Christians, recently God was showing me a unique insight into what He does. I was first thinking about wine and wine cellars and how they are aged in barrels in the dark, etc. Then I thought about aged cheese and it’s process in the dark. Good cheeses, some of the BEST ones are aged. The aging process varies, some for 1, 3, 5 or 7 years before they are consumed. When I was thinking about that, it was bringing me clarity on why God has us wait or in other words “age”.
First of all, cheese is processed or aged in an unseen place. They are not displayed and arranged like they would be in a display case. They are packed away, in the dark, dry, place to age and mature or ripen. Sound familiar? God often does the same process through us. As Christians, we are saved by grace immediately. This is the stage where we are like fresh cheese, you can eat it, but if you take the time and age it, many things change for the better.
Fresh cheese is HIGHLY perishable. Mainly because it is wet, that wet environment is a breeding ground for bad bacteria and bad mold. Part of the aging process is drying: where excess/unnecessary water is removed making the cheese more stable. When God removes the “wet” areas of our lives, He is removing areas where bad mindsets, attitudes, and habits could breed. When He removes the excess from our lives, we are reduced. This might be friendships, position, possessions, or reputation. It is always for our good!
The next attribute is taste. Fresh cheese is very good, but it can also be very bland. It is essentially coagulated milk with salt. When you age cheese, it changes, it is more complex and the term often used is ‘sharp’. I believe God sharpens us, we become more flavored and complex the longer we wait or “age” in Him. This stage involves us allowing the natural things inside of us to bloom as we seek God, read His word, change and grow in Christ. It always improves our flavor and usefulness to God. One thing to note about Sharp cheese, not everyone likes it. The more God sharpens you, the less appealing you become to the masses. It takes a real cheese lover to choose the extra sharp cheese, one who can handle and appreciate the pungent truth about the deep revelations of God.
The last attribute with cheese (which relates to us), the ones who are aged the longest usually carry the highest prices. They are the most valuable. You see, it is a big investment by the cheese maker to age and mature cheese for 7 years. There is a long wait for your return on investment. If God has you in a long season of waiting, take heart that you are only becoming MORE VALUABLE to Him. God is not delaying because He does not value you, as the enemy would want you to believe. No, the longer God has you wait, age, mature before you step into your calling; the higher value He puts on your faithfulness to Him, your heart to know Him, and the plans He has for you.
So what does all this mean for us? God wants us to know that if we feel like we are on the shelf, we are waiting in the dark or on the back burner of life. It is not a negative position to be in. He wants us to know that He is making us more stable, more flavorful, more unique, and He is increasing our worth to His Kingdom. I know for myself I have felt on the shelf for a very long time, but now I am encouraged because the longer God has me on the ‘shelf’, the more valuable my heart is to Him and ultimately to the people He will have me encounter. Trust God to know the perfect age He has for you, the perfect maturity to fulfill His plan, and in the age to come forever, in Jesus name, Amen.
Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. Job 12:12 (NLT)
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. Hebrews 6:1-3 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continues until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return] developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6 (AMP)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2016