“When you squeeze an orange, you don’t expect apple juice to come out.” This statement is the one that most echoes through my mind coming out of our phenomenal weekend conference. He then followed it by posing a sobering question to those in the room who were all nodding in agreement. “So when you squeeze a Christian, why would you expect anything but Jesus to come out?”
Smack! I felt as if I had been knocked clear out of my seat with the force of a Mac truck, spiritually that is. Dan made this same statement in his previous visit and, just as in that instance, this time I was again instantly convicted by a very clear and strong realization in my own heart. Essentially it was a self-confession that in my Christian life, without realizing it, I have been a prolific apple juice producer. In fact, when I think back on my life experiences since coming to faith nearly ten years ago, the amount of apple juice that has poured out of me would easily rival a Mott’s factory. And I would venture to say that I am not the only one.
So how do we do this? How do we start producing orange juice?
Paul had some pretty radical ideas about this; but then again, his life’s journey was pretty radical. After all, he IS a man whose entire life, purpose, and will were transformed by his encounter with Jesus. So maybe a little radical thinking is exactly what is required for our journey.
In Romans 12: 1-2 he writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
In these power-packed verses, Paul manages to not only give us a Cliff Notes version of the Christian life, he also give us the correct order in which they must unfold to have the Kingdom impact our Father has always intended. To lead powerful lives as Christians, we must continually (and in the proper order/priority) be doing the following: 1) fully embracing our IDENTITY, 2) Boldly living out your PURPOSE, 3) Rightly discerning His WILL.
We must first understand and embrace our true IDENTITY as children of God and coheirs with Jesus Christ, reborn in His image and for his glory. In light of that knowledge and assurance, we then are to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as a body in our true PURPOSE, becoming love, salt, and light in our World. In the midst of living this sold-out life for God, he then illuminates for us his WILL for our individual daily walk. From there, the orange juice flows!
Totally upside-down from our human logic! Totally radical! Totally God!
Let the orange just quest begin!
Fay Horwitt is a member of the Awake Church family and the coordinator of the Front Porch Blog. She is a proud daughter of God and mother of a talented teen daughter. Fay has a passion for sharing the word of God through the written word and multimedia. She is blessed to have a calling to minister to single women, parents of challenged teens, and on the topic of the role/balance of technology and social media in the Christian life.