What happens when we are squeezed? If we put apples in a juicer we can expect apple juice, if oranges then orange juice. So what should come out when Christians are squeezed? We should expect Christ.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
Yes, when we are squeezed Jesus should come out. I remember many years ago my friend telling the story of wrestling around with someone on a construction site and when he put them in a headlock they started cursing. He said, “I was just squeezing you to see what would come out.” This aligns with the old adage that ‘character isn’t formed in crisis, it is revealed.’ Who and what we are comes out under pressure.
We know that Jesus doesn’t always come out when believers are squeezed. Before addressing how to reconcile this I want to look at who is doing the squeezing. Would it surprise you to know that our squeezing often comes from our Father?
2 And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2 (NKJV)
Our Father squeezes us so that we can see what comes out when we are squeezed. He already knows, He wants us to know. When we see what it is in us we know what needs to be dealt with.
Let me provide an example from my life. Too often for my liking I become frustrated with the behaviour of other drivers (I am sure none of them ever have reason to be frustrated with me!). What comes out at these times is a feeling of frustration/anger rather than grace and Jesus presence. I don’t mean that I am sitting in my car cursing other drivers or that it happens every time I drive to and from work in rush hour. However, when it does happen I recognize that my heart attitude is wrong and what I often say under my breath at these times reflects a wrong heart attitude. Where this lessens or is absent in difficult circumstances is when I am more aware of Jesus presence with me and when I catch myself in the moment, quickly repent and look to the Holy Spirit. This is practical faith 101.
What I want to manifest in all difficult driving experiences or similar situations is His presence. My goal and what I desire, and believe I am growing toward, is what Paul expressed.
9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; Philippians 3:9 (NKJV)
I want to be found in Jesus when I am squeezed so that what Jesus is the one who is revealed.
So what is coming out of us when squeezed? What is the Holy Spirit seeking to transform in our lives?