My son Adam’s job involves calibrating pharmaceutical instruments. He does all kinds of procedures I don’t understand to all kinds of machines I don’t understand so the gauges read accurately. So the medications we take are produced correctly. So we don’t die.
I can’t imagine why the gauges need all that attention. I mean, once you set them to the standard, shouldn’t they stay put?
Well, they don’t. And neither do I.
The reason I read the Bible almost every day isn’t that I’m a fantastic Christian, or uber-disciplined, or holier than thou, whoever thou is. On the contrary, it’s that my gauges need recalibration every single day. Twenty-four hours tick by, and it’s high time to reset my wandering heart to the standard of God’s truth. Most days I can’t even make it that long. The needle that points to grace creeps over to works. The needle that points to Jesus shifts to self. The needle that points to peace shimmies over to anxiety.
Open the Bible: reset.
Just this morning my reading plan had me in Isaiah. With bleary eyes, I read the assigned passage and encountered 17:7: “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made…”
It wasn’t John 3:16. It wasn’t a verse you’d see printed on a mug or a throw blanket. It was just what came next in my Bible. But the Spirit used it to recalibrate the gauge of my soul to reality.
Oh yes, that’s right, life isn’t about all my strivings and efforts, all my comforts and cravings, all the great (or not so great) things I’ve done. In the end, I won’t be looking at myself and “the works of my hands,” I’ll be looking at my Maker. And all my little idols will be falling on their little faces in his presence. Lord, help me practice for that day by looking to you today and not being too impressed or discouraged with myself. You are an infinitely better focus.
Just one example from one morning of how one heart needed one truth: God’s.
When I don’t fill my mind with Scripture in the morning, my own cravings happily jump in to fill the space, bringing their big promises with them. If I worry about a problem long enough, I’ll find peace. If I can just control my world, I’ll find joy. If I complain, I’ll find relief. But I don’t. I just find more of… me. Not the prize I was looking for.
Our great God is the prize: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit revealed to us through “the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
The Bible recalibrates us to an accurate reading of life. Let’s avail ourselves of it!