We have a very complex microwave. There are tons of different settings to cook almost anything you can imagine. It has the ability to brown and bake using light while cooking the inside with microwaves. It can cook a batch of chocolate chip cookies in 7 minutes. That 3-5 whole minutes faster than the oven! It can cook biscuit in 6 minute. Whatever you want to cook, it can cook and it can do it faster than the convection oven (which is faster than a conventional oven).
However, our microwave has two buttons that are used the most… far beyond any other buttons. THE single most used button on the microwave is the “Microwave Express” button. This button turns the microwave on for 30 seconds. If you touch it while the microwave is on, it adds another 30 seconds. So, if I want to cook something for 1 and 1/2 minutes, it’s 3 touches of the button.
The second most used button is the one just above it that turns the light on in the microwave, so I can see my food being nuclearized, because I just HAVE to see my coffee get reheated!
I’ve noticed that I’m just that same way with Father. I want to push the “God Express” button in various areas of my life:
How many times have I sent up A SINGLE prayer… a.k.a. the “flare prayer” to God? “OK Lord, I’ve pushed my God Express button, answer this prayer please…”
||Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.
||So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
When Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray… (Matt 26:36-46) Jesus prayed for an hour the first time…
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
He went on to pray for two more sessions.
Col 1:3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
1 Thess 5:18 Pray without ceasing
I’m not advocating that there are not appropriate times for quick prayers to the Lord for wisdom, for an immediate situation, whatever… but if that’s the ONLY kind of prayer I’m offering and I’m expecting immediate results, then I’m treating God more like a Genie in a Bottle than I am the Creator of the Universe.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, immediately after pushing my God Express button, I push the ‘light’ button, because I want to “see” what He’s going to do about it and how He’s going to handle it.
To often I find myself with this same attitude in my own personal growth and tranformation. “Gee, that was a great lesson Dad! I’m so glad I journaled that,” never to look at it again or continue working on, studying, or chewing on it.
Phil 2:12-13 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure
“Work out” my salvation? “Work out?” That would imply that when I stop, I get weaker and less “in shape.” Wow. Great picture and application. My spiritual walk needs to be exercised and strengthened daily. There is no express button for instant muscles or instant fitness. It is a daily, continual, diligent exercise and regiment. So is my transformation. Again, I’m not advocating a religious formula or legalistic “do & don’t” list. It’s an attitude of the heart. It’s a process of discipleship based in a real, living, vibrant relationship with Jesus.
Guess what? The God Express Button and the Light button aren’t connected… in fact, they don’t even exist. They are stickers that I have put on and a deception that I have believed.
Yes, Father lets us “see” our own progress sometimes. He is a good dad. He encourages us along the way. But He wants me to grow. He wants me to learn patience.
||A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
||Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
||The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
||Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?
||Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
||What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
|2 Cor 6:6
||in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
||But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
||being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
||Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
|1 Tim 1:16
||But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
|2 Tim 3:10
||You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
|2 Tim 4:2
||Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
||We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
||Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
|2 Pet 3:15
||Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
Papa, I repent of believing the lie that there is a “God Express” button that I can push to make you respond in the time frame of MY choosing. How selfish and prideful I was. I ask your forgiveness and know that according to 1 John 1:9 You are faithful to forgive me because I have confessed. Help me to be patient. I ask for that fruit of your Spirit to manifest and find good soil to grow in my life. Continue your work in my heart and in my life. I want to be extinct so that You are all others see, hear and feel. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.