There are so many things that God has unraveled for me over the last few years, just like pulling the string on a sweater, it unravels faster and faster until what was there before needs to be knitted back together entirely. So many things I never understood after being in church my entire life were overwhelming me. The Holy Spirit knows this about me. Recently I began to experience the Spirit as He was intended to be. As I sit here with my essential oil diffuser misting into the air it reminds me of how I viewed the spirit for almost 35 years of my life. As a mist that comes and hovers and can be felt but there was nothing more for me.
A few years ago I sat in our church sanctuary after a service with my heart pounding. I kept saying to myself "there's something more." The journey of getting to know the Holy Spirit like I never had is a story for another day. There are so many beautiful words in the Bible that started to come alive for me as I began studying God's Word with a fresh assurance. One of the words I have been seeking more guidance on is the word "anointing". I found that in my spiritual dry spells is when I needed His anointing to flood my spirit and awaken in me a desire to fully press into the Father.
How do we get to the oil (or anointing) to soothe a dry spell? The olive tree tells us how.
First, the tree itself must be rooted in the right soil, just as we must be rooted in the Word of God and the tree will grow, mature and blossom producing fruit. In biblical times, as well as today, the very best fruit is at the top, it is not the fruit that has already dropped. It is the fruit that must be shaken from the tree. When the tree is shaken, the olives fall from the tree and must be caught gently before hitting the ground, gathered together and washed. Then the fruit must be pressed to release the oil, it must be broken so that the pure oil will flow. The pulp is collected and used again to extract the most precious oil. It is a time consuming process that requires tremendous pressure.
It just so happens, about a week ago, I watched short film on how olive oil is made and it was a very beautiful process to watch.
"Christ, the sinless One, required no preparation for receiving the anointing oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit" -Hebrews 1:9
"But you have an anointing from the Holy One and all of you know the truth." - 1 John 2:20
"As for you, the annoying you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit - just as it has taught you, remain in him." - 1 John 2:27
"God, your God, has set your above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy" -Hebrews 1:9
"God gives the Spirit without limit" -John 3:34
The anointing oil, being representative of the Spirit of God, is without limit.
Sometimes we feel dry (in our marriage or relationship with Christ), we feel like God is nowhere around. Sometimes we feel like we are not anointed at all. For any number of reasons or any amount of time a marriage can go through a dry spell. When this happens, just remember the olive tree. Olive oil was a staple of the diet in Biblical times. Deuteronomy 8:8 talks about God delivering the children of Israel into a land of milk, honey, wheat, and olive oil (among other things). God's people went through a very rough dry spell in their desert of testing. God delivered them. Olive oil was also used as medicine in Luke 10:34 by the Samaritan. Olive oil was used as lamp fuel (for light) and is the process of purification is described in Lev. 24: 1-2. Finally, olive oil was used for anointing in religious offerings and rituals as representing the pouring out of God's Spirit.
Just the imagery used of a tree being shaken made me hold my breath. Aren't we all shaken? Aren't we sitting here reading this and thinking of all the ways our marriage has been shaken? To have ever gotten to the point of being shaken, means that your marriage is grounded, it is rooted in something good, has matured and has produced fruit, otherwise, you would not be here at this very moment reading this in an effort to do something good for your marriage. Has your marriage felt dry? That's what the oil is for? How are we going to get that oil?
The oil as described started with the shaking of the tree, some stress has to be applied to force that tree to let go of the fruits it is holding on to in order to move forward in extracting the oil. What are you holding on too? Are you bitter? Are you angry? Is the love your marriage drying up? Is there something or someone weaseling it's way into your marriage to separate you from your husband physically or emotionally? Are you ready to let go of the things in your life that you are holding on to so that you can move forward?
Now, remember, when you are shaken and you let go of these things, God is there to catch you when you fall. He is going to gather up all of the things that have been growing in your life and your marriage and He is going to sort them for you. He's going to keep the good and throw out the bad and He is going to use the good, healthy, mature, pure and perfect fruits of your marriage. What God is going to do with those good fruits is wash them, just as Jesus washed us of our sins, God is going to wash your fruits and get them ready. Once your marriage has been shaken, there will be a calm, a tranquility before God brings you through the press. I don't know what your "press" is going to be but God is going to put the pressure on so that you will trust Him, lean on Him, call on Him and give your marriage to Him. After your marriage has been pressed through, what will come out of it is the most pure anointing oil to heal your marriage that God could possibly ever give.
This beautiful anointing is coming to your marriage but you have to be ready for the shaking and the pressing. As God presses you, you press into Him. Seek His guidance through His Word and through prayer.
Father, oh how I need You to pour Your Spirit out onto me. Lord, fill me completely with your Spirit from head to toe so that I can move forward completely filled by You. Press out of me what is not of You so that there is room for you to fill me up. Remove my impurities and prepare my marriage for any shaking and sifting it may need. Lord, I ask you to remove anything from my marriage that doesn't belong, open my eyes to see what You see. Take our good fruits and press them as we press into You. Lord, shake us so that the world cannot. I want You to use our good fruits rather than have the world trample on them.. We trust you with our shaking and that you will catch all that falls away and use it for good. I thank You, Lord, that your are not like man. You are a God of integrity. Your words are an anchor for my soul and You are my refuge. I run to You and I am safe. Sift me Lord, sift my marriage. I will wait for You and the fulfillment of Your words. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.