No Input Detected

I like computers.  For the most part, they have made our lives and work easier.  However, there are days when something goes wrong whereby they become a source of great frustration.  Computers have several components, one of which is the monitor.  It’s what you are looking at right now reading this blog post (unless you are reading it on a phone or tablet).  If you are looking at a monitor connected to a desktop computer, then you are using some sort of cable to transmit the signal.  When that cable is not hooked up or is defective you will get a screen that says….

No Input Detected!

I was in a church service one morning when the projector being used displayed this on the screen because something had gone wrong with the computer.  I immediately had the thought that some people are like this.  Truth be told, sometimes I have been like this.

No Input Detected!

What do I mean?  Sometimes we talk about things we have no clue as to what we are talking about.  We do this to make ourselves look more important, or to make ourselves sound smart.  In this case, when we talk about things we don’t know anything about, there is “no input detected.”  Others around us will usually pick up on the fact that we don’t know what we are talking about.

Sometimes we criticize other people, judging them for their actions before we know the whole story.  Once we have the whole story, often we find out that we were wrong about the situation.  Recently, that happened to me.  I was at a meeting, expecting to see a particular person there.  I was a little disappointed that they didn’t come.  Later I was told that one of their close relatives had just passed away.  That input made all the difference.  My initial disappointment was based on “no input detected.”

Being a pastor, I have listened to a lot of sermons and teachings in my lifetime.  Some preachers really know their stuff, it’s evident that they have studied the Bible and know their topic very well.  On the other hand, I have heard some preachers that say a lot without saying anything.  It’s clear to me that they don’t know their stuff, that they haven’t studied the subject they are trying to teach on.  I am not judging here because I have had a few sermons like that myself.

As a Christian communicator, who is trying to help people understand the truths of the Bible, who Jesus is, and what God desires from us – it’s critical that I know my stuff.  It’s critical that I get the proper input.  That comes from the Holy Spirit.  He is the teacher sent to us by our Heavenly Father to guide us into all truth.

He will do that through our personal reading of books, the Bible and through prayer.  He is the input we need in order to teach well.

But, he also is the input we need when dealing with people.  If we are to learn to be attentive to him in our relationships, work environment, and day to day activities our lives would go much smoother and be all the meaningful.  He is the input needed in our lives.  He is the connection to the heart of the Father.

The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and the things of God (1 Cor. 2:10-11).  It teaches us that he will bring to our remembrance the teachings of Jesus (John 14:26).  It tells us that we can be led by him, but that leading is our choice and our submission (Romans 8:14). It’s not a forced thing.

He is the input needed.  And when that input is not detected people around us will know.  I’ve been around people that I can tell have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.  You can just feel God coming off of them.  You can hear his wisdom and instructions in their words.  You can see it in their eyes.  You can tell that the “input” is there.

As much as I hate to say it, there are others who claimed to be connected but if there was a sign above their head, it would read . . . no input detected.

How about you?  Can people tell that the Holy Spirit is giving you input?  How about me?  I have to ask myself this very question.  Excuse me, while I go spend some time in prayer making sure my connection is secure for today.  I don’t want anyone I come in contact with today to say, “no input detected.”

4 Comments On “No Input Detected”

  1. John Marsden

    I like it.

  2. Thanks John.

  3. mcastro

    There are less tangible influences on the effectiveness of a sermon.   We could go in many directions here, but lets think about the preacher.   What influences how the preacher preaches the components and ingredients of a sermon?   The preacher’s love for God and love for the listener is hard to quantify, but it surely influences the choice of sermon ingredients and their delivery.   The preacher’s personal baggage is a filter through which every sermon is processed and preached.   If a preacher is struggling with pride, then in some way it will show in the sermon.   If a preacher is angry, then in some way it will show in the sermon. A sermon is not just the ingredients of explanation, application and illustrations blended together with sermon components like an introduction and a conclusion.   The effectiveness of a sermon goes much deeper than the quality of the elements that are blended together.   There is also the moving dynamic of those listening, the occasion, as well as the preacher’s ability, style of communication and so much more.   There are complex nuances influencing every aspect of a sermon.

    • Hello Mcastro, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you that there are many aspects to a sermon, it’s delivery and it’s reception. One more that I would add to your list is that maybe the preacher was just having a bad day. I’ve had those. I was simply making a very broad and general statement as it related to the subject of my blog. It wasn’t intended to cover every sermon. In trying to keep this blog short I wasn’t able to make more than generalized comments. I do appreciate your comment and again, I agree with you.

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