“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matthew 6:6, MSG).
Last Sunday, I preached a message about the importance of being alone with God. For some time, this subject has seemed to me of primary importance, not only for a pastor, but for every Christian. I have personally found that when I come to the Lord, He receives me just as I am; whether in moments of peace or torment, but He doesn’t leave me the same. I am transformed. I mean, let’s face it, who can come to God and force Him to yield?
The word, “Calibration” is a good descriptive. It means, to correlate the readings of an instrument with those of a standard in order to check the instrument’s accuracy. When we come to God and read His Word, it is the standard given which aligns our thoughts, what we believe to be true. God’s presence renews our thinking to the standard of His views; His Word, rather than those of the world. It is there that His Holy Spirit speaks to us; breathes life and clarity into our thoughts, so that we may see a little bit of what God sees, either for our future, or perhaps for an ongoing situation in our lives.
As a student and a teacher of the Word, I look for ways to communicate, so that the message gets into the heart of the listener. I always seek to do so honestly and with integrity. On occasion, however, I get it wrong. I was in prayer this week, preparing for Sunday’s service, and the Lord led me to see that something I had recently included in this weekly column was incorrect.
I had written about Psalm 118 being the center chapter of the Bible, based on some information I’d come across. After further research, I discovered this to be incorrect. It turns out that of the 1.189 chapters in the Bible, Psalm 117 is the center chapter. But when taken on the whole of the 31,079 verses, Psalm 102:1&2 are also considered to be the center. It reads, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” (NKJV). Those are excellent verses as well; however, I offer my sincere apologies to anyone I may have confused with the erroneous information.
What I believe the Lord led me to see through all of this is, what is most beneficial for us all: Jesus Christ is the center of the Bible’s message; the Old Testament looks forward to Him and the New Testament epistles look back to His completed work on the Cross. The benefits of Psalm 102 are for you; that you may experience His salvation; eternally, yes! But also, for whatever you face today.
I encourage you to take time this week to spend alone with God. Perhaps you too, need calibrating.
More next week!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.