Olives And Grapes

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228 - Olives and GrapesThe Word tells us that God wants our joy to be full, and so we need olives and grapes in our life. Olive oil was used to make one’s face shine (Ps 104:15) and it became a sign of joy and gladness (Num 6:25-25). Wine was also a symbol of joy , which is also found in Ps 104:15. But in spite of the Word, there are far too many of the bride of Christ that come up far short of His great grace. There are many who know all the fundamental doctrines and are saved, but they don’t have His fullness of joy.

Think for a minute about olives and grapes in the natural sense. They are both fruit, which produce oil and wine but they are not oil and wine themselves. If they are left on the vine or the tree they shrink and shrivel up, their richness having evaporated. They are better than nothing but they aren’t substitutes for oil and wine.

The question for us is, are we satisfied with just olives and grapes in our lives? Are we happy with just the fruit and no joy or gladness? Too many are living that way and it’s not the way God intends for us to live. If we want to shine with joy and fill our world with gladness then we need to be “crushed.”

As His bride we have been given the fruit, the olives and the grapes. We are rooted and grounded in Jesus and we can bring forth His fruit. But making oil and wine is another matter. We must become completely dissatisfied with just producing olives and grapes in our life. Producing the work, tending the olives and grapes, is just the second step in the process.  But producing the fruit by itself will never bring joy and gladness. To truly experience the fullness of joy, the olives and grapes need to be crushed.

First the Lord plants the seeds within us, then He works in our life to grow the fruit. But the final part of the process is the “pressing,” which brings out the oil and the wine in us so that our lives are shining and glad examples of His life in us. It’s all part of His process, a process that involves Him growing His olives and grapes and pressing out His oil and wine that give us a shining face and and a joyful heart. It’s His process…

Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: KJV

His process is miraculous because it isn’t natural for us to undergo pressing (suffering) and patiently endure it. And, sadly, there are many Christians who spend all their time crying out in the midst of adversity just like those in the world around them. As His bride, however, we are to face our trials with the calmness His Spirit provides us, knowing that God means our suffering for good, and out of it will come rejoicing afresh in Him.

Yes, Jesus will complete the work He has begun in us, but it won’t get done unless we cooperate with the process. We can’t afford to settle for olives in the tree and grapes on the vine. They are only symbols of what “can be.” They are the fruit that we need to allow God to mature in us, and as part of that process we will become spiritually mature in Him. But that won’t happen if we don’t allow Him to take us into “presses” of life in order to bring out the very best of what He has placed within us.

It’s all a part of “Resting” in Him, standing in faith that He has our best interest always before Him, even if we can’t see it at the time.  That’s why Paul said that we are to glory in tribulation (Rom 5:3). The Greek word for “tribulation” is thlipsis, which means pressing together.  Just remember, when those times of pressing come, they are always followed with overflowing gladness and joy, so the Lord can share them with those around us.

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