Press On, Lord

Press On, Lord

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.”  –Psalm 52:8

 If you are reading this, then you know that I like to write.  It’s my way of cleaning out my thought closet.  I push notions in there and they start to pile up; in time, those ideas need to be sifted, sorted, and stored.  That’s where the writing proves helpful.  It’s my way of boxing up those crumpled concepts so that they stack up more easily in my mind.  The trouble is that sometimes I don’t know where to begin.  Left brain?  Right brain?  In-between brain?  Unaccessed brain?  As in most organizational endeavors, knowing where to begin is the hardest part!  And, as you well know, things get messier before they get maintain-ier.

So, here is my messier.  I want to be a grape, but I am discovering that I am an olive.  I know, it’s a deep thought…or an unfathomly shallow one; either way, it’s difficult to measure.  Perhaps I should clarify:  I would prefer to be splattered rather than pressed.  Splattering is what happens when you want grape juice:  grape…hammer…splatter…juice.  Pressing is what happens when you want olive oil:  olive…pressy thing…oozing…oil.  Any questions?  Oh…okay…I guess that wasn’t as clear as I thought.  To put it another way, I like things that bring quick results.  I would rather “hammer down” than “press on”.  I realize I’ve extremely oversimplified the juice making process, but if I were given the choice between making grape juice or making olive oil, I’d opt for the juice (and the juice maker) hands down.  Granted, juice making could be a lot messier (especially if I used the hammer method), but it would also be a lot quicker.  That’s why, in my fruity analogy, I would rather be a grape.  I’d rather have things happen quickly, even if it’s messy, than slowly…grindingly…methodically…pressingly.  But I think, in God’s analogy, I am an olive.  I think He’s after oil and not juice.

This awareness came to me several weeks ago.  I have been trying to be consistent with my writing this summer and, on top of cataloging thoughts into small containers for this blog, I have also been wrestling with (being pressed by?) the desire to organize my thoughts into a bigger container for a book.  There, I said it.  Well, I wrote it, and that’s a start. (Not the book…just the notion to write one!)  As I’ve struggled with the how and when, and inwardly wanted everything to fall into place, the image of the grape and the olive gradually emerged.  The more I tried to set and keep a schedule, the more unraveled my days became; the more I pushed, the more life pressed.  That’s when I told God I wished I was a grape so that He could just whack me once and splatter out all that was in me.  Granted, it would be messy…and difficult to read…but it would be done; I would have been poured out, well…kind of poured…kind of plastered, and my thoughts would have been squished out.  God, however, removed the picture of the grape and replaced it with the picture of an olive.  Then, He put that olive in a press and slowly turned the handle, that moved the rollers, that pressed the olive, that released the oil, that filled the vial…that rested securely within His hand.  Such was my grape/olive revelation.  I desire fast; God demands slow.

As I contemplate this imagery and the truthfulness that lies within it, I’m becoming more resolved to life as an olive: to life in the slow but steady lane.  After all, when I think of the usefulness of olive oil in the Bible, how can I contend with its symbolism?  It was measured out with flour for the making of bread, mixed in with grain for the presenting of an offering, and meted over chosen heads for the anointing of kings.  And where did Jesus spend His last night on earth?  At the foot of the Mount of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane, whose name means “oil press”.  Surely, with such comparisons as these, I can embrace the parallelism between my life and the life of an olive.

So, here is how I’ll allow the press to have its way with me.  I’ll take the ideas I have for a book and little by little, drop by drop, allow them to spill out here.  Perhaps in measuring them out on a weekly (I hope) basis, I’ll not only move one step closer to fulfilling my goal, but I’ll permit the press to work for me and not just on me.  Maybe, just maybe, if I submit to its force, something of use will emerge from my fingers; something that can be poured out as an offering and poured over as an anointing.

With this, then, as the preamble for the book I hope to compile, let me now pour out the product of the first press:  the title and the synopsis.

The Synopsis of The Law of Opposites

Though the fortitude to write a book is a recent emergence, the foundation for a book was laid years ago.  Twelve-ish years ago, to be semi-exact.  That’s when I was sitting in my Sunday school class and the topic of discussion was the presence of trials and sorrows in our lives.  After a time of sharing thoughts, I offered my illustration of why I believed God allowed suffering.  I shared the analogy of a tree being planted; the taller the desired height, the deeper the required hole.  If one wanted the glorious shade of a prolific tree, then one would have to ensure an appropriate sized hole was dug.  As we apply this analogy to our lives, then we are the tree, our height is our growth toward God and our depth is our being rooted in God.  But, in order for our roots to push down, a hole needs to be dug…which means things need to be broken up and hauled away.  This is not a painless process and it’s at this point that many a believer asks, “Why, Lord?  Why the difficulties?  Why the struggles?  Why the loss?”  But if we can just remember the picture of the tree, then we’ll remember the purpose of the dig:  for a deeper hole, for a stronger root system, for a taller trunk, for broader branches.  If we want to rise to grow to great heights, then we must first succumb to the digging of great depths.

