For anyone with a computer or with kids, "I've got a virus!" is a very bad thing to hear!

There are all kinds of viruses and they impact us in various ways. Most can be tolerated, are eventually corrected, and we go on with work and life. Unfortunately, we have recently had one that we have not been able to work around in our office. This virus wiped out my computer and badly disabled the one the church secretary uses for all the work of the church.

This is the second time in recent years I have had to reformat my hard drive. At least this time, I did not lose the computers at home. There is something insidious in the progress of viruses. They often give warning that things are not right, but by then, it is often too late to stop the destructive path they cut across our work, productivity, and time.

Without passing too harsh a judgement, I think those individuals who develop computer viruses must surely be taking a page from the devil's handbook. They gain what looks like a harmless entrance into the system and then, step by step, break down any way to reverse the course of their malevolent actions. This is very similar to the way Satan works in our lives. He has always been a master at making sin appear harmless, yet uses that sin to create havoc and eventually, bring total destruction.

You see, sin is not unlike a virus. It seldom strikes with sudden and complete debilitation. There are small developing signs of its infiltration. However, it is the cumulative effect of the virus that brings complete destruction to our worlds. Like a virus, sin finds paths that go deeper into those areas where it can do the greatest harm.

Much like the reformatting of my hard drive, the only real way to deal with a life entangled with the virus of sin is to wipe out all that is there and begin over again. Perhaps that is what Paul means when he wrote:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Wipe out all that is there and begin over again!
Have you spent wasted hours seeking correction without destroying the real source of the corruption in your life? Sin is not defeated by small, remedial steps. Rather, it is defeated by one bold stroke. We cannot remove it in pieces. We must commit to remove it and all it has contaminated, asking the Lord to help completely make us new. The bold stroke is not found in our wisdom, but in God's mercy. Only the blood of the Lamb of God can cleanse the infected soul and provide the opportunity to "put on the new self, created to be like God."

It is time to quit playing around with fixes and employ the cure! Out with the old and in with the new, compliments of One who loved you so much that He gave His only Son to fix our sin virus problem.