Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 King James Version
Several years ago, I heard Evangelist David Ring say “If you don’t like the way I am now, stick around. I’m still in the oven and God’s still baking me.” The statement he made has been a source of comfort and inspiration to me for many years.
When I fail Jesus, and I do fail Him just like you do, I allow satan to put doubts about myself in my heart. I start criticizing myself and I start feeling that I am no good and I have no business serving Jesus. It is then that God reminds me that like David Ring, I am still in the oven and He is still baking me.
It is very easy for me to forgive people when they hurt me. However, it is much more difficult to forgive myself when I make mistakes and sin. I am and have always been a perfectionist. I think that if what I do is not perfect then it is not worthwhile. When I was in college, I majored in Secretarial Science. While taking a speed typing test in my typing class, even though I was not looking at the typewriter, I could always tell when I made a typing error.
We were supposed to keep typing even though we made mistakes because it was a speed test. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t keep typing. I would stop and start all over. My professor used to get so frustrated with me. God has been working on me for a long time trying to make me understand that while I am here on this earth, I will never be perfect.
It is true that we are to strive for perfection but that does not mean that we will be perfect. We read in the Bible “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19: 21). If we will love people and give them not only our money but also our time, our encouragement, our understanding and our compassion, then our hearts will be in right standing with God.
Yes, sometimes God has to allow us to go through the fire because we refuse to forgive people who hurt us. Our rotten attitudes and our criticism, sarcasm and judgmental ways stink in His nostrils. I echo the words of Evangelist David Ring “I’m still in the oven and God’s still baking me.” I am so glad to know that I don’t have to be perfect because I’m not perfect. However, I need to be perfect in my heart, in my attitude, and in my words and actions.
God is baking you also and one day Jesus will present all of us before God faultless. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1: 24, 25).
Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing us to go through the fire so that our hearts will be changed. Please help us to love one another unconditionally and to forgive each other just as You forgive us. Grant that we will be compassionate and forgiving children that will make Your heart to rejoice. Precious Saviour, I love You so much. Thank You that one day You will present us faultless before God with exceeding joy. Amen.
Copyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com