to rule over us, and God’s promises may seem distant. But as believers, we have freedom in Christ, and the good news is that you and I don’t have to live in constant worry or fear.
We need to take a minute to remember how faithful God has been on our journey through life, and this memory will lead us to a greater trust in Him. So when He seems far away, go to the Word. Because we can continue to draw on Christ’s power in this way as we walk with Him, we don’t have to be held captive by our mistakes.
To put it another way, every time we stumble, we don’t need to feel like we are held behind the bars of self-recrimination, continually rehashing all the what-ifs in our minds. The cycle of self-condemnation only causes people to struggle with depression and bondage.
Instead of walking this path, choose to enter the password of belief. Have your chains lifted today by this means, taking on Christ’s yoke of rest and peace.
Many people think that God can’t or won’t forgive them for what they have done, but this is a misconception. The enemy would like to convince us otherwise, but the Bible calls Satan a liar, and the accuser of the bretheren. Our shortcomings have been paid for on the cross. We can relax, because Jesus wants to carry our load through the second password, which is confession.
Understanding biblical confession is not only freeing. It is a key to continually experiencing the abundant life that Christ spoke about. This is because confession removes the fog of doubt and guilt from our lives.
Without confession, we merely exist instead of truly living. We tend to have an elavator-like mentality, allowing our feelings to be in charge of our lives. In this state, God is absent from our thoughts, and our moods fluctuate along with the day’s circumstances.
However, by the means of confession, we can always come back to a Father who loves us. But how we come to Him can make all the difference in the world.
Getting a handle on confession can be a gigantic step forward, because there have been huge misunderstandings concerning it. Instead of being seen primarily as a step towards release and joy, God is seen by many as a spiritual policeman.
Therefore, when people look through the glasses of doubt, they see God not as a loving Father, but as an angry judge. While it is true that God is angry with sin, this anger is not directed at those who turned to the One who loves them.
Confession does not bring condemnation for what you have done. It is God’s way of removing unwanted baggage from our lives. You can think of it as His way of doing spring cleaning.
On the other hand, unlike a simple apology, the password of confession is more than just telling God we’re sorry for our sins. It is changing our direction, and turning to Him with our whole hearts. But in order to do this, we must ask Him to search and cleanse our hearts by means of His Spirit. The Bible makes it clear that all of us fall far short of God’s holy and righteous standards, so God invites you to come into His presence through confession.
Say you are driving on the freeway without a care in the world. However, you are going to an unfamiliar location. When you suddenly discover that you are going in the wrong direction, would you continue on your way, hoping you’d get to your destination on time? No, I think you’d pull off at the next exit and turn around.
We often don’t get off at the blessing exit, though, because we are traveling down the wrong road. Because of this, God often extends blessings which we can’t receive.
For example, He wants to carry on a heartfelt communion with you and become your best friend. But He can’t do that when baggage is in the way. So just as you would clear the air with any good friend, God grieves when there is anything coming between you and Him, or when you’re traveling away from Him.
But aside from grieving, the deep and uninterrupted fellowship He wants to have with you is impossible because according to scripture, our iniquities actually separate us from Him.
Besides confessing our iniquities, God asks us to trust Him, and believe that His ways are best. Although it might not seem like it at times, He promises to work all things for our good.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so let me draw another one for you here. Imagine that you and I are going to a neighboring town, and you don’t have a clue why. I ask you to trust me, so you finally get into the car against your will. Glowering, I start the engine, and we head out.
Before you know it, I pull up to the curb, and the smell of hot dogs greets you. Looking around and scratching your head, you start to ask, “What are we doing here?”
But before the words leave your mouth, you hear people laughing and screaming. Unable to tell where the voices are coming from, you look around quizzically.
Your eyes land upon a small church which is set back from the road. You just want to get out, but the car is heading towards it at a fast clip. The building was hidden behind a clump of trees, and you didn’t notice it before. A few seconds later, a stranger smiles and waves as you draw nearer. Coming closer and pulling around back, you see that a small carnival has been set up in the parking lot.
I ask you to climb out of the car, but you just shrug, so I gesture for you to follow me. You have to admit that it at least feels good to walk for a while.
Still feeling bewildered, you end up in front of a shooting gallery. You are now wondering even more why you’re here, but you decide your words haven’t gotten you anywhere with me, so you hold your peace. I give you a push, and you find yourself standing in line to try and win one of the prizes.
To your surprise you are intrigued, because you have never tried anything like this. Watching with interest, you notice that a number of shootters come extremely close to hitting the bull’s-eye, and together they spend a fortune. But most of them give up, walking away empty-handed.
Finally, it is your turn, and you swagger up to the gun with a smirk. Cracking a smile for the first time today, you decide to give the spectators the show of their lives. While you have never tried your hand at target practice before, it looks like a piece of cake.
Cocking the gun, you take aim. But although you try several times, you end up missing the target every single time. Humiliated, you walk back to the car in silence, and demand to know what that was all about.
I just smile and answer, “According to the Bible, our sins separate us from a vibrant and dynamic form of communication with God. That is a lot like your shooting was today.”
“What do you mean?” you explode.
“Let me finish, please,” I reply. “Just as you tried to hit that target, trying to reach God’s standards in our own strength is futile. The Bible says that God loves you, but it also says that our sins block us from that love, and keep us from hitting God’s mark. Because of this, we fall short of His glory. I thought I’d use a simple illustration to try and get my point across.”
God wants His love to become a reality in your life, so if you find passwords frustrating and burdensome, try His passwords of faith and confession.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.