The Human OS User’s Manual
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In our last article we discussed the incredible computer inside your body and the biomechanical machines within it. We talked about information storage that dwarfs manmade systems. We also showed you that your body is controlled by an advanced operating system that makes your typical computer operating system look wimpy in comparison.
Now, most of you know that when your phone acts weird there are books and videos to help you understand why it isn’t working. Well, did you know that your body’s operating system (what I’m calling Human OS 1.0) comes complete with its own user’s manual? Seriously, it does. The manual even has a name: it’s called the Holy Bible.
It can be difficult to know right from wrong, and even more difficult to choose to do right. Especially when making the wrong choice can seem like so much fun! I love college football, but I do not watch it on the Sabbath because it was my Creator who said, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord . . .” (Isaiah 58:13-14, emphasis mine throughout).
What should I eat? How should I talk? How should I treat my Creator? How should I treat my neighbor? How should I deal with criminal behavior? What days of the year are God’s days, and which are man’s days?
These questions are all answered in your user’s manual. In fact, the manual is so complete that it tells of your creation, your purpose in this life and your potential for the next. It tells you about the bugs in your operating system and how to patch them. It tells about your Creator’s story, who and what He is and how He came to live among us for a short time to show us a better way.
Psalm 19:7 has this to say: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (New International Version). The word perfect means having all the required or desirable elements, or as good as it is possible to be. Something that is perfect cannot be improved, either by adding to it or taking from it. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you” (NIV). And for those who might say this is an Old Testament principle that we can ignore, there is always Revelation 22:18-19.
In both passages we are warned not to mess with the instructions God has written in the user’s manual. Why? Because the manual is a collection of all the instructions we need for our iHuman machinery to function properly. And, while we can live a complete physical life without the manual’s instructions, our spiritual lives need the extra help in order to reach our true potential, which is to become a member of God’s family.
So, if you want to live for something more than just this physical life, you will need some help. You will need a manual to assist you in optimizing your operating system so that you can maximize your potential. Thankfully, in His wisdom, your Creator gave you that manual. Consider these verses:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NIV).
In Matthew, Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (4:4).
And Psalm 119:172 says, “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.”
Those three verses are all connected. They tell us that the manual comes directly from the Creator, that His instructions are more important to iHuman functionality than food, and that they are the definition of righteousness. In other words, a truly righteous person lives his or her life according to all of the instructions found in the user’s manual.
Here is the hard part: Mankind has the ability to design spaceships to take him to the moon and back, to invent the computer and do other amazing things. Yet, during man’s nearly 6,000 years on Earth, he has proven that he cannot solve his problems with other people.
Why? Because man’s real problems are spiritual in nature, and the natural man simply cannot solve spiritual problems. In producing the computer or in flying to the moon, he is dealing with physical matter, which he can understand because of the human spirit within him. But he cannot solve problems with fellow humans because this involves knowledge and understanding of spiritual principles, which he cannot comprehend without the addition of another spiritual element to his mind!
Regarding this, your Human OS has a key feature that the Creator God coded into you. That feature is the ability to make your own choices! We’ll call this the Free Choice app. The trouble with Free Choice is that we tend to use it to our own destruction. Rather than choosing the path to life as defined by the user’s manual, we often choose the path that ultimately leads to death.
Thankfully, God can determine whether or not someone truly has a heart to seek Him. He will watch to see if you are willing to read the manual and let Him have a direct say in your life. It will take a lot of effort on your part, an inner desire that you may not fully realize. Perhaps it is occurring right now. When it does happen, there is a tool that you can download to assist your Free Choice app in making better decisions, because your operating system qualifies for a free upgrade.
Human OS 2.0 HS Edition
Like it or not, your human operating system is incomplete. This is because your creation is being accomplished in two phases. The first—the physical phase—began with the first man, Adam, while the second—the spiritual phase—began with the Second Adam, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45, New Living Translation). You are here reading this in the physical phase, but in order to accomplish the spiritual phase you are going to need some help.
You were born able to understand physical things, but you need the Spirit of God to enable you to understand spiritual things—such as why you are alive. Without having God’s Holy Spirit in us to change our thoughts and to give us the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit, we cannot overcome this shortcoming.
An example of the spiritual element is that the Human OS 1.0 emotion apps have taught you that anger, happiness, sadness and fear are often at war with each other. Emotions are a large part of your operating system and they are, at times, difficult to manage. Yet, you make many of life’s choices based on them. Some of the choices you make are good. You listen to your parents, counselor, boss or friends, and sometimes you make sound decisions. But then you make a bad decision. Perhaps you cross a boundary you should not cross, such as reacting in anger and making an enemy out of a friend. The sins of the flesh listed for us in Galatians 5:19-21 are all around us, but if we habitually do them we will not be in the Kingdom of God! So, we need the power of God’s Spirit to avoid them (Romans 8:13).
