Monday, April 8, 2019

Making the Sausage

Everybody wants to eat the sausage. Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made. I heard that somewhere once, and it stuck with me. Not so much because it was funny, although at the time, within the context of the conversation it was, but because it was true.

We all like a nice steak once in a while, but we don't want to see the butchering process that needed to take place to create that marbled ribeye. Same goes for a hamburger or anything else that needs killing before it can be brought to the dinner table.

The same can be said of men and women who desire to know the fullness of the power of God, but never took the time to figure out what it takes to achieve said goal. Sure, there are indicators in Scripture, there is talk of transformation, renunciation, repentance, righteousness, holiness, purity, prayer, fasting, submission, and obedience, but that was for people who didn’t have hobbies and Netflix.

Nowadays, in thirty minutes or less, depending on how long the line is, the guy in the shiny suit with the slicked-back hair and a glimmer in his eye will blow the Holy Spirit replete with all the gifts right into you. If it doesn't take the first time, he'll even throw his coat on you to make it stick.

If the demand is there, the supplier will appear, but since the Word does not hint at a shortcut, or some mystical way of bypassing maturing, seasoning, prayer, fasting, and the emptying out of oneself, the best you can say about these suppliers is that they are snake oil salesmen. Some are just that. Others are more ruthless, more cunning, they are the wolves the Word warned you about, but you chose not to heed because they made a difficult thing painless and easy and let’s be honest: who has fifty days to devote to prayer in an upper room waiting for the promise to come down?

We are busy people, leading busy lives, and if we are honest with ourselves, we would shudder at how low down the list of priorities our relationship with God, and our devotion to seeking the more profound things of the kingdom really are. 

You have not because you ask not! That's what the book says, and if you parse down on the word ask, you realize it's not like ordering a cheeseburger or an order of chicken nuggets. The root of the word likens itself more to yearn, desire, become desperate for, rather than simply look up to heaven and say, “give me two of everything, but hold the persecution!”

We have this tendency of looking up to the men and women God uses in powerful ways, but never wonder what all it took to get them into a place wherein God can use them in such powerful ways.

We want the sausage, but we don’t want to know how it’s made. We want the power, but we don’t want to know what it takes to receive it.

Every time discussion regarding the paramount necessity of crucifying the flesh, laying aside your own aspirations, desires, dreams, and plans arise, there's always going to be one in the crowd, eager to point out that you’re talking about anecdotal experiences.

“That may have been what it took for you, but how do you know it’s what it will take for others? You, sir, are not the benchmark, nor the standard!”

True, I am not the standard, neither are those who came before me who walked the same walk and spilled the same tears to experience the same power. However, when every single person that God used mightily had to go through the same purging, testing, proving, and maturing, anecdotal or not, the pattern is undeniable, and even the most stubborn of souls must acquiesce to this reality.

If you want to get from here to there, this is the road you must travel. For some unexplained reason that is so hard for most pastors, preachers, and leaders to say. No, there is no other way! No, there is no shortcut! No, there are no hacks! You must put in the time, grow in God, mature, die to self, seek His face, then at His choosing, in His time, He will grace you with whatever gift He deems necessary for you to have in order for you to fulfill the calling to which you have been called.

You don’t get to pick and choose, and though you may desire to prophesy as Paul encourages, God may have something else in store for you.

Know what you’re getting yourself into, and be willing to pay the full freight. Eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, but just remember that the man who wrote these words was later beheaded for his faith in Christ.

You see, I know how the sausage is made. That’s why I was never the one waving my arms, breathless, and flushed, yelling ‘pick me, pick me!’ Nevertheless, here I am. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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