It is not a secret to those who know me that I have always enjoyed cookies. I will sometimes joke that there is not a chocolate chip cookie that I didn’t like. In my growing up years, I enjoyed watching my mom make cookies, mostly because it meant that I could have cookie dough (which is, after all, the best part about the cookie-making process). If, by chance, the dough actually made it into the oven in cookie form, that was a bonus (and perhaps a minor miracle).
Cookies do not just appear, though. There is a recipe that must be followed in order to make cookies at home. The process of making cookies takes time, energy, and resources, as well as torturous patience to wait for the cookies to finish baking. However, if you want the product of a good cookie, you have to go through the right process of making them.
Now, I realize that this is somewhat of a silly way to illustrate what I am going to say, but there are some similarities in our spiritual lives. In order for us to enjoy the product of true spirituality and God’s blessing, we have to go through the right process which God specifies in His Word.
For many Christians, they want the product of God’s blessing without going through the process God has specified. For instance, if we want to be fruitful people who are able to endure the storms of life and enjoy spiritual prosperity, Psalm 1 says that certain things must be cultivated into our lives: an avoidance of ungodly influences and practices, and a delight in and meditation on God’s Word that permeates our entire being. Without verses 1-2, there will not be the blessing of verse 3.
Joshua 1:8 echoes those same sentiments as well. The blessing of God comes from obedience to the Word of God. Without obedience, there should be no expectation of blessing.
Our struggle as Christians is that we want the product without the process; but God desires the product through the process. His way is always better and yields more spiritual blessings than any way a man can devise.
We cannot short-change the process of God’s method of growing us spiritually and blessing us. We must stay faithful, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in our Bible study and meditation, in our prayer life, in our spiritual disciplines, etc. God uses those things to build us into a solid, fruitful, and prosperous tree.
Don’t jettison God’s process of growth; but yield yourselves fully to it for the glory of God.