Picture a toaster and all its parts. Go ahead—I’ll wait. Got it? I’m sure you thought first about the general toaster shape and the slots for the bread. Maybe the handle squisher-downerthingie (technical term) that drops the bread slots. Yeah, me, too. And that is where I stopped the first time God was speaking to me about how the Christian life is like a toaster. But, with our God, there’s always so much more!
The toaster was created to be a functional tool with a simple set of instructions. When it does what it was designed to accomplish, a beautiful aroma rises. We, as Christ-followers, are the same. Creator God has shown me seven Christian-Toaster parallels. (I’d love to learn if He shows you more! Tell me in the Comments.) Here they are:
Ø Daily Bread goes in. Pretty obvious one, I agree. Yet, the most important. What kind of life would a toaster have if bread, bagels, and waffles never graced the slots? Dysfunctional. Unproductive. Cold. What kind of attitude and day do we have if our morning routine does not include reading the Word? I bet we can all think of three things.
Ø We’ve all been there…we put the bread in, push down on the handle, and the bread pops back up immediately. We repeat the process—down, pop! down, pop!down, OH! We didn’t plug in. Connecting to the power source is vital. Without the connection, the coils do not work. There is no fire within. This is where God began to blow my mind.
Ø The main connection point, the plug, has a duality, as does the cord. There is a connection to electricity and ground. Let’s begin with the electric current. Our residences operate on AC or alternating current. Simply put, the power is on a loop going in and out. This is good. If not, when plugged in, our toaster would fill with electricity and probably blow up. (Not good.) The “ground” is equally as beautiful as the loop. All the outlets in your home should each have a wire which networks back to a main wire that is literally shoved into the ground. Unoriginal name—Genius function.We are designed with equal genius. Our power source is none other than God’s Holy Spirit—our fire within. He lights our coils. (I’ll come back to this.) We connect with Him on our alternating current: prayer and blessings. We are blessed with wisdom, peace, and direction, to name a few, when we bring Him our petitions. When we pray for others, we are blessed with compassion, and the power to forgive. See the loop? So, what about the “ground”? Does the phrase, “So heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good” ring a bell? Sometimes we Christians lose perspective and relevance. We have “un-grounded” ourselves. It is imperative that we remain connected to other Christians AND remain in (but not of) the world. This is represented by the cord.
Ø So what about the coils? I’m so glad you asked! When the bread—Scriptures—go in, the Spirit gives new life to them. The scriptures do not change. (The toast is still bread—ask a two-year-old!) They get richer. More flavorful. This process is called meditating on the Word. But what happens if the bread goes in and never comes back out?
Ø We have a Holy Spirit directed dial, knob, timer. When the Word we each have taken in is at the perfect rich fullness that the person in our sphere of influence is ready for, it comes out.Likewise, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” 1Cor. 1:18Likewise, “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.” 2Cor. 2:15If we allow Him to be in control, the message is not difficultly forced, nor burned, stinky, and unpalatable.
The parallels are uncanny, yet gorgeous. Read His Word, meditate on it, get plugged into the fire of the Holy Spirit and the community of the church without losing touch with a dying world who needs you to spread the perfectly timed Gospel message of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The Word will be covered by God’s anointing and delivered under the Fruit of the Spirit. And when you think you have given everything, remember that He has hidden some crumbs just for you way down deep inside.
Blessed in His Service, Sent in His Name—
P.S. I pray you will never see your toaster the same again. Much the way the disciples of Jesus had new vision of fish, nets, grain and chaff, vineyards, coins, sheep…