by Tess Cameron

Tess Cameron
Tess Cameron

Gethsemane (which means olive-press), is the ultimate threshing floor, where Jesus separated His dread of the crucifixion from the Father's purpose. When He said "..Father...Take this cup (of suffering) from Me; yet not My will, but what You will", Jesus was choosing obedience - and when His obedience was fulfilled, He punished all disobedience by disarming the enemy (Satan) through the cross.

At Gethsemane and at Golgotha, Christ's enemy had been "gathered like sheaves to the threshing floor" and so Jesus was first threshed and then He threshed His enemy. It's interesting that bread and wine, both products of crushing, are chosen by Jesus as the symbols of His broken body and that the Holy Spirit, sent after His resurrection, is described as oil.

The scriptures say that Jesus was perfected through His sufferings. We too are encouraged to "count it all joy when you face various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. When patience has done its work you'll be left perfect, mature and lacking nothing."

When Israel was led out of Egypt into the wilderness to be tested (Deut 8:14-16), they did not embrace their threshing floor. They "did not perceive God's ways. They did not grow progressively more intimately and more experimentally acquainted with His ways." When fed with manna in the desert, they were told that they should learn that "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". Instead they say - "How we loathe this worthless bread."

Then, years later Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted/tested (Luke 4:1, 2). To the very first temptation, Jesus, the Bread of life quotes and threshes the enemy with the same scripture because He, the Word made flesh chose every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Prophetically, Jesus was the manna, God wanted Israel to receive.

If we will do as Jesus did and approach each threshing floor from God's perspective we may too have 40 days instead of 40 years of testing - the difference between Jesus' obedient approach to the testing compared with the Israelites' rebellious approach.
Let us no longer avoid the threshing floor but embrace God's refining for glorious results. Let's bare our hearts for Him to inspect - for if He's our first discipline, the world's and the enemy's will be less potent.

I have one related personal experience to share. A few years back I was very involved with Ballroom and Latin dancing, I'd been dancing for some years, traveling to competitions and absolutely loving every moment of it.

I began to hear whispers from the Spirit that the Lord wanted me to give the dancing up. I didn't want to hear it and began negotiations - "..but Lord what's wrong with it..? ..I can love You and still dance".

I just kept hearing the same thing and continued the arguing until one night at a worship time when the song, "I surrender all.." began playing.

I knew that I could not sing along and sat down crying, "..Ok Lord, I'll listen".

At the time I was busy doing a bronze sculpture for someone and as I went into the foundry the next morning, I felt the Lord say to take note of what I was doing because He wanted to do the same in my life.

As the bronze in the crucible was melting due to the flame beneath it, I began pondering the entire process that had taken weeks and would that day culminate in a poured bronze sculpture.

I'd had a dream, I'd pictured every detail of the beautiful sculpture before I'd even sketched it. The long creative process of adding, subtracting and modeling until I was pleased, ended with the piece being invested and placed in the heat of a kiln. And on this exciting day - when all the hard work would be rewarded by the appearance of this thing of beauty - we had first to heat and reheat the bronze. Each time the metal was heated, the impurities came to the surface and had to be scraped off. Each heating brought new impurities forth until the bronze was pure and clean and only then can the bronze be poured. If the bronze is poured while there are still impurities present - the sculpture cannot pour as intended. The result will be a far cry from the initial dream.

With tears rolling down my cheeks, I went to my dance partner and instructor and told them that I would obey my Jesus first. "Bittersweet" is the closest description of my feelings that day - but it's not quite accurate. The sweet so outweighed the bitter! -even though my heart broke a little, the knowledge that my Jesus could continue His loving scuplting of my life 'til He is fully pleased gave (and gives) me incomparable joy!! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.