>If you haven’t read The Flour Story, I recommend you do so – this post will make a lot more sense. There are also several other posts in this series, all with “The Flour Story” in the title.
When my attempt to make cookies with the bulk flour failed, and then this morning when my biscuits didn’t turn out quite right, Doug and I began to analyze what could possibly be wrong with our flour.
Our first thought was that somehow the flour was so coarse that we were actually not getting a full cup of flour when we measured it out. We love to watch Good Eats on the Food Network, and host Alton Brown insists that the only way to measure flour is by weight. Why? Because the same volume of flour could weigh different amounts due to different circumstances. One cup of our bulk flour could be so much less than one cup of a finer flour. That would explain much of our problem – not enough flour can greatly effect the outcome of baked goods.
So, we did an experiment. We went online to find a chart indicating how much an average cup of all-purpose flour should weigh. Then we pulled out our trusty kitchen scales and measured out a cup of our bulk flour. To our surprise, the cup of flour weight exactly what it should!
So, what was the problem? Our conclusion was that the composition of the flour was different. There was something in the flour that made it weigh the appropriate amount without maintaining the full properties of flour, and thus not functioning like a cup of flour should. Maybe too much water?
Too much liquid in the flour doesn’t cause a problem with bread recipes, pie crusts, or tortillas. The very process of making those recipes makes it easy to adjust the moisture level. Cookies and biscuits are another matter. So, knowing the composition of the flour is essential!
How much more in spiritual matters? How often do we rely on things we read or hear without knowing what they’re truly made of?
Our flour claimed to be basic all-purpose flour. It looked like basic flour. If felt like basic flour. It weighed what all-purpose flour should. For many things, it worked just like any other all-purpose flour. But when put to other tests, it failed.
Many things we are handed in the world of Christian tools claim to be just what we need to accomplish our purposes. But, there is only one true one-size fits all tool in the hand of a believer, and that is the Word of God.
We must be careful as we sift through all of the programs our churches put together, all of the books and studies our Christian publishers release, and all of the ideas that we pass around. They are handy tools for certain purposes, but none of them are perfect and reliable tools for every situation.
Our God is an unchangeable, perfect, consistent God who has worked creatively and uniquely in various situations throughout history. The methods He has used in one situation may not be the ones He uses in another almost identical circumstance.
God has given us the wisdom to come up with all sorts of resources, but the only way they can be useful is when we use them as He intends.
So, let’s not try to use bulk flour when we need to use name brand. Let’s be attentive to what our tools are made of, where they come from, and the purpose for which the Lord has provided them.