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In The Oven

I have a bad habit of baking when I’m fasting. My husband finds it very frustrating!! When we are both hungry (and he is slightly grumpy) the house is filled with the smell of baking banana bread or caramel slices. I love sitting down with a recipe book and flicking through until I find a recipe I like the look of, and generally a person who I think would like that cake once baked. I love being able to pray for the person/people as I bake, and I am able to connect with God in the creative process of baking. Sometimes of course, I just want to bake something yummy for when we break our fast!!

During the last prayer and fasting Friday for Inspire I decided to bake a cake, it was in the oven for a while and Matt and I sat down to pray together. As I was praying I could hear the fan in our oven whirring, it is a constant hum that starts the minute you turn the oven on and doesn’t stop until you turn it off again. Whenever the oven is on the fan is going. As we sat in the quietness I noticed a second noise coming from the oven, every now and then there was a quiet click as the thermostat turned the heating element on and then a few minutes later a second click as it turned off. 

I thought about this and prayed about it as the time went on. I found myself thinking about the difference between the fan, the heating element and the thermostat. 

The fan is constantly on, constantly moving, constantly circulating the air within the oven. No heat is produced by the fan. By itself there would be no heat in the oven, there would simply be circulating room temperature air which is good for very little.

The heating element, doesn’t move at all and isn’t on all the time. It clicks on and off when the thermostat says it needs to. By itself it wouldn’t be able to heat the oven evenly, there would be hot spots in the oven and the end result would be an uneven rise on a cake or parts of a roast chicken being burnt whilst other parts are left raw and unsafe to eat. 

The thermostat is connected to both the heating element and the air being circulated in the oven. It detects when the oven has cooled down and tells the heating element to turn on. It also senses when the oven is at the right temperature and tells the heating element to turn off so the oven doesn’t overheat. The thermostat is always there and always sensing what is going on but is not directly involved in the heating of the oven. However without the thermostat everything would get burnt. The oven would get too hot and it would be useless and dangerous.

Could my oven whirring away in the kitchen be an analogy for the trinity?

The fan is like the Holy Spirit, constantly moving and spreading the power of God the father who is like the heating element, providing power when needed but not overwhelming us to the point of being burnt. Jesus is like the thermostat, constantly interceding on our behalf with the Father telling him when we need a bit more of him or telling him when we need space and time to respond to his power/heat? In which case we are the cake!! We cannot rise and bake in our own strength. We need to be in the oven. If we are in the oven exposing ourselves to all three components working in balance we are in the best position to rise and bake and become the beautiful cake we were always meant to be.

If we focus on Gods Power without the intercession of the son or the blowing of the spirit we are likely to get overwhelmed and burnt in some areas of our life but also to be raw and not impacted by Gods power in other areas, our faith becomes events based with the events being the hot spots and the cold raw areas being where we have not been close to God. If we focus on the Holy Spirit and don’t connect with the Father or Jesus then we will have no power (1 Corinthians 13:1-3), if we only connect with Jesus and refuse the power of God or the movement of the Spirit then we are saved but we have no power or action to show for it (James 2:14-17).

If we are the cake I guess the challenge to us is simply…are you in the oven? Or are you just batter in a tin on the side in the kitchen complaining that you aren’t a cake!? We need to be in the oven, receiving the heat of the Father, the blowing of the Spirit and the intercession of the Son in order to bake.  

Rachel is and Inspire Missioner based in Leeds, and the Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement.

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