Microwave Christians

And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not. Galatians†6:9

This is a powerhouse of a verse. There are so many things for us to learn in just this one little sentence. Letís take a look at it, piece by piece.

First, we are told not be get tired of "well doing". What is "well doing", exactly? The original word indicates something valuable, virtuous, and worthy. Thus , this verse is instructing us to do those things that are valuable, virtuous, and worthy; not to waste our time on things that are frivolous, have no lasting value, or are unworthy.

Many things we do are not a sin, they just are not valuable and worthy. For instance, how many hours a week do we sit glued to the television? Or on the computer? (Ouch! That one hits a little close to home!) We aren't doing anything wrong, but we aren't making the best use of our time, either. And we are told elsewhere in Scripture to walk wisely, not foolishly, redeeming the time; in other words, using our time wisely (see Ephesians 5:15-16).

Whatever God has told us to do is what we should be spending our time and effort on. Only those things are valuable, virtuous, and worthy in the sight of God.

But how often are we really doing those things that God has called us to do? We murmur and complain and make excuses. "But I donít feel like it." "But thatís not what I want to do." But nobody else is doing that, why should I have to?" "But thatís too hard!" "But Iím not qualified to do that." "But donít I already do enough? Let somebody else do it." The list goes on and on.

Don't you think God gets tired of hearing our lame excuses? If He is truly our God, then we should want to do what He has called us to do. In fact, Iíll even go one step further and say if He is truly our God, then we should delight in doing what he has called us to do. Remember, the Bible says; Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) If we love someone, donít we delight in doing things to please them? When we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, and do what is pleasing to Him, thatís when God will truly bless us. The best way to receive the desires of your heart is to obediently and delightfully do what God has called you to do, without murmuring, grumbling, or excuses.

Second, we are told not to be weary in doing these worthy things. Two things this tells us: first, we need to be patient. We probably are not going to get results right away. Second, we need to be sure we are doing them in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own fleshly power. Trying to do things in our own power leads to frustration, burnout, and weariness. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Heb. 12:2), but He isn't obligated to finish something He didn't start! He is not obligated to bless something He didn't call us to do.

Jesus said "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) We are intended to bear much fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, some even one hundred fold! (see Mark 4:20) Yet we cannot bear fruit in our own power. Apart from Christ in us, we can do nothing.

Ask yourself: How much fruit am I bearing? The only way we can bear much fruit is by doing what God has told us. We have to do it His way, not ours. We have to put in the time and effort it takes to bear fruit.

Take a look at any fruit orchard. It takes both time and effort to make trees produce fruit. The fruit trees have to be carefully planted, in the right soil. The soil itself has to be prepared, and kept free of weeds. The trees have to be protected from insects or frost. They have to be pruned, and kept in shape. It is all a lot of hard work. And some trees take seven years before they actually produce fruit!

We live in a microwave society. Everything about our world is geared toward speed: fast food, drive through windows, instant coffee, microwave meals, high speed internet..... We want what we want, when we want it. We also want it easy. Fast and easy, thatís our motto in this day and age. Donít make us have to work for it, or make it inconvenient. And above all else, donít make us wait for it!

But God is not a microwave God. He has all eternity at His command; He isnít interested in instant gratification or making things easy for us. He is interested in patiently shaping and molding us, into the likeness of Jesus. Heís in it for the long haul. He is far more interested in making things that last than in making them fast!

God also isnít interested so much in making things easy for us as He is in making us ultimately better. He is more concerned with our eternity than with our "here and now". He is far more concerned about our growth as Christians than about making life easy for us.

The last thing this verse tells us is the promise: eventually, we WILL reap the rewards of our work. But even in the promise, there is still a warning attached: "if we faint not". If we donít quit. If we donít give up, or give in. If we keep on keeping on, even if it takes years.

We donít like it when we donít see instant results, and we donít like it when we donít get our own way. But we have to believe God, not just believe in God. He never calls us to do anything that He does not give us the power to do, through His Holy Spirit. Believing Him requires putting our faith to work, by being obedient and doing what He tells us. Believing God requires patience. It requires that we keep on doing what we know we should, simply because we know that He is faithful, (see Heb. 10:23) and will do what He has said.

When we finally learn to live this powerful verse, we won't just be "microwave Christians" any longer. Instead of fast and easy, we will understand that we are not looking for instant gratification, but for the eternal rewards God has promised us in due season. That's when we will finally begin to bear much fruit for the Kingdom.

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