30 Jul Sometimes the Most Precious Fruit is Crushed
Some weeks, before preparing to preach on the great section of the fruit of the Spirit that we covered in the previous devotional from Galatians 5:22-26, I felt impressed in my spirit to pray to the Lord and ask Him to reveal to me anything I might miss in the text. I don’t remember the exact words that came to mind, but I think it was “speak to the crushed”. I had no idea what that meant and did not much think about it for many days.
Then, on the night before I was to preach this Scripture out of state, my youngest son and I were hanging out in the hotel room watching SportsCenter and I again felt compelled in my spirit to make a request of the Lord. At that moment, I remembered the word He had spoken to me previously and so, in silent prayer, I asked the Lord what I had missed, and He was trying to teach me about speaking to those Christians who are fruitful but crushed.
Then, God brought to mind Jesus’ words in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me…bears much fruit.” The abiding that Jesus invites us to is by the power of the Holy Spirit who connects us to the vine and causes us to become fruitful. This insight was helpful, but still did not resolve my question. Then, the Lord reminded me not only of the words Jesus spoke, but also when His words were spoken. They are part of something called the Upper Room Discourse which is the final moments of Jesus’ life as He is preparing to go to the cross and be “crushed” as Isaiah 53:5 says for our sins.
Then it dawned on me, the most fruitful person in world history is Jesus Christ. And, the fruit of His life was crushed for us. Today, we are the “first fruits” of God and give God our “first fruits”. Today, the Church is a new wineskin created by God to house the new wine of the new covenant.
The point? Some fruit is harvested to be enjoyed, and other fruit is harvested to be crushed. But the crushed fruit often produces the most amazing newness on the other side of the crushing.
Reading this are many people who are not perfect, but they are fruitful. The do walk in the Spirit and show forth the fruit of the Spirit. But they are confused or discouraged because their life is right now one big wine press that is crushing them. I am sorry for your pain, but excited for your future. Who you will be and the blessing you will be will be something as extraordinary as some grapes that are crushed and, over time, turn into a robust and flavorful bottle of fine wine.
Where are you being crushed?