In the Making: The Process, Part One
A couple weeks ago, we dropped an article that talked about the importance of being ready to go before we enter into a season of reaping. This can be anything. It can be where God is calling you into ministry, calling you into your purpose, or whatever, but wherever that place is that we want to "go,” the reality of life is that we are always going through a process and at every step. God's purpose for us is to thrive in that process, wherever we are. But as we live in this generation, we hear the word "process" and cringe because it means that something takes time. We’re so used to things happening quickly; God forbid my Instagram feed doesn’t load all the pictures that I want in less than 10 seconds, and don’t even get me started if my messages don’t send in .5 seconds on wifi and then it has to send like a regular text message like the rest of the world (aka Androids).
In this time we live in, everything around us is completely opposed to anything that takes time; we want things and we want it now, but that’s just not the way God works. Believe it or not, no matter where you are in life, God is cultivating and growing you into another season so I have some bad news for you: the process is inevitable. We can't avoid it. We can't run from it or stop it; it's coming. Now it's not as scary as it sounds. The greatest victories come out of the process, but it can also be a time where a lot of pruning, trials, and mistakes happen, but if we fix our gaze on the right thing while we are in the process, it can be one of the most life changing times of your life. So, at the end of the day, we have a choice to make when that process begins: you can either sink or swim. I'm going to give you some points so you can swim and live to tell people about it.
Develop Your Roots
Want to hear a somewhat useless fact? Throughout out the bible, Jesus used a lot of agricultural metaphors because they lived in the agricultural age, and it was what people identified with the most. Why does this matter? Well after farmers planted seeds for their crops, they had to wait months, even years before they saw any fruit. They had to tend to their crops, toiling, watering it, pulling out weeds, and hoping that at the proper time, they will reap the fruits of their crops. Isn’t this just like our lives though? God plants a seed, a vision, a dream in our hearts but we don’t immediately see that vision come to fruition immediately. We have to wait weeks, months, even years before it comes to pass.
In the time from when we receive our vision to the time we see it coming to pass, growth happens in our lives and often times, this growing that we have to do happens internally. Just the way that a seed has to build and develop a root system, we have to develop different qualities or characteristics in our own lives so that we have a strong foundation. The roots are the strongest part of a tree. If a tree doesn’t establish roots first, there’s no way a seed will be able to make it above the soil. The roots are the sustainable, necessary parts in order to thrive. So things like your prayer life? It’s building your faith. Being in the word? It’s building your knowledge and wisdom. Spending time in His presence? It’s establishing your intimacy. Serving at church? It’s teaching you humility and serving like Christ did. These are just some of the ways that God builds us internally. When these things are established and solidified, more can be built upon it. There’s no way you could be in a situation and withstand your faith being tested if you never had the understanding of faith to begin with.
Don’t Rush The Process
A process is called a process for the reason. These things take time and that means there’s no way we can rush it and get the same results. Think about when you try to defrost a chicken the day you want to eat it, or when you try to put something on broil in the oven but then you forget about it and it’s all burnt, even better...imagine over-watering a plant. Is the outcome ever good? I don’t need to answer that question because you know. When we try to rush things that actually need time to develop, we end up ruining everything!
Things always need time to develop and when we try to rush things, we end up skipping steps that are crucial to our growth. If God gave you a vision to become a missionary but you felt like serving at your church was too much of a “commitment,” how can you be an effective minister of the Gospel? In the same breath, how can you want to be in a relationship when you barely have functioning friendships? And you run from conflict? How can you want to be rich but you don’t even titheeeeeeee. Moral of the story: you cannot skip the important parts of the process. Each circumstance, each mistake, each trial is meant to push you to thrive, not to cower back in fear. If you try to avoid those parts, you’ll never be able to see that vision God gave you come to life. The process reveals the thing he's trying to release to you, and we skip over that, we don’t get what we need to thrive...which brings me to my next point.
God knew that a process was going to happen for each and everyone of us, but He never meant for the process to kill and defeat us. He is not in heaven eating popcorn, watching to see if we made it through all the hoops in front of us, like we’re in a movie. That is not the God we serve. On the contrary, He is completely rooting for us and wants us to thrive as we move through the process.
“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.”
2 Peter 1:3
We serve a loving, wonderful, powerful God who delights to see us move closer to our dreams. It’s the reason why He gave us that vision, dream, or passion in the first place. He wants you to know that not only is He on your side, but He has also given you all that you need in order to be fruitful and to be successful. It is important to remember that whatever He’s calling you to, the fruit that will bear is meant to be eternal. He’s not giving you a vision for temporary things, no! He wants you to walk in the fullness of His calling. He gives us the strength necessary to walk out the vision long term, and when we release everything to Him and allow Him to be the one who waters, grows, and tends to our weeds, we come out bearing fruit, and fruit that lasts.
This blog was deeply and directly inspired by Banning Liebscher, who wrote the book “Rooted,” which directly speaks on thriving in the process and podcasts from his church, Jesus Culture in Sacramento!