Not quite ready yet
I’m no baker, but I have seen people stick toothpicks into muffins baking in the oven to check and see whether they were ready or not. We know the importance of something being truly prepared before use, or the consequences can range from inefficiency to death! You can eat something that is not completely baked or cooked through and it may taste gross or it can poison you, depending on what it is! The same truth exists in the spiritual realm. If we don’t acknowledge we need preparation for what God calls us to, or if we try to expedite the process, it will lead to limited fruit and probably much disappointment.
This past Sunday we continued exploring the DNA of the Bible by examining the Kingdom strand of the double helix, as revealed in the life of Joseph (son of Jacob, Genesis 37-50). At the age of 17, God had given Joseph the dreams and visions that he would rule over his brothers. But Joseph in his youthful pride and naivete had no filter and didn’t know how to process that revelation, and instead incited his brothers to hate him through his boasting. This triggered a long 13 year period in which Joseph experienced tremendous pain and suffering and loss. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused and imprisoned. He was lonely and forgotten. All these years and painful experiences were used by God to properly prepare Joseph for the task of ruling.
It wasn’t so much a matter of competency that Joseph was lacking. Instead, Joseph was lacking the heart condition that would enable him to be a wide open conduit to be used by God. God knows the kind of heart he needs in order to use a person for his purposes. It is a humble and completely surrendered heart. That issue of submission was of great importance in allowing Joseph to be used by God to his full potential. The same is true for us, and that same condition was embodied by Jesus. As Mike Breen writes, “Jesus became the portal through which heaven touched earth as he continuously offered himself to the Father in submission. Every sign, every wonder Jesus did was heaven’s Kingdom touching earth’s need through Jesus’ surrendered life.” John 5:19-“the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
That is guaranteed to be our common experience. If we aren’t seeing Kingdom rule through our lives yet, then let us have patience and keep from jumping out of the oven because God’s toothpick must not have come out of us clean yet!