There is a word that none of us like to hear – when it is uttered in the atmosphere, all the energy and excitement is drained from you, and you feel like when you were a kid and you parents told you, “Fun time is over! Do your homework” or “Time to brush your teeth” or “Eat your vegetables!” – The word is “PROCESS”.
PROCESS has been defined as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”.
Process says that homework is part of a route that will take a child from grade school, to middle school, from middle school to high school, from high school to College, and later career. It’s impossible to have a finished product without Process or succeed in any way without the steps to get there.
On the one hand, you have the promises God gave in His word, on the other hand you have “Process”.
We need process because there are no shortcuts to growth. Billy Graham said,
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion –
It is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
Unfortunately we live in an instant gratification culture that demands “now” results.
An AT&T ad says that “Now is better”. You are entitled to what you want NOW.
Another ad promises instant diet results – No need for self control, just take a pill, patch, or cream and you will lose weight.
Human nature also loves comfort and ease. The idea of process is horrifying and an infringement on our calm – But even eagles feed their young for a season, but then comes the day where it begins removing the soft feathers and branches from the nest, and the food stops. The eaglets cry out for food and comfort but receive none. This begins the process they must undergo in order to learn how to fly.
I’ll admit, part of me wishes God could wave a magic wand or reveal His secret sauce for instant growth, but it is a dangerous thing to have promotion without process.
Imagine if Joseph had been promoted to the right hand of Pharaoh without process. Joseph’s life began with a promise. Joseph dreamed elaborate dreams of the sun, moon, and the stars bowing down to him and another where his brothers’ grain baskets bowed to his. With youth, comes pride, and Joseph’s head most likely swelled at these dreams. Joseph saw the completed picture of the promise without the process and became proud. Can you picture what kind of leader he would have been with this kind of attitude without having undergone the rite of passage that produces character and maturity? Joseph would have been like a child of privilege being handed the company without undergoing the process of discipline and hard work.
Joseph’s process began with his brothers’ hatred of him because he bragged of the dreams, and to add insult to injury, Joseph was his father’s pet. His process continued with being thrown into a pit by his brothers and later sold as a slave, falsely accused of rape, and then thrown in prison for many years. This was the gauntlet Joseph was to run in order to attain the promise.
Let’s not run from the process that precedes our promise, but instead embrace it. When we choose to walk through the process, God in turn will do His part.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10