Stephen Sutton writes:

The Adgauge

Part 1

Many years ago prior to computer technology revolutionizing the graphic design industry, I worked as a paste up artist/graphic designer in the days when the majority of work was still done by hand using a drawing board, compositor, letraset and a few basic tools. Hours would be spent pasting up type, positioning headings and photographs neatly in place in preparation for a brochure or advertisement to go to the printer or newspaper.

When a job was completed I would stand back and view the finished art to ensure everything was straight and in line. Most often the project I was working on would appear fine and look perfectly square from my perspective. But the true test came when the artwork was taken down from the drawing board, placed on a desk and out would come what was known as the adguage.

An adgauge is simply a large, clear perspex set square with vertical and horizontal lines on it making up a myriad of small grids. The adgauge was placed down over the artwork and its function was to expose my mistakes. It revealed all of those areas where my lines of type were not horizontal, where photographs were slightly askew and headings not quite centered. What I would then have to do, was take the piece of artwork and put it back upon the drawing board, and begin the process of re-positioning and re-aligning that which was out and putting it into order.

It always amazed me that I could actually work with something for so long and not see the glaring errors that the adgauge so quickly exposed. On the odd occasion something would look fine to my eye, yet, when it came under the scrutiny of the adgauge, it was even necessary to strip everything off and begin the job again.

It is my conviction that at this hour in history God has His divine adgauge out, and He is placing it over our lives and over his Church to see whether we are square, straight and in line. This divine adguage exposes our imperfections and reveals the areas within our lives both individually and corporately that require re-positioning and re-aligning.

As the graphic designer's adgauge has two sets of lines marked on it, the horizontal and vertical, so I believe the divine adguage also has two aspects to it:

It is through these two facets that God requires that our lives and the life of any given local church, lines up and matches perfectly, so as to meet the standard. It is through the grid of his Son and through the grid of His Kingdom by which we determine if our lives or church is straight or is crooked.
Ephesians 1:9-10, "And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."
One version says, "to bring all things into conformity to Christ."
What has happened to much of Christendom, my own life, perhaps even your life, dare I say, even to the vast majority of the Body of Christ is what I would call the Laodicean delusion. The church of Laodicea had a perception of themselves, first of all, that they were rich, they had estimated themselves to be wealthy, and they estimated themselves to be in that place where they didn't need anything. That is what the Laodicean people thought of themselves and thought of their church. They thought, "I'm OK, we're OK."

Then along comes Jesus and he knocks on the door of the church and he says, "I've got news for you". He says, "You say, I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing, but you do not realise....". In other words, your perception of yourself, and your estimation of your lives and your estimation of your church is wrong. So Jesus steps into the life of a group of people who have gathered together in His name and he says, "Folks, you need to make some changes. Things are not the way you think they are, things are not the way you perceive them to be". Jesus comes and gives to the Laodicean church a realistic picture, a true picture of what they are really like. He reveals to them the reality of their condition.

Now you can't say, "That is really hard, that's really tough, what happened to 'Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so'?" We must come to grips with the fact that love is tough. Where did this wishy washy concept of 'If you love somebody you will not hurt them.' come from? I love my kids, but you just have to ask them, there are times when I hurt them. And Jesus comes to the Laodicean church and says, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline".

Because of His intense love, because of the overwhelming passion for his people, God comes with His adgauge, and He places us on the surgery table and He puts us under the scrutiny of Jesus and what Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, and He says, "You need to match up, and where you don't match up, I'm going to re-position and re-align you." Not to tear us apart but because He loves us. He loves us with such a passion that he is prepared to go to incredible lengths to bring adjustment and re-alignment to our lives.

Go To Part 2


Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these articles are from the New International Version of the Bible, © New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.

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