Why is being a Christian like chocolate milk?
There's no comparison between plain milk and chocolate!
Who in the world would choose plain, white milk, over the sweet, thick, chocolatey kind?
Only the one who’s never tasted chocolate. If you’ve tasted the difference, then you know. There’s no comparison.
Despite its deliciousness, making chocolate milk is quite simple. We take a glass of plain white milk. We pour chocolate syrup into the glass, and- What happens to the chocolate? Yep. It sinks to the bottom.
And the milk? At first, it doesn’t look all that different. It doesn’t taste all that different, either. It’s got the chocolate, but it isn’t quite chocolatey. Not yet. One essential step remains. It won’t change the content of the milk, but it will announce it. We grab our spoons. Together, we stir the milk. What happens to the chocolate? Absolutely. It shows itself.
The chocolate colors the milk. It covers the milk. Our milk looks different. It tastes different, too. The ingredients have not changed, but the change is obvious. To the eye, the chocolate has overpowered the milk. Our two parts are now one substance. If poured out, they move together. If tasted, there is no separation. Well done. We’ve got ourselves sweet, thick, chocolatey - Mmmm...
Be Right Back
The phone rings, and we set our chocolatey milk in the refrigerator. Then, our favorite TV show comes on. We enter into a dating relationship. Grandma gets very sick. There’s a car accident. Sports practice begins. School starts.
If you think chocolate milk is easy to create, distraction is easier. For reasons great, and small, our milk may be left on the refrigerator shelf. A few minutes pass. A day. Or longer. What happens to the chocolate? Uh - huh. It again sinks to the bottom.
Milk With Chocolate
Our ingredients still haven’t changed. They both remain in the one glass, but a separation has occurred. Instead of being colored and covered by the chocolate, the milk lies on top of it. To the eye, the milk has overpowered the chocolate. To the tongue, flavor has been lost.
We’re back to milk, with chocolate. This, versus the sweet, thick, chocolatey milk? If you’ve tasted the difference, then you know. There’s no comparison.
Before we invite Jesus into our hearts and give Him control as our Lord and Savior, we are like a glass of plain, white milk. When we trust in Christ and receive His Holy Spirit, it’s like pouring chocolate into our milk. At first, we don’t look all that different. We may not feel all that different, either. Feelings, however, are not reliable. God’s Word is.
Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us of exactly how the Spirit, like the chocolate syrup, is received. It is by grace, through faith alone. God, not us, is the change agent. Milk doesn’t earn the chocolate, just as we do not earn the Spirit. It receives it. It lets the chocolate flow.
In Christ alone, our salvation is secure, but our lives will not automatically transform. One essential step remains. Allowing the Spirit to make us completely new is to surrender our ambitions, habits, and idols. It is to be clothed, colored, and transformed by God. This is our role.
To walk with Christ is forever, on-purpose, and constant stirring. It will make all the difference in our lives, and it will sweeten our world. Spoon, anyone?
The Word of God is a spoon. Prayer, too. Fellowship. Repentance. Obedience. These are all spoons. When we allow God to mix into the whole of our lives, to transform us, and to make us one in substance with the Spirit, we become chocolatey. It is simple but never easy.
Something wonderful happens when we surrender to God’s will. When the Spirit flows and overpowers our every part, we start to look different. Our lives become flavorful. Separation is no longer. Others wonder what we’ve got. Others want what we’ve got.
A life that is ‘sweet, thick, and chocolatey,’ albeit imperfect, will expose the tasteless promises of this world. When others see God’s love shine through you, it will be made obvious that they’re missing something. There’s no comparison.
You, Me, and Milk on the Shelf
Everyone has sin. Many endure tragedy. We wrestle difficulty. We question God. We doubt. We try adding other ingredients to our milk. We try to control our own lives. We shelve the Spirit.
When we separate ourselves from God’s constant, transforming work, our chocolate sinks down.
When this happens, however, our need is not for more Spirit. We need not fear losing Christ. But to know and experience God fully, we must participate. We have to surrender.
Once chocolate is poured into milk, it cannot be completely removed. Neither your hand nor mine can get it back to plain, white milk again. Even more magnificently, the Spirit cannot be taken completely from the life of a true believer. Romans 8:38-39 reminds us that nothing - No. Nothing - can separate us from God’s love.
The promise of God is that with every genuine decision for Jesus Christ – we can know that the ingredient is ours, forever. The chocolate is going no where. The Spirit cannot be lost. Jesus is the change agent, not us. We cannot lose what we never earned.
But we can – No, we must do something with it. Let’s stir!
Chocolate Near Chocolate
At the store, all milk is kept together. Plain near plain. Chocolate near chocolate. Similarly as Christ-followers, it is necessary and good to spend time with all people. However, if we do not stay closest to people who love God and announce His Spirit within them, we start to redefine “chocolatey.” We become satisfied with less flavor. We become numb to settling. We think we’re chocolatey when we’re not.
Set a glass of separated milk next to a glass of plain white, and it looks chocolatey enough. Set it next to a glass of stirred milk, and it’s not looking too sweet anymore. To keep from settling, we must fellowship with those who are unashamedly colored by Christ.
We invite others to stir us. We offer our spoons. How do we stir? With love, grace, and truth. What does that look like? It looks like spoons to those who have tasted. It looks like a taste to those who have not. It looks like walking in the Way that stirs our world.
Like a glass of sweet, thick, chocolatey - Mmmm....
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