While the world is striving to attain perfection, I realize the only perfect One took my place, as a perfect sacrifice, on a cross. Through Him my weaknesses are made strong. I'm not afraid to be different, because I AM different. I'm a child of The Most High. I can be imperfect because I am loved by a Perfect God.

Praying for Direction. Lift by Prayer. Working for Peace. Labor by Power. Driven by Love. Love by Patience. Living by Faith. Live by Presence. Held by Hope. Learn by Faith.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gethsemane Oil

A couple Sunday mornings ago, Pastor told a little story.

A man had a house to sell, he offered to sell it to a family for $1,000 on ONE condition.
They took ownership of the entire house, with the exception of one nail over the front door. That nail remained under the control of the original owner.

Time passed and the original owner came back and decided he wanted to buy the house back.
The family didn't want to sell the house. So the owner goes out and finds a dead animal and hangs it on the nail.

I'm taking a Spanish class this summer. My professor, Bonn, (as in James Bond hah! J/k) was sharing some of his stories from his travels. I delight in hearing these stories, mainly because I relate, I have plenty of my own!

In this particular case he was staying with a family in Spain, for some odd reason he simply couldn't eat the food. Come to find out the woman was cooking everything with olive oil. Really not a big deal, except she made her own.

There are 4 basic steps to making Olive Oil:
1. Clean the Olives
2. Grind the Olives into a paste
3. Malaxing (Mixing) the paste
4. Separating the oil from the vegetable water and solids

In Bonn's case, the woman eliminated the last step. I mean, you'd think all the solids would sink to the bottom, leaving the oil on top to be fine. This isn't the case, the solids spoil, fermenting the oil and ruining the WHOLE batch.

I got to thinking about this in terms of a parable...

The first step in the oil extraction process is cleaning the olives and removing the stems, leaves, twigs, and other debris left with the olives. The olives should be washed with water to remove pesticides, dirt, etc. Light contaminants are removed by a heavy air flow (blower) and heavy objects sink in the water bath. Similarly, we, as Christians have to be cleaned. The "outside" the obvious stuff that everyone can see. However this is just the beginning.

The second step is crushing the olives into a paste. The purpose of crushing is to tear the flesh cells to facilitate the release of the oil from the vacuoles. I can't explain to you the impact this had on my heart. The Bible says that our flesh hates God (Rom. 8:8) When we fast we can destroy our flesh, that we can grow in the spirit. My dear friends at Olive Tree Works (awesome business/ministry, check them out!) pointed out "It is no coincidence that the Lord Jesus agonized with His human will, situated in the Garden of Gethsemane, which literally means 'Olive Press.' It was the ultimate, upon ultimate crushing and oil pressing experiences ever encountered by a human being. He agonized hour upon hour. He asked, is there another way? "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:39"

The third step is entirely indispensable. Malaxing (mixing) the paste for 20 to 45 minutes allows small oil droplets to combine into bigger ones. Longer mixing times increase oil yield. Notice that mixing isn't a quick process. The same is to be said in the Spiritual Realm. In the Garden, Jesus asked His disciples to TARRY. Once our flesh is out of the way, we can become covered with the anointed oil of the Lord. Not just a little drop, but anointing flowing out of His willing vessel.

The last step consists in separating the oil from the rest of the olive components. In most cases, the oil is further filtered to eliminate any remaining water and solids. We are never completely pure. The Lord continues to use His Spirit, His Word, and circumstances to further cleanse us.

Beware of the little things. They can destroy you. Galatians 5:9 says A little leaven leavens the whole loaf. Tiny solids WILL ruin a whole barrel of oil. One nail can make a house unlivable. Sin will destroy you. Romans 6 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

My prayer is that of David in Psalm 139:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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