As I am still on a sabbatical, you will again have the pleasure to be edified by the product of my friend, Amanda Byliefeldt’s pen. Thank you my friend, for encouraging me to embrace my own process and for reminding me that we all come out the other side, well and truly transformed. As I read what Amanda wrote, it dawned on me that not only can we trust our Father with the process, but He has full confidence in us to make it to the other side…if He didn’t, He’d not permit the season of pruning. Every good gardener knows that there is a season to prune and a season to allow a tree to rest. If you are in a season of change, where the process is painful, hard and bitter, take courage, you are not alone and you have not been forsaken. I will leave you with an instruction I received from the Lord early this year…just before the enormity of my own process was revealed. “Submit to God and commit to the process”. May you find the courage to do so.
From Amanda’s pen:
Everything in life has a process…. It is something you cannot escape from. Just like the verse below states… “There is a proper time and PROCEDURE for EVERY matter.”
Ecclesiastes 8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.
From conception to birth it is a process; skipping one part of the process will result in either a catastrophic malformation or even death of the baby.
Even everyday things have a process… for example, getting a child enrolled in school you have a series of paperwork to fill out….a process.
According to the Dictionary process is defined as the following: (NOUN) a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
(VERB) perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.
We readily accept the PROCESS in our daily lives, in fleshly and worldly things, but when it comes to the PROCESS of the spiritual aspect of our lives, we don’t embrace that PROCESS. We complain, we hate it and we try to avoid the PROCESS of change in our spiritual lives, because most of the time that PROCESS is very painful.
King David wrote in Psalms 52 that he was like a green olive tree. All over the Bible we find references like that, comparing us to trees.
Psalm 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving-kindness of God forever and ever.
Our function as a tree is to bear fruit and by our fruit we will be known.(Mat 7:16a) In order for us to become fruit-baring trees it starts with a PROCESS…. First a seed is planted, then that seed will die to itself and start to grow and grow till it becomes a splendid tree. Eventually the tree is in need of a gardener to come and cut and prune away all the dead leaves and dead branches in order for it to produce fruit.
John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Father God puts us through the PROCESS of pruning and cutting not to hurt us or to punish us, but He puts us through this PROCESS in order for us to achieve a particular end. The PROCESS is to bring us to fulfill HIS plans for our lives (Jer 29:11).
Losing a dead branch will hurt less than the pruning process. We know that we can live without the dead branch, so we embrace that, but when we have a branch that is producing fruit and we get pruned in that area, we really feel the hurt, the pain and the shame of it because we thought we could live with it, but God knows better than we do.
The pruning PROCESS is not the end of the PROCESS… The pruning PROCESS is hard and painful, but there is another PROCESS that we miss and we don’t expect it and that is the PROCESS of getting the oil from the fruit.
When it is time for harvest (in the case of an olive tree) the harvester will go from tree to tree and the tree will be shaken. The tree will release of all the ripe fruits. The harvester collects the fruits and put it under the grinding wheel. The grinding wheel will roll over the olives, bruising them over and over till they are crushed. In this process oil is produced.
We already know that we are being compared to olive trees a few times in the Word of God. The whole idea of being olive trees is not just to be a tree, but to bear the fruit of the olive tree. It is the fruit that is useful to GOD….
There is a PROCESS in harvesting the olives and a PROCESS in getting oil out of the olive fruits….
HOW does this PROCESS from seed to oil relate to us as children of the MOST HIGH GOD? We grow in our relationship with God every day. Because we are in a relationship with HIM He wants us to become who HE has made us to be and to get to that particular end, HE needs to remove things from our lives so that we can become who we are meant to be. The PROCESS of becoming who God has designed us to be is not always easy. As soon as we think…”mmmm, I think I am there”, God sees something that needs pruning. He does not do this to hurt us, but to form us.
When we start baring fruit in our lives…..we think “right, I think I am there” . It is then that God shakes you and collects the ripe fruit, putting it under the grinding wheel because HE knows that you will produce pure oil in that PROCESS.
The first oil that is produced is the purest, called the Extra Virgin oil and that oil was the oil used in the Temple to give light.
God plants you…. He will be forming you to bear fruit, by cutting and pruning you. You will grow and produce fruit and the fruit will ripen. Then God will harvest your fruits and put it through the PROCESS of bruising and crushing, in order for you to produce pure oil. That oil will be the light to the world and that is what HE wants from you….that you will be the light of the world, like a city on a hill.
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Embrace the PROCESS, no matter how hard and painful it is…there is a promise connected to the PROCESS….
Steffany Gretzinger said these wise words: “When you forfeit the process, you forfeit the promise.”