We have been hearing a lot lately about the benefits and drawbacks of the Internet of Things (or IoT, for short). If you’re unclear on what that is, here is how Wikipedia describes it:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
For me personally the concept kind of gives me the creeps. A segment on 60 Minutes showed how someone can take control of car built in the last ten years remotely because of this new technology. It calls to mind shades of Big Brother and that feeling that everyone is watching you.
But then, I started to apply the principle to the Christian life with much more positive results.
You see, the Internet of Things can be viewed as a modern-day reflection of the structure of the Christian life. Consider these verses:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
In our Christian lives, Christ is coursing through our synapses and guiding us in what we say and do, think and feel. His thoughts, his ways, his will are hardwired into our systems and we become more and more like him as we grow in faith. In the computer world, this would be called integration, but in the spiritual world, we call this sanctification. By God’s grace, we progressively mature in holy living, becoming what C. S. Lewis calls “little Christs” in this world as we reach out in selfless and sacrificial love and service to others.
The “things” of this world then take on new meaning for us. Everything we have becomes a potential tool for us to use in spreading the Gospel message to all we are connected to in faith. No longer are the “things” that we have our own. They are gifts from our Savior that we use to God’s glory.
I turn also this this verse as I contemplate this concept:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
If we are cut off from Christ, we are as good as a computer without a router or an Ethernet cord. We have no connection to God and we are unable to function in the way that he created us.
I also find it interesting that now everything on the Internet of Things is somehow driven by what is happening in the infamous “cloud,” Our power source is in the clouds well—the clouds of heaven, where Christ is seated and where he awaits our arrival when all the systems of this world break down and the only “world wide web” will be the network of believers who will rise to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever“ (1 Thessalonians 4:17).