Spiritual growth is like a good cup of coffee. I’m not talking about this “instant” stuff. I mean real coffee. You know, the stuff they make with hot water and ground coffee beans? To make it work, the hot water has to be filtered through the ground beans so that it absorbs their fragrance and taste. With balance, you can make the perfect cup of coffee.

Coffee beans by themselves aren’t worth much. Few people eat them because of their bitter taste. But when those beans are ground and percolated by hot water, you have a multimillion-dollar business.

The process by which God refines the Christian is similar to coffee-making. Apart from God’s balanced, purifying work within us, our lives would be of little value. But through a regular quiet time with God with our backside in the desert, He teaches us three invaluable lessons:

  1. God will do everything possible to do away with the energy of our human flesh to teach us that without Him, we can do nothing.
  2. In the service of Christ, no one is indispensable.
  3. The Coffee Principle: just like good coffee takes time, so it takes time to build a life that is usable in the program of God.

God uses the hot water of our weaknesses and limitations in tandem with our circumstances to produce the perfect blend of character within us. The finished product is both fragrant and tasteful—but it takes a lifetime to develop.

Maybe you are struggling in your Christian life. You have a hard time overcoming certain sins and find yourself repeating the same mistakes. Perhaps you feel you have a monopoly on your particular area of service. You could be impatient because of your slow spiritual progress. Take time for B.I.D. and you will begin to see your spiritual experience from God’s perspective. This is your key to success.

Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow, / We must fail in order to know, / We must lose in order to gain; / Some lessons are learned best only through pain. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.