WHO'S IN CONTROL?
My computer got hacked a couple days ago. Somehow, someone inserted a notice that caused my email program to stop working. After a few attempts to fix it, I went onto the link provided by the notice (not realizing the notice itself was malware! I called, and a “Google support” guy requested control of my computer in order to verify and unblock me. I asked him why. He responded, “We are Google! We will not hurt your computer! Our reputation is very important to us!” That made sense, so I let him take control.
Bad move. He did a bunch of stuff on it, and then stated they couldn’t unblock my account until I purchased an internet security package. Uh oh. I texted my IT friend, who told me to check another device for email access. My gmail account wasn’t blocked. The guy was lying. I nearly fell for a scam, and got my computer hacked in the process.
I gave control to an “angel of light”, as it were. Scripture refers to Satan that way (2 Cor. 11:14). Someone who pretends to support and assist people, while really “hacking” our lives as soon as we give him control, knowingly or unsuspectingly. In reality, he is really a “thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (Jn. 10:10a). Talk about a nasty hack job!
So there I lingered, with my original problem unsolved, and a lot more created, thanking the Lord that at least I hadn’t paid anything. Meanwhile, my IT friend advised me to do a “system restore” on my computer to an earlier date, which I did.
This reminded me of how the Holy Spirit restores our lives to an earlier time before we messed up by giving the Enemy control of our lives (intentionally or not). Even unintentional sin creates consequences of loss, destruction, and a myriad of problems. The restoration doesn’t necessarily bring everything back or automatically solve everything. But it removes the stain of sin and lets us start over again. (Is.1:18; 1 Jn. 1:9).
Later, I contacted my son Joe to fix my email problem. He called back and asked me to surrender control of my computer to him so he could fix the problem. Unlike the fake “support” guy, I can totally trust Joe. He’s my son. He loves the Lord. He loves me. So I surrendered control and watched him fix the problem as well as check for other damage. Meanwhile, we conversed, and he admonished me to not give control of my computer away. “These are scam guys, mom! They come after people like you!” (meaning overly-trusting women over 50!).
My IT friend reminded me of a good pastor—guiding us away from trouble, and helping us tell the difference between the “angel of light” and the true “Light of the World” (Jn. 8:12).
Joe reminded me of Jesus/God. I gave him control of my computer-- he wisely, powerfully, and lovingly fixed the problem, discerned and informed me of other damage, and protected me from further harm. Just like the Lord does with our lives when we give HIM control. God is sovereign. He could just take control, whether we like it or not. But He chooses to let us give Him control of our lives so we participate in a true, loving, relationship with Him, our Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:10b-11). With Him in control, we can’t lose.
I learned a hard lesson from my hacked computer— watch out who we’re giving control of our lives to! It will save us a whole lot of trouble and heartache!