 It was upon the pondering of this analogy that the idea for The Law of Opposites emerged.  The deeper the hole, the taller the tree; the two moved proportionally opposite to one another.  If one wants to know how deep the roots of a tree go, then look at the height of its branches; as far as one stretches upward so the other reaches downward.  Isn’t that just like God to work on (and from) both ends at the same time?  Isn’t it in His nature to push and to pull, to stand tall and to bow low, to give and to take?  I think so, and this book is a reflection of that very idea.  That, whether by looking at what is around us, within us, or above us, we are created by and made to worship a God who governs, and dwells within, The Law of Opposites.  

In the days ahead, I will elaborate upon God’s creation of, and manifestation in, the realm of opposites.  When we take a closer look at nature (laws), mankind (logic), and God (Logos), we see that the law of opposites is evident in each one.  It holds true that what God created, He inhabits.  So, should the “doctrine of opposites” surface when we look at the work of His hands and the writing of His word, we would be wise to acknowledge that our God, Jehovah God, resides within the laws He created…and one of those is the Law of Opposites.


Please come back next week for the second pressing…the presence of opposites in Creation.

Chapter Two: God’s Nature in Nature

Chapter Two

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever, Amen!”   Romans 11:36

Having created the heavens and the earth, and all that dwelt within and upon them, God initiated the first…and still continuing…game of ‘Hide and Go Seek’.  I’m not talking about the incident in the garden with Adam and Eve, though that did employ both components of hiding and seeking (the cause of which we will examine later).  No, I’m referring to the hiding of God’s truths about His nature in the earth’s nature. To ensure mankind would seek Him, He left him with two things:  a questioning mind and a quarry of clues.  Surely, between the two, man would uncover the Creator of all that was, and is, and is to come; surely he would find, stretched between the beginning and the ending, the One who is the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and the Omega. (Revelation 1:8)

So God waited, and He watched, and He wooed; so man pondered, and he prodded, and he ‘pothesized.   What causes the changing of the seasons?  What makes the tides come in and go out?  What holds the planets in orbit?  What causes the formation of rainbows?   Yes, God gave man a questioning mind so that, through asking, He could show up and show out that man might grow up and grow out.  Just where did God place the answers to man’s questions?  He buried them in the earth’s crust and He tucked them into the heaven’s atmosphere and He scattered them across the ocean waves, the sound waves, and the light waves.

Over the years, men have been credited with discovering the clues God embedded in His creation.  Men whose names we recognize like Copernicus, Galilei, and Newton; and men whose names (unless we’re science geeks…or amateur writers who use Google) we don’t recognize like Aristarchus, Shen Kuo, and Theodoric of Freiberg.  Since the beginning of time, man has interacted with the world God created and he has sought to find the answers for the questions that explode like split atoms in his mind.  Though discoveries tend to bear the name of the ones who identified them, it is God who created and concealed them; man simply uncovered them.  Men like Sir Francis Bacon and George Washington Carver acknowledged that their discoveries came from God.  We know because their insights still waft through time and fall upon our inquisitive hearts.

“A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back.” –Sir Francis Bacon

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” –George Washington Carver

“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” –George Washington Carver

So, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that Newton’s laws of motion are actually Elohim’s laws of movement, and Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion originated as El Shaddai’s laws of celestial cohesion.

It is within this preface and upon this premise that the Law of Opposites continues to unfold.  Having created a world defined by opposites, God crammed it with attributes comprised of opposites.  Though they are found within the entire field of science, their existence is summarized in this one statement, in this one law:  for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In textbooks, this is known as Newton’s third law of motion; in Creation’s context, it is known as God’s first law of nature, and its evidence is everywhere.

When we interact with magnets, we learn of their push and their pull: of their polar opposites.  When we look at electricity, the light switch of revelation turns on as we note the presence of electrons and protons, the recognition of negative charges and positive charges.  And what about the buoyancy principle?  According to Archimedes, “the force acting on, or buoying, a submerged or partially submerged object equals the weight of the liquid that the object displaces.”  Here we see that force is calculated by the contrast that occurs when two objects have an opposite impact upon each other; one displaces while the other holds places!

