As I approach the forty-five year mark of walking as a disciple of Christ, I’ve been pondering the importance of building a storehouse. Celebrating my spiritual birthday, is even more enjoyable than celebrating my natural one. Being “born again” was more exciting than being born the first time! In retrospect, it was the time when I began building a storehouse of spiritual treasures that I draw upon to this very day.
Building a storehouse is setting aside a valuable commodity, for future access. The old grain silos in this blog image, illustrate the point. It reminds me of the storehouses built by Joseph in Egypt. God had shown him in dreams, that seven years of abundance would be followed by seven years of famine. If anyone understood the extremes of “feast or famine”, it was Joseph. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and spent several years in prison. Personal famine, wilderness of soul, throughout which he remained faithful to God. When called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s disturbing dreams, Joseph was released from prison and highly favored to the point of being second in command over the nation.
Challenge of Continuity
Joseph had been building a storehouse of spiritual treasures in his devotion to God and it continued unabated, even in prison. This is the challenge of continuity that we all must take on. The length of this process varies over a wide spectrum of endurance. The end goal is to be deeply rooted in our faith, while bearing fruits of character that will inspire others. Mirroring this concept is the practical provision that God engineered through His faithful servant.
Cycles of Provision
“Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.” Gen. 41:49 “When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians… And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” Gen. 41:56-57 Jacob (Israel) and his family relocated to Egypt at this time. Subsequent to Joseph’s death, it was a mere sixty-four years when Moses was born. You know the story. Adopted as an infant by Pharaoh’s daughter, he became another “insider” within the palace, who would go through his own famine of preparation, prior to feeding a nation in their time of deliverance.
The beauty of building a storehouse over the years, is the maturity that is born from interacting with God on ever ascendant levels. When He says it’s time for new wine and a new wineskin, that settles it. “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Mt. 9:17 Our response must be to set course for probable rough seas for awhile, as we learn a new skill set. Deep transformation is never done in the shallows of the heart. But could it be that the old wineskins are not discarded, but preserved alongside the new? Could it be that seasons of revelation merge together to form an “archive”, accessible over a lifetime?
New & Old
After sharing several parables with the Jewish scribes, Jesus probed their understanding. “’Have you understood all these things?’ Jesus asked. ‘Yes,’ they replied. He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom (storehouse) new treasures as well as old.’” Mt. 13:51-52 Speaking in parables, Jesus was introducing a brand new paradigm into the religious culture. The scribes of the day had tons of information, treasures really, that simply needed a receptive heart and the power of the Spirit, to become relevant and life changing. When something is “relevant”, it is “on target” for what you need in the moment. It can be “new” in the sense that I am a first time hearer. Or it can be “aged” like a fine wine in my storehouse of treasure.
Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash