Marinating in the Messiah
“Any cut of meat… can be made tender and delicious with the right techniques.” say the experts. Likewise, the Lord can make any individual into something spectacular! There’s no special requirement… just a willingness to allow the Word and Spirit of God to do their tenderizing work. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer…?” Jeremiah cried (Jer. 23:29) Tenderizing breaks down the muscle fibers of the meat and softens it, explain the experts. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart” a repentant David plead. “These, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17).
Evidently you can tenderize meat several ways: you can pound with a meat mallet, apply heat, or even breakdown the tissue using the enzymes from fruit. This is true also of hearts. Some require the mallet, like Paul, some fire, like Peter, and some are wooed to melting, like Nicodemus.
When it comes to marinades there are four primary ingredients: fat, acid, salt, and flavorings. They say the best fat to use (and I’m not making this up,) is olive oil! That’s right the oil spoken of throughout the scriptures, indicative of the Holy Spirit and efficacious in healing. Shepherd lad David sang, “Thou anointed my head with oil…” (Ps. 23:5). “Be filled with the Spirit,” echoes Paul (Eph. 5:18).
Balsamic, red wine vinegar or simple lemon juice make good acidic components for a marinade. Just the right amounts of hardships and bitter things in life also season and soften the soul. Suffering, it seems, makes a more sympathetic and compassionate saint.
Salt is the third item. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50). “You are the salt of the earth,” Jesus taught His followers. We need to soak up salt spiritually to retain living water and distribute these to a dying world. Salt can preserve, sting, or make thirsty and just a wee bit will go a long way.
Flavorings can be of a variety of things and each individual brings their own unique blend to the pan. Becoming a Christian does not annihilate individuality, it enhances it…. It fulfils you… it presents to yourself and to others the fullest you.
Meat must soak in its marinade. Marinating meat is in no hurry. It is content to abide in the marinade. Before leaving this world Jesus said, “Abide in Me… he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:4-7).
And so we come full circle. From “believing on” to “abiding in” both result in God working in and through us “greater things,” wondrous and eternal things, things which glorify our Lord and Saviour.
Soak up Jesus! Believe on Him! Abide in Him! Glorify Him!