Monday, March 18, 2013

Removing Hidden Malware

"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, 
who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, 
that they might bring us into bondage..."
Galatians 2:4
(KJV)

I watched as the computer technician named Jerold moved our mouse about
from left to right, clicking here and there...
all remotely from another location.
It still amazes me how they can do that!
You give them permission to take control,
and control they take.
"If you need to step away from your computer, you can.
It's in safe hands",
he typed into the little open chat window that served as 
a means of our communicating back and forth.

Even though I have utilized this amazing service several times,
I still get a little uneasy walking away and not watching every move they make
while holding complete control of our computer.
I guess I shouldn't worry.
After all, they are the good guys.
The helpful ones.
The ones who remove viruses, malware, and other undesirables.
But, you just never know...
so I stay pretty close at hand...
noting each command I see them initiating.

After scanning our computer for possible threats,
I saw this message appear,
"Removing hidden malware.
Successfully removed.
There are no other threats."
A big green check mark appeared above the wording.
Such a welcome relief!
I have seen instances in which the worm couldn't be completely removed.
It could only be quarantined.
This always made me nervous.
I don't want it quarantined some place private,
knowing it is still in under-handed operation.
I want it removed.
Gone.
100% off the computer.
Rendered unable to do further damage.


Where did the malware come from?
We are so careful.
We have all sorts of filters and parental controls and safety nets in place.
We take lots of precautions and have the latest virus protection available.

But, somehow, even with all of our preventive measures,
a mean-spirited, conniving enemy managed to finagle their way into our 
carefully-protected personal computer 
and leave their evil fingerprint behind.
Who knows where it came from?
Does it matter?
 It was there.
It was slowing our computer operation and speed.
It disabled our ability to keep our virus and malware protection running.
However it happened, it happened.
And it needed to be deal with.
So we did.

Our computer is clean.
There are no viruses or threats.
What a comforting sight to see the green check mark 
and know all is well.

Hooray!!

Wikipedia defines Malware this way:
Malware, short for malicious (or malevolent) software, is software used or created by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software.[1] 'Malware' is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.[2]
Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue security software, and other malicious programs; the majority of active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses.

None of it sounds like anything I would want anything to do with.
It all sounds undesirable.

The thing about malware is that it is sneaky.
You don't know it is there.
It creeps in unawares and does its dirty work.
Everything on the surface looks fine and operational.
Then one day, you realize things aren't running at peak performance.
Something is amiss and being slowed down.
That's when it is time to contact the ISP technicians for help.
It is so worth the $14.95 per month...just in case they are needed. :~)
Thankfully, they are available for the biggest part of a 24 hour period,
closing only from 2:00-6:00 am.

Malware threats are injected by those who wish to steal, kill, or destroy
in some form or another.
They are the enemy.

Does any of this sound familiar?
On a spiritual level?

How does satan make inroads into our lives?
How does he find a weak link?
How does he manage to discover and uncover
an area in which we are just a slight bit negligent...
or slack....
or not as diligent as we should be?
When does he do it?
How does he slip things in while we are not looking?

He is like a worm.
Remember the form of disguise he chose in the Garden of Eden?
He is sly and cunning and clever and has had
years of experience in honing his deceitful devices.
He knows what will work on you...and on me.
He knows where he has tripped us up in the past.
And he is quick to detect a tired spot...
an area of neglect....
a spot just big enough for him to sneak his conniving foot into...
just enough to gain a foothold.
He knows later, he can work on expanding the foothold into a stronghold.
The more ground he gains, the harder it will be for us to ever break free.
That is his goal.
If he can keep it quiet, at first,
maybe he can sneak right on in and dupe us into believing nothing is even wrong.
If he does it gradually, maybe we won't even notice.

After all, think about the story of the frog.
If you drop him in a pot of boiling water,
he will have enough sense to realize the water is hot,
he will discern the danger,
and he will immediately jump out.
But, if you set him on the stove in a comfortable, lukewarm, room-temperature pot of water,
start the heat off slow and increase it in the tiniest of increments,
he will sit right there the whole time right up until the pot is boiling,
and he won't realize he is in danger....
until it is too late to do anything about it.
Hence, you have a cooked....dead frog.

The Apostle Paul spoke of false brethren who come in unawares
and spy out our liberty with the evil intent of stealing that freedom
and bringing us into bondage.

The Potter taught me a valuable lesson today during our computer issue.
"I want you to be careful, child.
I have freed you from an enormous amount of bondage.
You are alert....
keenly aware of the areas in which you have been liberated and set free.
Satan doesn't like the fact that you are walking free...at liberty.
He is continually walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour...
seeking what he can rob, what he can take back.
He sends out agents to spy out your liberty.
To see just how free you are.
To see if he can possibly find an inroad back.
To do his utmost to try to draw you back in and re-entangle you with a yoke.
Any yoke will do.
He isn't discriminatory when it comes to binding up My people.
He'll stoop to any level.
Just so you are bound and incapable of being the person I am calling you to be.
Just as malware is hostile and intrusive to your computer,
satan is equally and more damaging to your soul.
Stay away from what has enslaved you in the past.
You are aware of who and what they are.
Do not form allegiances with them.
Steer clear of areas of temptation that have successfully enslaved you before.
Remove it from your life whenever possible.
If you find yourself on temptation's ground, flee.
Run.
Do whatever you must to get out of there.
And don't look back.
Don't apologize for following Me and for walking in spiritual freedom.
I am the only One you should ever try to please,
and My goal for you is that you have life....and have it more abundantly.
That is why I came."

