Pouring cupcake batter into prepared muffin tins.
Photo by Gina Dittmer.

When you read a cake or muffin recipe, it will usually instruct you to preheat your oven and get your baking pans prepared before describing how to make the dessert itself.

But why do it in this order? Why not make the batter first, and let it sit there in the bowl while you leisurely grease or line the baking pans and let the oven slowly heat up?

There’s a very good reason to have everything prepared before you start the actual baking, and it has to do with how leaveners behave.

As soon as a raising agent like baking soda comes into contact with the liquids in your cake batter, a chemical reaction starts to take place. Gases are generated, and bubbles begin forming. You want those bubbles to stay trapped inside the cake to give it loft and airiness.

If you let the batter sit there on the counter for too long, the gases would escape into the air. This would prevent your finished cake from being as light and fluffy as it could be. So as soon as the leavening agent is added and mixed in, put the batter into the prepared pan and get it into the heated oven as quickly as you can.

It’s the same way in life, isn’t it? When God adds the circumstance or person that will be a catalyst to change your situation, things often begin moving very fast. If you’re not ready, it might catch you off guard. You may end up stumbling instead of stepping confidently into the new level God has in mind for you. You might not rise as high as you could have.

Think of the example of Joseph in the Old Testament (beginning in Genesis 37). When Joseph was still a young man, God gave him a dream that he would be in a position of influence one day. But Joseph soon faced one setback after another. Things went from bad to worse until he ended up in prison in Egypt.

Years had gone by since Joseph’s dream, and it didn’t look as though it would ever come true. But during the waiting period he kept his faith in God, and prepared his heart for what he believed God would still bring to pass for him.

One day, a set of circumstances suddenly fell into place whereby Joseph was hastily summoned before Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. Joseph was able to discern that Pharaoh’s mysterious dreams were actually predicting famine in Egypt. He also suggested a wise course of action to deal with the upcoming calamity. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph’s wisdom that he made him governor of Egypt, at last fulfilling Joseph’s God-given dream.

Joseph endured years of hardship and injustice, but when God was ready to elevate him, it only took a few hours for him to be whisked from the prison to the palace. It happened rapidly, but Joseph was ready. He had built up skills in organization and management. He had trusted God during all the difficult years. He was prepared with a heart that was steadfast, a character that was strong and uncompromising, and a love for God that had never wavered.

Ready, Set, Go!
Photo by tableatny on Flickr CC BY-2.0

When it’s God’s time to do a new thing in your life, to elevate you to a new level, He’ll often move very quickly. A new person or opportunity may enter your life quite unexpectedly. If you’re not ready beforehand, you might not be able to “hit the ground running” when God acts.

Maybe you’re believing God to bring a dream to pass in a certain area of your life. Perhaps you could build up your skills and talents in that area, or take other steps to show your faith that God will act. Do whatever preparation God leads you to do in your particular situation.

Most importantly, prepare your heart. Take a leaf from Joseph’s book and keep your faith strong. Trust that God loves you and believe that He has good things ahead in your life. Make sure to show love and forgiveness to others.

Also, prepare your character by exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit in your life. Like Joseph, show yourself to be trustworthy, wise and honest. Show God that you can be relied upon.

Live in expectancy of seeing God do something awesome in your life. Be prepared and ready for Him to act. God loves a show of faith!

You never know when God will bring something new to pass in your situation, so make sure your “pans” are ready!

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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