Cooking in the Spirit

I don’t know how it came out, but it just did.

There I was, teaching about how God has gifted each of us with natural talents and abilities.  Then, I proceeded to make a point about how these gifts can all be empowered by the Holy Spirit and enabled supernaturally as we yield and submit to Him.  “For example,” I asked, “is there anyone here who can cook really well?”  In their humility, none of my students raised their hands.  “Well,” I said, “have you ever realised that you can cook in the Spirit?”  The moment I said that, the entire class burst into laughter.

I must admit that it sounds rather funny.  But I was dead serious.  I sincerely believe that it is possible and even expected of all believers.  Paul exhorts Christians to walk and live in the Spirit.  What does that mean?  Surely, it cannot just refer to people babbling and shaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  But that’s what we automatically presume whenever the words “in the Spirit” are mentioned.  If that was true, then we cannot possibly be in the Spirit all the time.

In Rom 8:5, Paul says that those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit.  In Col 3:2, the apostle tells the Church to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Simply put, to live and walk in the Spirit, our minds must be focussed on the things of God and not on the things of man.  It is a Godward orientation that we must have in our hearts and minds, a looking to Him, a focus which, in essence, translates into God-conscious speech and actions!

So how does one cook in the Spirit?  No, she is not one who speaks in tongues whilst frying the vegetables, nor does she shake uncontrollably whilst mixing the spaghetti sauce.  That would result in quite a messy kitchen!  Rather, she is one whose heart is praising and worshipping the Lord as she prepares the meals with joy and gratitude.  We are familiar with the phrase “she baked this pie with love”.  I believe it captures what I’m trying to say here.  When one cooks in the Spirit, there can be an anointing that will bless those who partake of the meal!  We may not be aware of it, for certainly it is not obvious as what we are used to expect of manifestations in the Spirit.  Yet surely, that will has been enabled by the Spirit will touch and bless lives.  Interestingly, Brother Lawrence, the author of “Practising the Presence of God”, was also a humble cook!  In a monastery, whether washing the dishes, scrubbing the floor or making stew for his brethren, he did it “in the Spirit”, to the glory of God.  And how his fellow monks were blessed and edified by this brother’s seemingly mundane tasks, done “in the Spirit”.

But this principle is not limited to culinary exploits nor confined to the kitchen.  Not at all!  Each task we execute, when enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, carries His love and anointing, and that impacts and touches lives for Him!  Paul says in Col 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  And how can we do that except fully enabled by the Spirit, in the Spirit?

Often, I feel we over-spiritualise too many things when God intends each biblical principle to be lived out practically for His name.  Consequently, too many consider themselves incapable of attaining such lofty spiritual achievements.  These are, after all, in their perception, reserved for those who are super-spiritual.  I beg to differ.  Have a change of mindset today!  Begin setting your mind on the things that please and honour God, and discover how each and every word or deed is in fact one that bears great spiritual significance.  Not only for yourself, but more importantly, for those you love and serve.

Go on … cook a meal, clean the cupboards, vacuum the floor, wash the toilet, change the diaper, plot a spreadsheet, file a tax return, mow the lawn, send an email … in the Spirit.  Be a blessing to those aound you, through the Spirit’s enablement and empowerment, and bring God all glory and honour!

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