Tuesday, November 24, 2015

YOU ARE A LEMON {Let me explain.}


 **(This is for a friend.....but...I hope it encourages you, too.)**

As I was driving home from the grocery store today, I was praying for you because I felt you needed to be encouraged. My prayers started with "What would you have me to tell him?" I heard over and over... "Lemon.Lemon.Lemon" Really? I mean....LEMON? "That's what you want me to tell him? That he's a LEMON? Seriously." As I continued praying and asking more I began to discover why.

For ages lemons have gotten a BAD wrap. If you buy a car that turns out to have problem after problem...it's "a lemon". More likely than not you've considered a "lemon" to mean something that doesn't live up to it's expectations, or even a disappointing purchase. "Lemon" can also be speaking of something or someone that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  Heck, it could even be a less than fabulous situation in your life. If something crappy is happening people will say "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  

So, when I heard that I was supposed to tell you that you are a lemon...I thought "Great. You want me to tell him he's broken?" Well, yes. I guess so. But, it's so much more than that. 

Lemons are known for their TOUGH outer skin. Most people open up a lemon and use the juice. It's our human nature to neglect the work it takes to get to what we want. To get to what is deeper. Sometimes the zest is needed, but often times people skip the essence and go straight for the goods. This is not the case with your loving Father. He wants to use it ALL. 

Your skin is tough. From the outside people would think that things don't phase you. They'd think you don't struggle and that you are secure in your own skin. They think your world is perfect and that you must not ever REALLY doubt. You must not waiver. You must always be courageous. They're wrong, and it's okay. God is working on you. Just like a cook grates off the peel of a lemon to add zest for unique seasoning in a dish, HE is grating off your flesh because HE has a UNIQUE plan and purpose for you in HIS kingdom. And, because He loves you deep, far and wide. You see, inside of the lemon is where the extra good stuff is. Once the peel is grated off, the juice is revealed. The REAL fruit. The TRUEST fruit. And even deeper than the peel...the flesh...the juice..is the seed. The seeds replanted spring forth a NEW life. This is what God has for you. As He reveals to you the toughness in your skin (that you've really put there to protect the beautiful fruit inside), and as you submit it to Him HE will bring about new life in your midst. In your own life and in the lives of those you get to touch. 

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it.

Lemons preserve fruit. Now, we all know that it is not YOUR job to preserve the fruit of any man or woman...that is the job of the HOLY SPIRIT alone. With that said, you have been gifted in a way that you can deliver HIS truth and HIS heart to cause lasting fruit in a life that is submitted. 

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it. 

Lemon mixed with baking soda and rubbed on dry, scaly skin can exfoliate and expose smooth, refined skin. Many times the people you get to speak into are hard. They are calloused. They are hurt and they are in much need of loving truth. The same God that seeks to reveal the truest fruit inside of you is in turn using you to lead others to the same place of a flesh- removing, fruit-producing abundant life.

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it.

Lemons remove tough stains on marble. Marble is porous and easily stained and damaged. The stains can be hard to remove. If you cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain it will likely remove it. Marble is exquisite. It's high end.  Many of the people you encounter think that their value is in what they accomplish or possess here on earth. Because of this, they might try to clean up their outside. They might be religious and seriously lacking a real relationship with Jesus. YOU have been given the platform to equip the salt around you, and to create an atmosphere where people are empowered & encouraged to allow God to remove stains they have tried far too long to hide. 

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it. 

Did you know that the juice of a lemon mixed with water can make soggy lettuce crisp again? You have people around you that have gone flat. They have surrendered to defeat and lost their purpose. Maybe you think you have to. There are times when many people fitting that mold overwhelm and defeat you. Let the water of the WORD and SPIRIT cleanse and call OUT in you COURAGE. HOPE. PEACE. FAITH.  

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it. 

Lemons remove stagnant & foul smelling odors. They can freshen up even the stinkiest of rooms. The key is that you have to open them up. God wants to create in you an open and vulnerable heart so that what He has placed IN you can be fostered, empowered and spread. The Holy Spirit in YOU has the POWER to awaken and refresh abundantly as you submit. 

Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it.

Lemon juice sprayed around a perimeter can keep insects & pests at bay. It can flat out make them turn the other way. There are many things that will come to try to eat up the harvest, steal fruit and cause pain, doubt, fear & chaos. Prayer is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Start pacing again. Start circling. Start believing for BIGGER than you things. You can do a lot in your own strength. God wants you to partner with HIM in BIGGER BOLDER things than you can even believe will happen.  You have seen God do mighty works and even still it can be in your nature to doubt. Surround yourself with people that are praying. People that are believing. People that are ENCOURAGING you to be all you can be. People that will CALL out Christ in you. People that will help you to EXPOSE your flesh, and love you as you work it out.  People that will empower you to be EVERYTHING that GOD has for you to be. Find lemons around you to build a perimeter that will keep the insects at bay.





Lemons have purpose, and plenty of it. 


Yesterday is done. It's a new day. A fresh season. Be thankful for the grating and the squeezing. It is full of beautiful purpose.