Summary: In this day and age, the Default Button is easily understood and defined as a selection automatically used by a computer program in the absence of a choice made by the user predetermined to be the most often used option. I have heard this term is used by
Overriding the Default Button (Genesis 20)
In this day and age, the Default Button is easily understood and defined as a selection automatically used by a computer program in the absence of a choice made by the user predetermined to be the most often used option. I have heard this term is used by Beth Moore in the context of a Christian defaulting or reverting to dependence upon the old nature. As Christians we have Christ in us the hope of glory and are now partakers of the divine nature. But we still have with us the default button of the old sinful nature. These bodies in which we live have not yet been redeemed. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:23: “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” And we are reminded in Philippians 3:20-21: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all thing to Himself.” This is why we still struggle with sin, the world and Satan. Thus, we must choose each day to walk by faith while we are still in these earthly tents – So the default button for the believer occurs when in the absence of making a willful choice we revert back to our “old nature” from which we have been delivered.
Although Abraham and Sarah would not have been familiar with a term so common in our computer age, they would know intimately the pain of stepping out of dependence upon God. Could it be God was withholding Isaac, the son of promise, from them until they choose to override the default button of their flesh and depend totally upon God? Could it be God is withholding manifold blessings from us and the church until we do the same? With resolve, we have to choose to override the default button of the flesh and stay out on the waters of faith where the Potter can transform the theory of our faith into the practice of our faith. Given this exhortation, there are three valuable spiritual lessons to learn from Abraham in Genesis 20 to help us override the default button.
FIRST, ABRAHAM SHOWS US WE MUST GUARD AGAINST OLD SINFUL PATTERNS. Pastor Rey Stedman once said, we are still capable as Christians of the worst sin we have ever committed and more. Age does not automatically sanctify us. Unless yielded to the Spirit of God, we will repeat in our old age the sinful patterns of our youth. And old sinful self patterns if not dealt with can return at any time we step out of dependence upon God. The old nature wants dominance in your life and it will not lie down and die for you – you must make a willful choice each day to put it to death. That is why the Scripture says in Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Notice the warning to the one who is spiritual: “…each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” No one is immune – we are all vulnerable to falling victim to old sinful patterns – remembering that but by the grace of God there go I. We must “watch and pray” with diligence for old sinful patterns will try to raise their ugly head.
We find in Genesis 20 Abraham, the very Father of Faith, has been a captive of fear for thirty years. And when he steps out of dependence upon God, he is still just as capable of falling victim to fear again. Fear caused this great man of faith some thirty years earlier to dishonor and disgrace his own wife to save his own life and now he has repeated the same grievous act again because he did not override the default button of his old nature.
Ray Stedman points out in his writings: “This is why when God comes into the human heart through Jesus Christ, he never tries to do anything about cleaning up that old nature. He writes it off as worthless. He says that everything that comes from self is worthless. No matter how it looks in the eyes of others, if it comes from the self-advancing, self-centered core, it is worthless and it always will be. What you now are in the flesh, you always will be, if you live a hundred years… Any dependence upon self always results in the kind of experience that Abraham had. After thirty years of walking with God and learning wonderful lessons in the spiritual life, the minute he steps out of a dependence upon God, he steps back into that same ugly nature he had in the beginning, and it is unchanged after thirty years. Old natures have to be kept out of the place of control through walking in the spirit. "Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh," Paul tells us (Galatians 5:16 RSV).” So Abraham teaches we must be on guard against those old sinful patterns of the flesh and “crucify the flesh with it s passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24)