Read your Bible: Psalm 100
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.Psalm 100:3
In Max Lucado’s book It’s Not About Me he describes the Copernican Revolution:
Until Copernicus came along in 1543, we earthlings enjoyed center stage. Fathers could place an arm around their children, point to the night sky, and proclaim, “The universe revolves around us.”15
He goes on to point out how for centuries, earth was thought to be the hub of the wheel in the sky, the center of the solar system. All the other planets revolved around… us!
Then along came Copernicus.
He pointed to the sun and said, “Behold the center of our system.”
No one wanted to hear it.
His book was immediately placed on the papal index of forbidden books. When Galileo later said the same thing, the king locked him up and the church kicked him out.
But he was right. And his new, accurate perspective changed everything, explained so much and put us in our proper place.
Well, as Lucado says, “What Copernicus did for the solar system, God does for our souls.”16
A study of God reveals the truth:
I am not the center of the universe in any sense.
I am not the star of the show.
I am not in charge.
This is one of the healthiest results of a study of the attributes of God. But this new, accurate perspective is resisted by the medieval monarch of my soul: Me.
Not Number One
The ugly truth is, I want to be the center of the universe. I want to be in charge. I want to look out for number one.
I do not like it when I am told that my default mode — wanting the weather and the traffic and the economy and my kids and my spouse and my cat and my church and my whole world to suit my wishes — is not reality. I like to live in denial of this, imprisoning the messenger instead of considering the message.
But the Bible reminds me:
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3
I love the way the Psalmist orients me to the true center of the universe in that verse:
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us.
Not we who made Him.
We are His.
Not our own.
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Not the other way around.
That’s hard for us humans to really get. To quote Anne Lamott, “The biggest difference between you and God is that God doesn’t think He’s you.”17
Try this as a helpful exercise: Take your index finger and point up and say out loud: “God.” Now point at yourself and say: “Not.” Repeat as necessary.
This is important to remember for your own sanity.
Ernest Kurtz wrote a history of the 12-step movement. It’s called Not God.18
Healing and recovery, he says, begins with a single realization: I am not God. I need help from a power greater than myself.
And then, when you read the Bible’s teaching that this same God, awesome in power…
chooses to show love
and bring healing
and reveal Himself
Something people call worship, or release, or freedom. Whatever you call that encounter, you are changed. Because you have met God. And He is not you.
God is… not me.
Questions For Reflection
In what ways do people sometimes show that they expect to be the center of their universe?
In what ways do you do this?
Why is it important to realize that God is God, and you are not? How can this help your life?