DayBreaks for 7/08/16 – The Effects of Pressure
Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:
Pressure. It’s everywhere, even though we don’t think about it all the time. There’s atmospheric pressure, the weight of the earth’s atmosphere that presses down upon us all at sea level with the same force: 14.7 pounds per square inch. You don’t feel it, do you? There’s pressure in the water lines that bring water into your home, there’s pressure in the lines that run to the brakes on your car, in the hoses that carry water from your radiator to your engine. There’s pressure when you dive into the water and you feel it as you go deeper, pressing down on your eardrums.
Then there’s the other kind of pressure: the kind that others and we, put on ourselves. It’s pressure to perform, pressure to reform, pressure to conform. Some of it comes from bosses, teachers, parents, even kids – who are trying to pressure us into conforming into what they want done or what they want us to be like. Sadly, it happens in marriages, too – we pressure our spouses to be more like we want them to be.
I believe it was Hudson Taylor who reflected on the effects of life’s pressures on our relationship with God when he observed: “It doesn’t matter how great the pressure is. What really matters is where the pressure lies – whether it comes between you and God or presses you nearer His heart.”
You are under pressure today. It might be from any of a thousand different sources or people. What is it doing to you? The pressure to be noticed and get the promotion to the next run of the ladder can come between you and God – it can become an idol that you are pursuing rather than more time with Him and His Word and His people. The pressure to change – to lose weight, to talk more intelligently, to have cosmetic surgery – those things can fill our minds so much that we have squeezed God out of our hearts and minds. Or, as Mr. Taylor suggested, those pressures can drive us closer to His heart and the things His heart desires for us. We need to test what we’re being pressured about and see if it is producing good fruit in our lives by forcing us to re-calibrate the things we’re chasing after to see if they are Godly or things of the world.
The pressures of this world will die when we do. God won’t. Don’t let something temporary separate you from Something eternal.
PRAYER: Every day, Lord, we carry about pressures within and upon us. Help us to carry nothing but our cross for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.