Reformatting is a concept of the information age. It generally involves completely clearing a data storage device such as a hard drive, so it’s ready for reprogramming.
In other words, wiping the slate clean and starting over. Everything gets erased.
This is usually done only when there’s no other choice, as the process can be rather time-consuming, and you may never recover all of the stuff you had on there in the first place.
One term that comes to mind in this is ‘terminal error’. If you’ve ever gotten one of these, you know there’s no way back. The only way to go is forward, into the brave new world of reformatting, and starting over.
If you think about it though, it could be applied to a lot of lifes situations. Starting over in a friendship or relationship that has had some challenges along the way, or even making a fresh start in your marriage could, in a sense, be considered reformatting. It could be applied to re-structuring a business, or an organization.
Or your church.
One of the benefits of reformatting a device, such as a computer, is that you can get back to a basic program so you have a solid foundation to start building on again. All the extraneous junk that accumulated has been erased. It’s no longer a hindrance to the functions you really need.
Reformat comes from the same root as the word reformation, and they mean basically the same thing.
The first century church operated from the enviable position of a clean slate. The first disciples ministered without going to seminary or bible college. There wasn’t a ‘new testament’ to refer to yet because it was still being written. Yet if you read the book of acts, you will see that God backed up His will and His word with signs and wonders. The sick were healed, the dead were raised and people all over were being delivered from every sort of demonic stronghold. It was said of the early believers that they were turning the world ‘upside-down’.
Today things look a little different. Unfortunately, except for the miracles taking place in third world countries, there doesn’t seem to be too many signs and wonders going on in the church. Don’t get me wrong, miracles DO occur, and I’ve been blessed by more than a few myself, but they have become the exception rather than the rule. We have a ‘format’ that we’ve grown used to, and nobody goes to church expecting anything much is really going to change. We are comfortable. We are complacent. We exhibit all the right ‘forms of Godliness’ but our traditions deny the power and nullify the Word we spend so much time teaching. Not only has our program slowed down, it’s threatening to stop.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but it’s time to reformat, my friends.
I know change is uncomfortable. I know it’s scary, and I know nobody really likes it all that much. But if we keep doing the same things we’re doing now, and expect a different outcome, then we’ve defined ourselves as insane, haven’t we?
God is ready to shake things up. He’s been ready for a while now, but He’s waiting for us. He’s waiting for us to crave the power and wonder of His kingdom manifesting on the earth, and to embrace whatever kinds of change it will take to see it. We already carry the spark of ‘revival’ in each and every one of us, but it’s up to us to fan the flame.
Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and brought freedom to the captive. His disciples did the same. It’s time to get back to the original program. It’s time to reformat.