His words resonated deep.

"There is nothing satan has maliciously planted in your life that I cannot see.
There is no threat undetected by Me.
No matter how deeply-imbedded.
No matter how long it has been there.
I am aware of his every scheme and tactic.
The same power that set you free can keep you that way.
Stay near Me.
Follow close.
Stay alert."

Hope rose within me.

"Lord, while I am here, on the wheel, 
being remade, I beg of you to remove all hidden malware.
Every bit of residue....clinging to the insides.
Every harmful thing that I cannot see.
Every maliciously-planted-by-satan worm 
embedded with the purpose of disrupting spiritual operation,
stunting my spiritual growth and maturity process,
and gathering sensitive information for evil intents.
I want you to not just quarantine, but completely remove, 
every one of satan's footholds wherever he has gained access.
All of the hidden places that I don't see, 
but still they are slowing me down.
Holding me back.
Keeping me in chains.
I want them gone....completely removed.
You see all.
You know all.
Please make me clean."

"That is exactly what I am doing.
My blood is a perfect cure....for all sin and uncleanness.
The fountain that was opened when I died on Calvary will reach the deepest recesses of the soul.
I never perform a halfway job.
The cleansing is complete and entire with every evil removed."

Some infectious computer malware is hard to get rid of.
There are worms that are very difficult to kill.
Thankfully, there are remedies out there invented by those
who stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

What glory to know the blood of Jesus is the antidote 
for every malicious scheme and vicious, destructive tactic of satan.
It is the ultimate rescue and cleanser and eradicator of every evil device satan can concoct.
Whatever it may be.
God is above all, He sees all, He holds ultimate authority and sovereignty over all.
He holds the remedy for any poison satan has managed to inject into our lives.


How is it with you, my friend?
Wish we could sit on our front porch,
steaming cups in hand,
 and just speak heart-to-heart.
I do care, you know.
If we were able to do that, I would want to hear you talk.
I'd ask the commonplace, everyday questions...
you know, the small talk.
But you know me, I wouldn't stop there.
I would dig deeper.
I would really want to know....
what is going on inside of you....
under the surface.
I'd probably turn in your direction, look you in the eye,
and ask where you are right now....
on your journey with Jesus, I mean.
For that is the most important question of all.

So, where are you?
How are you, spiritually-speaking?
Are you energized?
Still passionate?
Still madly in love with the Love of your life, Jesus Christ?
Or are you feeling a bit sluggish?
Slowed down?
Not so zealous to move forward?
Could it be that you have been victimized, completely unawares,
as I have so often been...
by satan's malicious intrusions?
If he can plant a tiny worm of bitterness,
jealousy,
envy,
ill will,
unforgiveness,
hatred,
pride,
lust, 
or greed, 
he has successfully accomplished his goal.
The things he creeps into our lives slow us down.
They impede our spiritual growth.
They enslave and bring us into bondage.
We cannot function at peak performance when we are infected with such.

Thankfully, there is a remedy for the most potent of his wicked shenanigans.
It is found at the Potter's house...
at the foot of an old, rugged cross...
on which the Potter died and shed His blood
to open the cleansing fountain for every sin.  
Every shred of satan's malicious intrusions can be removed...
completely and entirely.
Jesus stands by ready to take away our sin.
And what a blessing to know, He doesn't clock out at 2:00 am
and come back in at 6:00.
What if we needed Him in between?

He is there...at the right hand of the Father
making continual intercession for us...non-stop...
without interruption.
He never takes a break...
goes on vacation....
or leaves His post of duty as our Advocate with the Father.

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous...
(I John 2:1)

We can reach Him anytime.
Not through a chat window,
but face-to-face....
one-on-one.
On our knees.
From the flat of our back.
Seated in a pew.
In our living room recliner.
Standing upright.
The position or location doesn't really matter to Him....at all.
It is the heart that He sees.
It is the cry that He hears.

His ears are always open....waiting to hear your voice.

From wherever you are,
you are never too far.

4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post on computer virus removal. Inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you SO much, Cathy! I so appreciate you stopping by. May God bless you and keep you in His care! Stop back anytime!! :~)

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  3. Cheryl, the analogy of malware to the way Satan sneaks in is excellent, and unfortunately, so true. It doesn't matter how long we have been Christians, we are still only cleansed by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for being faithful to your calling.

    Love,Prayers, and a hug,
    Debby

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, my friend! Your words were precious to me today...."thank you for being faithful to your calling". They encouraged me and gave me the boost I needed to keep going. You don't realize how much I appreciate your support. God bless you and keep you, and I trust today is a good day for you!!
      Love, prayers, and a hug back to you....many times over!
      Cheryl

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