Thursday, December 4, 2008
We Choose What Will Pressure Us
We can choose what will pressure us. Whatever goes on inside of us mentally, spiritually, or emotionally to the greatest degree, is what pressures us. If a person is afraid of airplanes, but they know that in three days they have to make a flight to be at their grandmother's funeral, those thoughts become a pressure inside of them: a voice that is pushing, squeezing, tormenting.
If a woman is depressed and haggard from lack of sleep, and her baby is sick; waking her up for the fourth time that night... Those emotions become a pressure inside of her. A volcano of pressure and emotion. A time bomb of emotional stress ticking inside of her.
Well, maybe I am exaggerating, but we've all been there. Stuck in a situation we don't know how to find our way out of, but like Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, we hear a little voice inside of us saying "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!!!"
The pressure, the volcano feeling isn't entirely wrong- it is designed to make us do something- to do something to remedy our situation. The pressure is designed to make us take action. The trouble is that there are two types of pressure, and if we don't choose the right kind, we will end up with the other by default.
Our Heavenly Father is a gentleman. Yes, He is Almighty, but He is gentle- He doesn't force Himself on anyone. He gives every human being on earth the choice of whether we will believe in Him or not. The devil isn't like that. He doesn't wait to see if you will choose him, or if you believe in him. He is not a gentleman, and he is happy to take advantage of your ignorance. He is a thief, a liar, and he has nothing better to do than to come up with pressures for your life.
Now, being as we live in a fallen, temporal, material world, there will be pressures that come without much effort on anybody's part- it's the second law of thermodynamics- when you do nothing, it will still decay. Even an empty house will decay if left alone. What is orderly will become disorderly without intervention. And so, not everything that happens in the world is to be blamed on satan, but it still leaves us with the responsibility to choose which pressures we will allow in our lives. Good, or bad.
We take authority over the pressures that come, by creating a newer, stronger, higher pressure on the inside of us, and what pressures us to the greatest degree will be what comes out of us in abundance, and takes place in our lives. Maybe you grew up in an abusive, alcoholic home, and now you find yourself yelling at your children, even though you hate it. You are simply letting out the pressure that was built up in you all those years over your childhood. You need to choose a different pressure, you have to purposely change what is on the inside of you in abundance.
The bible calls that "renewing your mind". We do that by taking the word of God into our eyes, into our ears, into our hearts. But wait! I have to tell you, that going to church on Sunday is not enough to store that new pressure, that new information inside of you to so great a degree that it will come out of you in times of pressure- so that you can count on it to come to pass in your life. Your pastor cannot give you the whole counsel of God in one sermon- you need to have a relationship with it yourself.
After I was healed of my depression, I still felt continually plagued by depressed thoughts. Why? If I was well, and truly felt happy and satisfied, then why did I have those awful thoughts still pressuring, trying to get into my mind?
Well, for one thing, it was a habit. For 20 years I had been storing up negative, defeated thinking in my mind, my emotions, and my actions. It was like being addicted to bad thoughts! For another (as I mentioned above), satan is willing to take ahold of any area he is given. If I would have given in at that point, and yielded to those thoughts, I would have easily thought my way back into a serious depression.
BUT! I resisted those thoughts. I didn't know much how to do that, but Lydia told me to say "I reject that thought, in Jesus' name!" What does that mean? It means that I took hold of a power greater than the one I had- the power of the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. It also means that I took authority over those thoughts to cast them out of my mind, just as if it was Jesus doing it Himself. I could do that, because I had become a believer in Christ. I believed in Jesus as my Lord, and my Savior.
Did it work? Yes, but not the short answer. During that season in my life, I wasn't only engaged in rejecting thoughts, I was engaged in storing up new thoughts. I played worship music in the house all the time- storing up happy attitudes, and thankful phrases in my emotions. I read my bible EVERY morning, storing up thoughts and words of victory in my mind, and developing a new plan of action. I read stories like: the Lord bringing the Israelites out of bondage (the way he did for me), and I read the psalms, about how the Lord made David stronger than, and victorious over his enemies (like he did for me). I read about Jesus, about how he healed people, and delivered them from demons (just like He did me). So, when I was being pressured on the outside by depressing thoughts, a needy two year old, and attacks of satan all at the same time... It came to a head. It came to my volcano moment, but this time, there was something new on the inside of me to come out of my mouth, and come to pass in my life! I went for a walk out in the field that day (a run, really), and screamed at the top of my lungs: I AM NOT CRAZY!! I AM NOT CRAZY!!! I screamed it with everything that was in me, and in a culmination of all the pressure I had been experiencing, but also with all of the strength of God that I had been storing up inside of me through His word, and His Spirit.
And you know what? Those thoughts left me that very day. They never came back.
Praise God. We can choose which will be our greatest pressure, and it will be for our benefit.