My mum often crushes pepper and spices. She likes to use a mixture of ingredients and crush them together by hand instead of using the blender. She argues that the pressure placed when she crushes the spices again and again together in a wooden pot is what truly gets all the juices out. The blender works… to some extent but nothing can replace the crushing of strong hands.
So as it is in the natural, it often is in the spiritual and 2017 for myself and I believe for many of you, was a crushing year. It was a year where the pressure applied to you was more than you’ve ever known. I’m referring to the kind of pressure that forces you to change in order to withstand it and brings out both the good and bad juices in you.
For some of you, it has been painful as you have watched everything that was in order become chaotic whilst what was already chaotic became even more chaotic. Friendships have tested you, family have tested you and your career has tested you. The walls have been caving in and in and you’ve wondered what the point of it all was.
Your eyes have moved around frantically trying to stop the walls from closing in but do you know what I say? The beauty is in the crushing. Let the walls crush and break every single part of you that doesn’t reflect him. Allow the pressure to make you kind and humble. Allow the pain to make you forgiving and faithful. Allow God to take you on a journey through your situation instead of wanting to simply get “over it”.
“The aim is to get through it, not over it” – Della Kaina
It’s preparation for purpose. You’re praying for purpose but your character is not fit for purpose. You’re praying for glory but your character is not fit for glory. If God were to give you everything allotted to you right now you wouldn’t be able to handle it. Where your character doesn’t fit your purpose, God allows and orchestrates pressure to form and mould you accordingly. If you allow that change, God can give you the fullness of your purpose. But you’ll be capped according to your willingness to conform and change not because He doesn’t love you but because He can’t pour new wine into old wine skin. He can’t give you the new, whilst you have the old mindsets.
My prayer is that this 2018 we will go on a journey of removing the mindsets that are stopping us fulfilling purpose and in replacement, we will adopt the mindsets needed for the future.
So allow the hob to turn up this 2018. Understand that the high heat of 2017 and prior years was to perfect, mature and prepare you. Keep your eyes up whilst you’re in the furnace. The father is watching you very very carefully and he’s navigating the elements FOR you and not against you.