I love to bake. Unfortunately, I also like to eat what I bake which poses a problem when I get on a baking spree. The other day I had a craving for brownies, not the black bean type I had made when I was trying to be healthier, but the real deal, smothered with chocolate almond frosting. Since I am a grown up and can make poor decisions like this, I got out my bowl and all the ingredients and began the process. Within an hour, I had a pan of awesome, chocolaty gooiness and I was a happy camper. My kids were also happy.
As I was on this quest for a treat it hit me: we are like brownies. Or cake. Or banana bread. I’ll explain this. When we come to Christ and ask Him to forgive our sins and live in our hearts, we are like the batter. We have ingredients added, we have grace in the bowl, we have the Saviour’s love lavished upon us. But, in the beginning, like the brownies I made, we are not done. We are starting. The baking process doesn’t end after everything’s in the bowl. There’s more that has to take place, although they’re brownies from the beginning, they’re not at their finished product until they come out of the oven.
Christian life…a lot like that. The day you are saved, you have not arrived. Aren’t there times when you feel like you did ‘before’? Maybe your patience was not at the level you’d expect from someone who’s saved. Maybe your response to someone wasn’t as compassionate as you would have liked. Maybe you feel down and discouraged instead of having faith. Whatever it is, it makes you feel like you’ve failed, like you have to revisit the cross because you’ve blown it. When I bake, I also make a mess, just ask my husband. I’ve also managed to make a mess of some situations along the way since I became a Christian. Usually times when I tried to do things on my own without inquiring of God first.
I’m absolutely not saying that we can live any old way, fly off the handle and be as reckless as before. After all, self control is a fruit of the Spirit and we are supposed to bear those fruit. I’m saying we’re not perfect yet. We have not been taken from the oven yet. God is not done with us. The key is that you have a heart that desires to let God lead, we won’t always have the correct response, we won’t always handle things in the best way, but the goal of everyday is to become more like Christ. We have to want to be changed by Him, to allow Him to replace our heart with His. We can’t give up or feel like there’s no way we can ever be good enough. The truth is, we can never be good enough, and God doesn’t expect us to be. What He expects is a heart that looks to Him, to be led and changed by Him. We should be growing in our relationship with Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”
Some translations say ‘becoming new’. Which shows that it’s a process, one that we won’t fully complete until our feet hit the streets of gold. It’s our job to keep pushing forward, not get stuck on our failure, but get up and keep going.
Philippians 1:6 says, “….being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”