Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion is “to every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and directed to contrary parts.” It is commonly described as “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I am not a scientist or physicist and do not claim to be yet I see this in operation daily both physically and spiritually. To explain the third law of motion simply – whatever presses another is as much pressed by the other. For example, if I hold a stone or rock in my hand pressing it with my finger, my finger is also pressed by the object. It is counter pressure. It is this law of motion that can also be applied to our spiritual life. As we press into God – He will not relent or move but presses back.
Counter pressure is to use pressure in the opposite direction. It is how one applies pressure in the opposite or opposing direction. If a wound is bleeding, it is recommended to apply pressure to it which should cause the blood to clot and stop the flow. We must learn to apply counter pressure in our life in order to exhibit change. When pressed by circumstances or conditions rather than giving up, believers must learn to press in. Press in to our Bible, press in to our prayer closet, press into His Presence, press into the Spirit – the church must learn to press again.
“I press to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” It is not easy to go against the flow. The current of society is hard to overcome to live in a place of totally trusting the Lord and living for His Purpose. You will not achieve such a thing in giving up but rather pressing in. We come to Christ with certain expectations and once any kind of hardship or pressure is encountered – we give up on perfection and decide to give in to maintain our comfort. We accept what life hands us rather than pushing back on compromise to receive the promise. God gave His Only Son for me so I could have His Perfect Plan. By grace I am saved through faith with a promise. There is purpose hidden in my life that must be expressed by pressure. It has to make its way past my emotions, feelings, pain and exhaustion to be birthed in my life. The birth process is a response to pressure. As the baby moves from the womb to the world, the mother labors and yes, there is pain but more so there is pressure. Right before her travail is over, she feels the need to push as hard as she can. It is innate. It is primal. It is built in her DNA to continue to push until she hears the baby’s first cry.
I am a firm believer in natural childbirth. I do not think pregnancy is a sickness. Delivering five babies was not fun, and yes, it hurt very much. I would do it all over again to have these precious and wonderful people in my life. What I discovered through my different experiences is that the less intervention the more effective the process. The three times I was able to deliver outside the hospital with little to no intervention, the more quickly the baby came. It was when I diluted those natural hormones with saline IVs and pain medication that my body slowed down. Why would I do such a thing? Afraid that my body could not do what it was created to do maybe and obviously looking to avoid pain, of course. What I have found after successfully delivering healthy babies is that when I did not accept outside intervention, I was able to press and push more effectively.
Could it be that in our avoidance of pain and discomfort, the Body of Christ, His Church has forgotten how to press through? We do not like to wait or be inconvenienced so we skip the steps in the process seeing them as unnecessary. God has ordered each step of our life. It is filled with blessing, provision and purpose that will ultimately lead to fulfillment. If a baby is born on the first push, the mother’s body has no time to prepare the way and open to release her child. What would happen? The mother would be harmed. The baby would not go through the process needed to press all the fluid from its lungs. There is purpose in our pressure today. We must learn to press back.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (NLT) We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5) The hope given to us by Jesus Christ never ever leads to disappointment. To believe this one truth will allow you to press through. Disbelief and doubt will keep us from exerting energy and investing time into pressing through and overcoming. We would rather work for now than wait until then. We have been filled with the Light of His Love and it is driving away the darkness giving way to fulfillment of purpose as His Promises are revealed to us and desire rises up to know Him more. To get that light out of us, there is tremendous pressure. What did you think your flesh would die without a fight? You have fed and nurtured it your whole life. What makes us think that when we attempt to live for Jesus and crucify our flesh that it wasn’t going to fight back? We are going to experience hardship as Christians. (PERIOD) The days of blab-it-and-grab-it ministry has proven false. Yes, the Lord wants to prosper your life. It begins with your soul. We must be broken to expose the light hidden inside our soul and connect with forever. We must learn to press again.
Matthew 9:17 (NLT) “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
As the church cries out for Jesus to come closer and for revival to break out, it is important to note that there is an equal and opposite reaction created by pressing God for more of Him. You cannot move closer to the Lord without yielding your way, giving up your ideals and pressing into Him. We ask for more of Jesus but fail to make room so when brokenness comes it is perplexing. If you want more of Jesus, it will always require less of me. He must increase, I must decrease. (John 30:30) New wine will not work in old wineskins. The response of the Lord as we cry out for more of Him is to prepare for the outpouring. Pressure. There will be pressure. What is our response to that pressure? Do we look for relief or choose to respond?
Hosea 6:1-3 (NLT) “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”
There are some women who endure one pregnancy and go through one birth and decide that is enough for them. The pain is too great so they decide not to go through with it again. Or maybe there were complications throughout culminating in a traumatic birth or early delivery. We often tease our youngest that if she had been the first, she would have been the last. Endless nights of colic almost did this mama in. We pressed through. As we walk through life with Jesus, we must take the time to know His Word (Psalm 119:143) and His Way. The narrow road is filled with heartbreak and brokenness but not disappointment or despair. For every curse there is a blessing. For every problem there is a solution. For every sin there is a Savior. For every failure there is grace. You cannot achieve such things if you do not trust the Lord enough to keep pressing through the pain to find the healer. You must apply the counter pressure of praise when perplexed by circumstances and adverse conditions. It only works if we press on to the perfection we are called to. Jesus is perfect. God’s Way is flawless. The giving comes from us. We must know that in calling on His Name and crying out for change – it is to invite pressure into our life. Revival will come when we get out of the way so when we ask for it – understand you will be moved by it. Such movement causes discomfort and it is inconvenient so we press into the Lord so in our weakness, He becomes our strength.
Proverbs 24:10 (NLT) If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
If our heart’s desire is truly Jesus Christ, we must expect pressure in our life. Pressure to change. Pressure to move. Pressure that keeps us from settling for the lesser things and compromising for now rather than enduring to obtain forever. We will settle for less if allowed the convenience. God is pressing us today because we are asking for more of Him. His Automatic Response to our cries is to give us that which we ask for. If in fact we are crying out for revival or Christ’s eminent return, then we can expect lots and lots of pressure. It is time to press back. Get in the Word. Close the door to your prayer closet. Find your way into His Presence again. Jesus is all I need to endure the pressures of life. I must learn to press in. As I am pressed, He is released in my life. He never grows weak and weary. The Lord wants to be my refuge and strength – I must learn to keep pressing.
Psalm18:1 (NLT) I love you, Lord; you are my strength.