We are warned twice in God’s Word that on our own—using our own reasoning—we can make decisions that will cost us dearly. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25).
Well, here is something you may not know about your operating system: It is upgradeable! There is a version that you can download straight from the Source across the fastest computer network in existence. And, like your phone’s operating system, there is a process. This process is explained in the user’s manual, in the book of Acts:
“. . . Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is . . . for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39, NIV).
The user’s manual is clear. In order to get this free upgrade, the first qualification is that God must call you to salvation and eternal life. (For more info on this, search “how do people truly know if God is calling them” on ucg.org). Next, you must repent. (Definitions of repentance include: a turning with sorrow from a past course of action; the changing of one’s mind for the better; regret or contrition; sorrow for sin with self-condemnation; abhorrence of past sins; complete turning from sin.) Repentance means to make a commitment to turn from the ways you have been living so that you can begin to live according to God’s ways. And, finally, you must be baptized—a process which symbolizes the need for the old way of life to be “put to death” and buried, and where rising from the water symbolizes the beginning of a new way of life. Within our analogy of hardware and software, the computer must be “rebooted” so that its new software (the Holy Spirit) can begin to work in your life and to help you overcome your operating system’s shortcomings.
Your Human OS 1.0 is now ready. The new version, Human OS 2.0 HS Edition, downloads instantaneously through God’s special network. This has been happening since the days of the apostles, where the laying on of hands by a true minister of God after baptism has signified the actual moment of the receiving of the Holy Spirit. In just that single moment your operating system is upgraded, and you become set apart as a child of God. (The practice of laying on of hands for the receiving of God’s Spirit is mentioned in Acts 8:17; 19:6; and 2 Timothy 1:6.) The download is so fast that there is no need for a progress bar. Your 1.5 GB Human OS is upgraded with a brand new set of features called God’s Holy Spirit. And, like all new software, you must learn how to use this upgrade. You must learn what has changed, and why. And you must use it frequently in order to keep it running at peak efficiency.
But, while your new upgrade is perfect in and of itself, it does not instantly convert you into a perfect machine. Your old habits are still there. Your emotions still function the same way. Your mechanical systems still send the same pleasure and pain signals back to the central computer. What has changed is the set of apps you have at your disposal. When things are getting difficult and the bad habits begin to reemerge, you can call directly upon your Designer and ask Him for help through the Prayer app. And you can think of the Holy Spirit as your Helper app, your guide to overcoming Human OS 1.0 faults and bugs. It is a sophisticated upgrade and increases your 1.5 GB OS to a version containing an infinite quantity of code.
Now your Creator looks upon you differently. He says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV). The HS upgrade converts your operating system into one that is willing to serve its Creator. Now, instead of seeking the praises of the world, you will begin to seek the praises of God. Your purpose in life will be to live according to the last words in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
You will not run faster, you will not have laser vision, you will not suddenly have the user’s manual memorized. The superpower you will have is the knowledge that God is watching over you, as He always has, only with greater anticipation! You have chosen to join His family, and Human OS 2.0 HS Edition is the tool He designed to aid you.
As we saw in part one of this series, the amount of data stored within your DNA is mind-boggling, and your body is already a marvel of biomechanical engineering. This special HS upgrade is the perfect fit for it. Now, your operating system has been upgraded with a new set of instructions so sophisticated that we have no idea how it works. We can see molecules, we have photographed a single atom, but the Holy Spirit is entirely invisible to mankind. And if you choose to download it you will gain access to a system that knows the user’s manual from front to back and will help you decode it. You will learn of the conditions God has set forth for His machines to operate efficiently, and you will learn to use them with joy in your heart.
Your old operating system will begin to take a back seat to its new upgrade, and you will reap the benefits on the inside. God’s laws will become much clearer to you and more of a true delight to obey. They will become the thing you set out to do every day of your life. You will begin to see yourself and others from God’s point of view, and you will better understand what He expects from you.
God is your Creator, and He has a magnificent plan in place for you. To help you on this path, He has made available the amazing Human OS 2.0 HS Edition operating system. However, even when your software has been upgraded, your body is still in the mechanical, prototype stage. There is one more thing to talk about, because there is still one more upgrade available to you, and we’ll talk about it next time in the final installment of iHuman.