Beaten by God (Leviticus 24)

            “…to bring you pure oil of beaten olives…”

            Sometimes I have asked God, or myself why are there so many tests in my life.   When everything seems to be marching right along, I am visited again by a calamity or by some incomprehensible incident.

            Some of these tests seemed unbearable at that time, but we have survived, and hopefully become better (or better equipped) Christians.  The old adage has been materialized through the pain:  “Before God can use somebody, he has to ‘break’ him.”

            Biblical examples abound.  Moses was “burned” in the dessert of Midiam for forty years before becoming the deliverer.  Paul was blinded by Jesus on the road to Damascus, and Peter “betrayed” Jesus three times before he became an apostle of God.

            We would like to think (or dream) that God does not operate in this way anymore, that he has a “softer” or more relaxed approach to make us useful disciples.  From my own experience, I can testify that God works extremely hard to break our pride and vanity before he begins to decide if he wants to use  us or not.

            If I would ask today, who enjoys being broken or beaten by God, not many would respond affirmatively.  This is a painful process in which God “beats the old life out of us” to extract our best, and at the same time the Holy Spirit begins to really shine in us through our circumstances.

            The Israelites would beat the poor olives to withdraw pure oil.  God uses the tests and trials of life to beat our ego into oblivion.  His goal is for us to become transparent vessels through which Christ can be clearly seen. 

             Do you still want to be used by God?

             A. G.

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