Along with the laws of nature evident within our scientific world, there are also the laws of science evident within our natural world.  For example, when studying rocks and minerals we note their texture and their density.  Are they rough or smooth; are they hard or soft? We find temperatures at which liquids freeze and liquids boil and we manipulate items as they change from a solid, to a liquid, to a gas.  With every principle and with every law there lies at its core not only the grain of truth but the God of Truth.  That which is tested examines its contents; that which is proven exalts its Creator.

And, when curiosity evolves into questions and when questioning erupts into quarrying, the game of hide and seek begins…and continues…as theories emerge and principles equate and laws establish and God expounds:  and the created beholds its Creator.  What man mistook for intellect, God meant for insight; what science mislabeled as reasonable, God not only marked but manifested as revelation, for “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.”  Within the realization of every scientific “discovery” lies the reality of the God who “hid” it.  In magnetism, poles with opposing forces work on objects to pull in and to push out; through magnetism, we uncover the attribute of God’s holiness: He pushes away sin and pulls in righteousness.  Then, there is the presence of magnetic fields which surround magnets.  Does God not have such a force around Him that also attracts and deflects?  While God desires that all men are drawn to Him through His Son (I Timothy 2:4), Jesus stated that many would push away from His teachings (John 6:66).

Through Andre-Marie Ampere’s curiosity, God revealed the relationship between magnetism and electricity.  Ampere found that magnetic fields have moving particles and that this movement, or current, can produce electricity.  Where there is no movement, there is no attraction.  Read that again.  Where there is no movement, there is no attraction.  Need I charge your Biblical worldview battery here, or do you already feel the force of that magnetic field?  We know we serve a living, moving, current-flowing God whose one intent is to draw all men to Him, but do we also realize that for Him to draw, we need to move?  Do we realize that our attraction to God will wane with the decrease or absence of His current, of His Spirit, flowing through us?  Science revealed it…God inhabits it.  And, as being made in the image of God, we also display the attributes of our Father.  But, lacking His holiness, we can use our magnetism, our “force fields”, to influence others positively or negatively.  We can pull them in that they too may learn about the God who first pulled us, or we can push them away and miss the connection…and increased current…God made available to us.

And what about our buoyancy principle?  Just how do we amass God’s presence in this?  (See the pun…oh, I love it when these float up!)  As Archimedes soaked in his tub, God’s truth rose to the surface.  Archimedes sat down and the water rose up; Archimedes rose up and the water sat down.  To keep from having to actually explain the law of displacement any further, for fear that I would have to plunge into waters deeper than any tub could hold…or my mind could contain, let me plug the drain right here:  that which is displaced can be measured by that which it replaced.  To relate this to God’s nature, we would say that which God removes can be measured by that which God replaces. In Joel 2:25, God introduces the law of displacement:  “The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.”  Here we see God’s restorative nature as He promises to replace that which He removed.  When it feels like our losses are greater than our gains, we cling to the God who holds us up…the God who keeps us afloat in shallow tubs and in high seas.  (I fear I’ve held my breath too long pondering over the simplification of this principle and, as such, am now experiencing the cranial bends.   Therefore, if my accuracy has been displaced as my analogy submerged, please forgive me and seek the truth yourself as you soak in your own thoughts…or tub.)

While these are but a sampling of examples, I believe them to be accurately depictive of God’s created nature and of His revealed nature; I believe God’s creations bear not only His fingerprints but His DNA as well. Within the world that God created, He not only left visible signs of His omniscience but He also left invisible signs of His omnipotence and of His omnipresence; God inhabits the works of His hands and reveals Himself through its principles, its laws, and its truths.  And, when He set things in order and then in motion, He established the first law of nature:  for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. God is the God of opposites.  It was manifested when He separated light from dark, the heavens above from the earth below, the waters from the land, and when He created mankind:  male and female He created them.  And the evidence of opposites is apparent not only in the creation of the world but also in the sustaining of world for the law of opposites courses through the very laws through which God holds all things together.  The law of opposites pulses through creation and is as palpable as a heartbeat detected by a doctor’s stethoscope; it is the heartbeat of God:  for every rhythm, there is an equal and opposite rhythm…for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things…to God be the glory forever!  Amen.

newtons 3rd law cartoon

Next week…the law of opposites revealed first in heaven…and then in the garden.