The world’s first “fast food” experience

I’m not a huge fan of fast food. It’s not that it doesn’t taste good. It’s just that it seems unnatural to have a hot meal ready in less than two minutes. That cannot be good for me! “What would you like today sir?” Um, ya… I’ll take a 2-minute heart attack burger and a side of indigestion fries. Oh and can I get a love handles chocolate milkshake with that? “Sure thing, sir. Would you like to supersize that?”  No thanks, I prefer to die slowly.  “No problem, is that for here or to go?”  Definitely to go. I’ll just start driving toward the hospital while I eat.

fast food combo

This is the typical fast food experience. At least that’s what goes through my head. This whole order-to-go thing seems so American. So fast paced. So rushed. But did you know that the order-to-go idea has been around for thousands of years? It’s true. You might be surprised that the whole idea was God’s. You’ll find it in Exodus 12 right before God freed His people from Egypt.

Exodus 12:11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.

There you have it – the first ever to-go order. Fast food eaten fast. Can you just hear the announcement throughout Israel? “Alright guys, we are eating at McDonalds tonight.” I imagine what this might have looked like. The Israelites got dressed, tucked in their cloaks, put their shoes on, and had their walking sticks in their hands. That’s the equivalent of eating your nuked burger in your car while driving with your knee. Staff in one hand, meat in the other. There’s a big difference between their fast food experience and ours, though.

We do fast food because we are in a hurry (or sometimes lazy). They did fast food because they were prepared and expectant. God was about to free them. At any moment, the angel of the Lord would show up and they were to be prepared when he got there. So this was not the night to get out all the fancy dishes and sit around the dinner table for hours. On this night, they would be going on a journey of freedom. The Lord was coming. So don’t get comfortable; instead get ready.

Don’t get comfortable; get ready. Just let that sink in for a moment….

Comfortable defines us, doesn’t it? But we are called as Christians to get ready. Ready for Jesus to work in our lives today. Ready to give an answer for the hope that we have. Ready for Jesus to return for His Bride, the church.  Are we living ready? Because this is the way He has called us to live. Spiritually speaking, we should have our cloaks tucked in, shoes on, walking sticks in hand, and knees on the steering wheel.

Jesus is coming for a church that is ready. So eat quickly, grab your brown bag, and prepare your heart for the journey of freedom that Jesus has for you. Expect it. Live for it. Fast food it if you have to. JUST BE READY! 

 

Long time coming

Genesis 42:6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

watchSome things take a while to complete: making a fine wine, learning to play the piano, potty training, a delicious meal cooked to perfection. We don’t like to wait, do we? We like the drive-thru, the microwave, and the credit card. These things give us results now! You want it? You can have it and you can have it now.  That’s what we crave, but it’s not always what is best… especially when it comes to the things of God. Sometimes we simply have to wait.

Joseph had to wait, too. As a young man, he started having some crazy dreams. He saw his brothers bowing down to him in the form of bales of hay. “Hay bro, I had this dream….”  Awkward. It WAS awkward. While Joseph had deposited in his heart the promise that his brothers would bow to him, his brothers weren’t down with it. So they sold him into slavery. Oops, that didn’t really work that well.  I wonder what was going through Joseph’s mind as he was carried away into slavery. I wonder if he thought about those dreams as he was thrown in prison. Where are the promises now, God?

The thing is, those dreams did come true. Many, many years later, his brothers bowed at his feet. But the dream didn’t turn out exactly like he may have thought. As a young boy, it seemed as though he was going to have the opportunity to lord his power over them.  He would be magnificent! They would serve him and do his bidding. But on this day, he would use his power to help them. They bowed because they needed saving and he was the man for the job.

The things of God are not like the things of this world. God isn’t all that interested in microwaves and drive-thru windows. He doesn’t get impatient and pull out His credit card. He doesn’t wonder what He is doing when things aren’t happening RIGHT NOW. So why do we? If we were to set our hearts on His and trust that He has a plan, we might have some peace. If we would recognize that His ways are not ours, it’s possible that we could be okay if His promise is a long time coming.

*God hasn’t abandoned you or forgotten you. Some things simply take time, so press in to Him while you wait!

Wait

Acts 1:3-5 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

waitI’m not a big fan of waiting.  When I’m at the grocery store, I look for the shortest line.  But sometimes what seemed like the shortest line becomes the longest.  And I wait.  Impatiently, I wait.  When I am approaching a red light, I get in the shortest lane because I don’t like to wait.  When I see something I want, I don’t want to wait.  Waiting stinks.  I want it now.  When the fast food restaurant tells me it will take them 8 minutes to get my food ready, that’s unacceptable.  (Really? Something is very wrong with that.)  We live in a culture that doesn’t want to wait.  The internet moves faster, our phones dial  quicker.  Shoot, even the lines at Disneyland have fast passes so you don’t have to wait.

Despite all this urge to get with it, Jesus said to wait.  I wonder what would have happened if the disciples hadn’t waited?  Maybe there was one dude who said, “Forget this, I’m going into all the world to make disciples.  It can’t wait.”  We don’t read about that guy.  Even if he did exist, he wouldn’t have done anything worthwhile.  Because Jesus said to wait.  Wait for the promise, Jesus said.  Wait for the very thing that will give you the power to accomplish what I’ve asked you to do. Wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  You’ll be glad you waited.

Are we willing to wait?  We pray a quick prayer and grow impatient with God’s timeline.  We don’t wait for Him to answer.  We don’t stop and listen.  We want the fast food answer to prayer, not the 8 minute wait.  Here’s the thing: the things that God promises are worth waiting for.  The Holy Spirit was worth waiting for.  Without Him, the disciples would have been utterly ineffective and the church would have died a long time ago.  But they waited.  And while they waited, they rallied together, prayed, and worshiped.  They got their expectancy all geared up for something big.  Something big came.  Yes, because they waited, something big came.  Maybe we ought to  work on this waiting thing too.