My mom is a great cook, but she can’t follow a recipe. She is always finding new recipes to try, but when it’s time to put the recipe together, she just uses what she has instead of making sure she has the ingredients that the recipe calls for. Basically, she uses the recipe as a guideline and not as something to be strictly followed. You know, the food usually turns out just fine, it just doesn’t taste or look much like what it was supposed to look like. You can eat it; you’ll probably even like it. But you can’t duplicate it and you’ll never know just how good it could have been if she had stuck with the original recipe.
I was thinking about this in relation to seeking time. If your church has set aside time at the beginning of the year to fast and pray and seek God, then God will speak to you* and show you the things He needs from you in order for you to grow. It’s like His recipe for your life at this moment. But what if you don’t have the things He is talking about and don’t think it’s important enough to add them to your life? What if you just take what is already there and pull something together that might be close to what He is saying…but not quite. If you do that, you’ll never know just how good your life could be if you would just follow His recipe.
At our church, God has been talking to us about the boundaries God has set for us. His recipe for our growth depends on getting this key ingredient right. If I want to have God’s best for my life, then I need to be examining the boundaries He has set in my life instead of running around trying to do my own thing or the thing they are doing at the church down the road (or on TV). I’ll follow the recipe He is giving to me as a member of my corporate body of believers. What has He defined for me? What has He defined for us as a a church? Where have I allowed gaps in my boundary fence? What am I doing that is outside of His boundary (be sure to see the post Surrender from a couple of days ago)?
You see, it does not do much good to seek Him and then not do what He says. It’s better to follow His plan… follow His recipe.
(*I say “you” as in the corporate “you, the church” and as in the individual “you.”)