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Going through the press brings out the best.

Are we like olives?

If you pick an olive off a tree they are not very tasty, it's pretty much inedible, you have to do something to the olive to enjoy the flavor it offers. When you put the olive under tremendous pressure, that's when the greatest part of the olive comes out; the oil.

Olives remind me of the event that started over 6 months ago, October 7th to be exact.

Why? Because pressing brings out the best.

Olives and war are similar in a sense. Olives have to be pressed with an immense pressure in order to bring out the offering of oil with a taste and aroma ranging from intense to delicate. 

War is an intense pressure that brings out intense to delicate emotions including anger, love, grief, guilt, shame, fear, hatred, joy, and jealousy. These emotions can be a catalyst to an inner healing that is so freeing you may have no choice but offer praise and thanksgiving to Adonai. Living during a time of war when the pressing can be positive or the pressing can be difficult is telling. We get to choose what way we look at war similarly to the way we look at an olive.  

An olive once pressed becomes refined oil. Refined means the process of purification of a substance or a form. In ancient times, oil was used to illuminate the night when lit in the wells of a lamp. Its primitive root word literally means illuminate. War has the ability to illuminate as well.

When differing opinions, and there are many, press us on all sides during war we go through a refining process as well in order to illuminate what is inside of us. We get to see what rises to the surface as pure and pleasant and what is not. We get to work out the inner beast with its instinctual retaliation and opt to instead respond with the breath of life God gave us, distinguishing us from all beasts. Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 

That breath of life is the very spirit of man which differs from a beast. The beast doesn’t have God’s spirit therefore can not reason and make choices that honor life when provoked or threatened. God’s people can but there is a pressing. 

Choosing to walk in the joy of the Lord during the crushing process isn’t always easy but oh so uplifting. Reading, speaking, and even singing the Psalms during a very tough refining. I especially love Psalm 144 because there are so many emotions David himself had during times of war and the ever continuing presence of God. 

We don’t have to battle alone, we get to put on our armor and walk in the spirit that was breathed into us even before we were born. Gods’ armor cloaks us in truth, righteousness, and peace. Our armor shields us with faith while our helmet not only protects our head but gives us a sound mind. We get to pick up, read, and speak from the sword of the spirit which is the very word of God. We live in such a beautiful time and we are the most blessed generation of all that have come before us. We are saved not because of anything we did but because of who He is. We get to trust that everything is okay because we can look back and see His hand leading, carrying, and guiding us every step of the way. 

The crushing, pressing used to press olives and the crushing, pressing of war truly brings out the best. 

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed!

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