I recently had a blessed conversation with a wonderful friend I had not spoken to in months. We encouraged each other through the difficulties and the stagnancy we both feel and face in our lives. As she encouraged me, she reminded me of the blessing of processes. I have heard ministers call the young people “a microwave generation”- I will be honest, I have fallen into that category many times in my life, from not understanding the times and seasons of heaven to being impatient and ordering God to do things in my time-frame, forgetting to imitate Jesus in prayer- “not my will but yours be done, LORD”.
Today I want to share what I have learned regarding processes- life processes that shape us into who we are designed to be. I will use one of the most important processes in my life- being called to ministry. My friend reminded me of the first prophetic word I received about being called to ministry, she reminded me of a church that we used to go to where I was first told that God has a plan for me to work for Him. I must have been 14 years old when that prophetic word came. To be honest, I had forgotten about this, I only remembered a word I received at age 17. I was encouraged when reminded of this because it showed me that God made up His mind about me a long time ago, whether it is currently evident or not.
As I reflected on this, I realized that God’s processes are a blessing. God trusts us enough to reveal His plans for our lives, and sometimes the words He gives us are for encouragement during dry seasons so that we have something to hold on to. In all the prophetic words that have been given over the years, I was never really told when these would manifest. I simply assumed these would happen at a certain point in my life and in some cases, I forgot. Although I was involved in ministry in high school, many years went by after that when I was not in ministry and did not really have the interest for it. I only joined the ministry again as an adult. Throughout those years, God was busy doing the necessary work on my heart, although I was far from His will.
When I look back, I am so grateful that God took me through processes to refine, heal, strengthen me, as well as develop my character. I am grateful that He spoke over me but took His time to shape me into a ‘useful vessel’. I use this term because when you work for an organization, you are as good as useless to them if you do not align to their values and core objectives- you can even be counterproductive if you are working against the main goal of what they are trying to achieve. There is a certain level of wisdom that is required to do any job you are employed to do. If you lack that wisdom, you can end up taking things for granted, or you may make a mess of things. I can count the number of times when I have messed up due to a lack of understanding, or ignorance.
A dear friend of mine, Amahle, who is a mom, once gave me an illustration about God’s processes using her relationship with her children. She said her children will ask for things they want regardless of whether these are good for them or not, they are children after all and do not know any better. She made an example that she would not give them ice cream in winter simply because they cried or nagged for it, this would be irresponsible and can lead to flu; neither will God. He will not give us things unless He believes we are ready, mature, and responsible enough to handle them, no matter how much we may cry for them.
He gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the future through ideas, prophetic words, dreams, or the desires we have in our hearts. With that revelation follows a process where you will have to be prepared, pruned, matured, and purified. The process helps you heal if you have gone through traumatic events. This process teaches you who you are in Christ, it gives you an identity that is separate from what the world calls you. It pushes you to unlearn false doctrines so you can learn the truth of God’s word. This process allows you to be in a solid relationship with God- solid despite the storms of life. I do not think this process is designed to make one perfect, but God knows how much needs to be stripped off and rebuilt before you can walk in your destiny. What processes do is that they equip us to be fit for service, they enhance our vision to see the bigger picture of what God wants to do in our lives.
I still struggle with processes and sometimes wish I had a magic wand to get me to where I think I need to be, but that is not how the things of God work, and I am also learning and accepting this. We live in times that promote disregarding the processes that God takes us through, we are often quick to equate hard processes to only the enemy’s work but if God is allowing things to happen in your life, surely, He has good reason to. Surely, if moms do not give gifts to their children, they have a good reason not to. Our Heavenly Father is loving and patient with us, He wants us to succeed, prosper and expand His Kingdom but He is a God of order who certainly has the power to work things out immediately, but often takes His time until He sees that “it is good” and we are ready to be released to the world. He sees beyond our vision and can advise when it is Kairos time for things to unfold in our lives.
A process as a verb can mean to perform a series of mechanical operations on something in order to change or preserve it. Think of this every time the process seems hard. Let us continue to trust that God is changing and preserving us for His Kingdom, developing us for His glory, and our good. Be encouraged today knowing that His processes are good, although we may not see it with our eyes. Jesus has a plan and a purpose; processes are part of that package!
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you”- 1 Peter 5:10.