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July 2014
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“Calibrating Your Life”

 

The sky is perfectly clear here in Las Cruces, and it’s clear that the Lord has blessed us
with another beautiful day! With the recent storm that passed through Las Cruces, it
really helped to clean the air and filter the sky of all its impurities. It’s almost as if God
has renewed the day. It’s amazing how such pristine skies help to give us clarity to see
things we otherwise would not even notice. You might view this as God’s way of
refreshing both our physical and Godly senses – a renewing of our Spirit!

What a glorious day it is to be alive in Christ! Praise the Lord!

When I think about God’s ability to renew things, I begin to consider that the Bible states
that God had a plan for all that has taken place, all that is, and all that ever will be.
Reflect on the well known verse in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth.” and John 1:3, “All things were made through Him, and
without Him nothing was made that was made.” Clearly God is incredible, and His
plans are eternal. In fact, He even has a plan for you and me!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plan to prosper you and not
to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I like that… a hope and a future! We must never let the world get in the way of this
blessed hope, for God’s plan for us is truly eternal, and it is uniquely designed for each of
us. Have you ever asked, “How do I fit into God’s plan for my life?”

This is an interesting question, for just when we begin to think we know what God’s plan
is for our life, the world steps in and off we go in another direction! Ever had that
happen? I think we all can relate to that “feeling”. One way to battle this confusing
dilemma is to ground yourself in the Truth, and this truthful and significant fact: You are
currently living out God’s plan for your life. That’s right… You’re already plugged in!
And since you are already walking in Christ, follow what it says in Philippians 3:17,
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live
according to the pattern we gave you.”

One way to view this is that when you accepted Christ in your life, as your Lord and
Savior, you “consciously” began the process of executing God’s plan for your life – one
day at a time. God also knew that in order for you to execute His unique plan for your
life, you would need instruction (the Bible) and a counselor (the Holy Spirit) to help
along the way. Take time to read the Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit and allow God to
reveal His loving plan for your life.

Much like any plan that goes into effect, it involves a process that is filled with
milestones (to mark progress) that ultimately lead to the completion of a goal – as
Christians — a heavenly goal. If we correlate the milestones we come to in life to that of
our Christian walk, we might come to realize that God’s plan means we are under a
constant state of transformation and refinement. In reality, each milestone represents a
continual renewing of our spirit that is underway – all with consideration and focus
toward the eternal goal that God has placed in our hearts. Fix your eyes on Jesus…
Imagine a broad milestone chart of God’s plan for your life – it might look something
like this: Accept Christ — Grow in Christ — be obedient to God – eternal life in Heaven.
Short and overly simplistic… right? I agree! After all, I did leave a few things out!
Where are the cars, the boats — the condo on the beach, the joys and hardships, etc., etc.?
Places to go, things to do… I think you might get the point… That is part of what makes
it so difficult to execute God’s plan and remain on track – that is, our ongoing desire and
lust for the world, versus our desire for God! Consider the warning in Ephesians 4:22,
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old
self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;”

As we execute God’s plan for our life, we need to remind ourselves that our ultimate goal
(blessed hope) is to serve our God in Heaven! (Revelation 22:3) However, it’s the
“growing in Christ” and “being obedient to God” part of the plan that tends to make our
walk here on earth a bit challenging at times – sometimes beyond what we think we can
endure! After all, life is dynamic with lots of detours along the way. However, don’t
worry, for God considers everything in your life, and He never made a plan that was not
intended for good — and He will never gives you more than you are able to handle. In
this regard, having guidelines in our life will help us to fulfill God’s plan. These
guidelines come from the truth found in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit that dwells in
each of us.

We all understand that while we are in this world, we must seek to do God’s will. Listen
to what it says in Joshua 22:5, “… love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to
keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and
with all your soul.”

May I say that as we are living out God’s plan for our lives, it is helpful to reassess our
progress and understanding of “the plan” at various milestones along the way. Consider
this assessment as part of what I’ll call “Calibrating Your Life”. We do this to ensure
we are maintaining a “standard” in our life that “keeps pace” and is acceptable with
God’s plan. We do this to stay “on track” with the milestones God has set for us. But
what does this calibration metaphor imply, and how might it be useful as applied toward
your life?

Think of this “calibration process” as determining how you can get rid of the so-called
“worldly noise” in your life. These are the sinful distracters and obstacles (evil and
destructive in some cases) in life that slow or impede your progress toward
accomplishing God’s plan for your life. Such “worldly noise” only serves to clutter your
path and cloud visibility toward your recognized heavenly goal.

I might point out, that when we truly “visualize” our heavenly goal, we will tend to
execute God’s plan for our life with greater effectiveness and purpose – no matter what
circumstances we are in, or what we face in life.

Allow me use an astro-imaging “analogy” here to help you visualize this so-called
calibration process.

When I set about taking an astro-photograph of one of God’s heavenly creations, a galaxy
for example, I must first make a plan to correctly setup the observatory, telescope and
various systems, and then set about “executing the plan” for the night’s imaging session.
This involves going through a series of processes that ultimately yields a final astroimage.
I know from my worldly experience with telescopes and imaging equipment “what I can
and can’t do”. Under these guidelines, once the image data is acquired, I must enhance
the good data (signal), and get rid of the “noise” that resides in the raw image data. I do
this so as to yield a good final image result. Here is an example of what I mean in the
image examples shown below:

This first image below is what we call “raw data”– it’s a galaxy. This is what it looks
like coming directly out of the highly sensitive CCD camera attached to the telescope –
one of many sub-exposures taken during a typical imaging session. It may be interesting,
but it’s not all that impressive. How can we improve the image from this “raw data”?
As part of this analogy, let me make some parenthetical (connections) to the above idea
of “calibrating your life” with that of processing an astro-image.

