A few years ago I was convicted by the Holy Spirit over something I was about to do.
No, I wasn’t thinking about killing anybody.
Committing adultery wasn’t on my mind.
No plans of embezzling money were in the making.
Can’t even say I was thinking about cussing out my neighbor’s barking dog.
I was about to pour myself a glass of orange juice.
I like orange juice. No, I love orange juice. The good stuff. Not from concentrate. Florida grown. Freshly squeezed. Pulp filled.
The problem is, it’s not cheap. So we don’t purchase it often in our household. It’s a luxury, and a luxury I feel I am entitled to every so often. After all, I am the bread-winner. And if I buy it, I have a right to drink it.
That was my logic one Saturday morning.
Entering the kitchen, I eagerly opened the refrigerator to reach for the container all to discover that two-thirds of the contents was already inhaled! Not even 24 hours and four boys later (who have the same fetish as their father) most of my orange juice was gone!
I got a glass out from the cupboard thinking, “I better enjoy this while I can,” when the Holy Spirit whispered, “Would you be glorifying God by drinking that OJ?” I immediately dismissed the thought as legalistic and silly. But it wouldn’t go away and a battle began to rage in my head for the next 60 seconds.
- Me: “I deserve this. I worked for it.”
- Holy Spirit: “Who are you valuing more—yourself or your children and wife?”
- Me: “But I make plenty of sacrifices for my family. This is my one treat.”
- Holy Spirit: “What about denying yourself and taking up the cross?”
- Me: “I’m thirsty. This will satisfy me.”
- Holy Spirit: “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst’” (Jn. 4:13).
- Me: “I need the vitamin C. It’s good for my health.”
- Holy Spirit: “It’s more blessed to give than receive.”
- Me: “What’s the big deal? There are plenty of other more important matters with which to concern myself.”
- Holy Spirit: “Every action you take either compliments or contradicts who God the Father is. What message about your heavenly Father do you want to send to your children?”
The orange juice went back into the refrigerator (only by the grace of God).
Paul wrote these words in 1 Corinthians, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (10:31). Christ’s lordship is to be all-encompassing, all-inclusive. Every square inch of our lives He claims for Himself.
Not just the big stuff but the little stuff.
Christ demands charge of not only your wallet but your wardrobe; He insists upon control of not only your talents but your TV shows. I tell our students that God wants not only their Jack Daniels, He wants their Minute Maid; He demands control of not only their drugs but their driving.
Anything short of everything violates our design and, as such, brings both destruction to us and dishonor to Him. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant something is. As creatures made in God’s image, we were made to reflect His glory in all that we are and in all that we do.
When we choose to live for His glory, we experience the joy and peace for which we were created. This includes drinking (or not drinking) orange juice.
Thanks Pastor Jeff I really enjoyed that alot. I miss your Friday chapel and your classes!
Pastor Jeff- thanks so much for this article…’control of our driving’ really spoke to me—the activity is not the point…it is whether I attempt to rationalize my behavior. This frustrates me when my kids do it…yet such excuses are something I have only been too willing to offer up.
You and Phil blessed me and our MOB group in Commerce. I send you two verses from Haggai 2:4-5. I pray The Lord would bless you and keep you – opening the flood gates of heaven to Life Challenge for His glory. Blessings, Mike
Thank you – I have been having the same battle with myself about my “time.” I feel that I do not have any time to myself. I work full time, still have a kid in high school, my dad is coming home from the hospital after a stroke in which he will need 24/7 assistance, and the church is asking me to do more and be in a leadership role. Well-meaning friends and co-workers tell me “you need to take care of yourself.” “You already do a lot for others.” “You have too much, say no to the church.” But I do not feel I can be that self-centered. The church needs me, my dad needs me … I just need to be obedient since God has put these other’s needs in my path.