June 18, 2011

There is a Shaking in the Making

Hebrews 12:25-27
25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[a] 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
In case you missed it, Perry Stone gave a terrific message on the shaking of the Church, through the illustration of the shaking of an Olive tree. You can catch his message here.

The olive tree is a tree that gets harvested in the fall, and is unique in the fact that it can only get harvested by shaking as opposed to wheat or barley which can be picked or harvested. You literally have to shake the tree, causing the olives to fall to the ground. Once you shake the tree free of olives, those olives hit the ground and then go an olive press where in Biblical times, a donkey would pull a stone round and round, grinding the olive until it became oil. The process grinds everything, the pits and the olive, until it produces both a 1st oil--extra virgin oil, and a 2nd oil--virgin oil.

The illustration could not be more clear. In order to produce the Holy Spirit, which is illustrated by oil or olive oil in this situation, the Christian must be shaken. God is looking to shake us off from our comfortable position and through the trials of life, squeeze us to produce the oil--an anointing of God in our lives.

That is what the trials of life are for, to refine us and make us more like Christ, the Christ who endured the Cross and bore our sins. Olive oil will never be made without a pressing and without a shaking. We also must go through the pressures and battles of life to become like Christ and receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Oil does not flow from the tree with you just sitting in a church pew and when we become too comfortable where we are, God shakes us to move us in the direction where he wants us to go!

All the more, after we've been through that trial then we are able to go help others in that same situation. You're depressed? I've been there, let me help you through. You're fearful and battling failure in your life? I know what it feels like. Not only do we experience the trial and thus understand what it is like and what it takes to get out of the trial, we can then go back and proclaim what God has done.

Don't just take trials in your life as something that is from the devil. God may be shaking you to get your attention. Be warned though as Jesus said in Matthew 15:13, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots." Seek out the Lord in your trial, and when you make it out on the other side, go and help others make it through theirs.

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