The noise within the image above represents all the distractive elements (the world) in the
image raw data (our life) that are masking the true signal within the image (God’s Truth -
- heavenly goal). You can somewhat make out the shape of the galaxy, but to the trained
eye (God) there is a large amount of “noise” (sin) in the image raw data that obstructs our
view (sinful behavior) of what this heavenly object really looks like. We know it’s there,
but we can’t quite see it (worldly distractions). How do we get rid of the noise in the
image raw data?

In processing CCD images, we first make the decision (acknowledge sin) to eliminate the
noise in the raw data (repent of sin) by applying various filtering methodology (accept
Christ). The image below is the result of a process called “calibration” (sanctification) of
the raw image data. In effect, the noise that was once reflected in the imaging system
(sins of the world) have been imputed (by Christ) for the calibrated image data
(Believer).

The result of the “calibrated image” shown above is quite striking. We are beginning to
see our goal take shape (purpose in life). Our imaging session includes a series of
calibrated images that are then combined (life’s experiences) to make up a master image
(our character). Several master images are made (service to God) using different colored
filters can be further combined (worship and fellowship) to form a final color image
(Christ-like walk) as shown in the final image below. Are you beginning to clearly see
the goal now? We’re not done yet…

This final image result shown above can be further processed with more techniques, such
as contrast and sharpening (commitment to a Christ centered life) to enhance and more
accurately represent this heavenly object. Count the stars if you can! The true
representation of this galaxy can then be presented for people to see (spreading the Good
News) in all its glory (our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ). That’s it! How does your
soul feel… You just processed your first astro-image!

By the way… The image above is a heavenly object called M31, “The Great Andromeda
Galaxy”. This wide-field image was taken from my JMSM Observatory near Mayhillm
NM. It is the nearest “neighbor galaxy” to our own Milky Way Galaxy – our home in the
universe! This spiral galaxy is located some 2.9 million light years distant from our
earth, and is part of what is called our “local group” of galaxies. Notice also the
prominent companion galaxies M32 and M110.

As you can see from the process above, there was quite a lot to consider when executing
our imaging plan (same with God’s plan) to achieve our finished astro-image, with the
“calibration process” being critical to yielding a good image result. So too, if we desire
to remain on-track with God’s plan, we need to pay attention to how we are processing
and executing everything in our life – all the while obeying the commandment given by
Jesus,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
In bringing this analogy to a close, let’s look at some of the “structural considerations”
associated with God’s plan for your life. Consider the following:

- Recognize that God’s plan for you is unique, and it is matched perfectly just for
you.

- God knows your strengths and weaknesses, your fears and what is good for you.
- All of your experiences (good and bad) fit into God’s plan. He knows where you
have been and He knows where you are going.
- Abide in the Lord, and work to serve His Kingdom.
- Walk in Christ and present yourself pleasing to the Lord.
- Realize that God has a specific calling for your life – learn what it is.
- Use the gifts God has given you.
- God’s plan for your life is simple – don’t make it more complicated than it is.
- God’s plan requires obedience to His commandments – flee from sin.
- Read and apply God’s Word in your life so you may understand and seek His
will.
- Communicate with God through prayer and meditation.
- Walk in faith.
- Live by God’s grace and mercy, not for yourself.
- Listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
- Stay focused on God in everything you do.

I’m sure you can think of additional considerations that may relate toward applying
God’s plan in your life. Good… Add them in! God want you to get connected with
Him! Seek God in all you do, for this will bring clarity to the plan you are executing.
Once again, we are talking about God’s plan for YOUR LIFE.

Understanding the scope of God’s plan for your life is one thing, but now we must work
to execute this plan and remain on-track. This is where the “Calibrating Your Life”
theme of this message comes into play.

I would like to encourage you that putting God’s plan for your life “into action” is as
simple (and as difficult) as this:

Daily — in EVERYTHING you do in life, weigh the consequences of your worldly
encounters against God’s Truth — then ask this question: “Does this encounter,
consideration, or action in my life bring me closer to God’s plan, or does it take me
farther away from God’s plan?” If the answer is “closer to God’s plan”, then feed your
success and do more of what brings you closer to God. If the answer is “farther away
from God’s plan”, then starve your failures, and do more of what brings you closer to
God.

Remember, as you execute God’s wonderful plan for your life, keep in mind the
significance of your eternal journey, and the opportunities you have serving God through
your faith in Christ Jesus. Be reminded of your eternal goal, and that God’s plan
remains in you – and you in faithful obedience to God.

“See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also
will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us— even
eternal life.” (1 John 2:24-25)

Keep in mind that God’s sacrifice for you was His Son Jesus (John 3:16) — so know that
the life you live is very important and has eternal consequences. Strive to stay on a
straight path (Matthew 7:13-14), and remember your calling! Keep God’s
commandments close to your heart, and do not deny the opportunity share the Good
News of Jesus Christ with those that have ears to hear…

In closing, reflect on the above. As you set about “Calibrating Your Life”, do it with
Godly intent and purpose, with the full knowledge that God is actively refining,
purifying, and transforming you in Christ Jesus – all part of His eternal plan for “your
life”. Yes… God cares about YOU!

May the Lord place someone in your path this weekend to share with them the Good
News of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have a great day!

Your brother in Christ,
Mike Sherick

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