“The Lord is my strength;
He will make my feet like a deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.” – Habakkuk 3:19
This morning, the Lord reminded me of a situation where I was feeling a lot of “pressure” about something I would have to do. I was overwhelmed, underqualified, and intimidated, yet there I was, facing this situation that was before me. Feeling that horrible pressure to strive and be perfect.
As I was talking with the Lord about it, spilling it all to Him I heard very clearly,
“It’s no pressure… no pressure.”
I remember in that moment thinking, “Lord, what do You mean, exactly? Really? No pressure? None?” — for some reason I could hardly wrap my brain around that, almost like I had felt that it being “no pressure” was too relaxed, too much of a care-free way to think of the situation. As if over-caring about it in a non-healthy way was a good thing, a commendable thing.
But then the truth of what “pressure” in regards to that situation meant started to sink in.
“Wow, Lord, that’s true, it’s literally no pressure in this situation. There is no pressure to be or do anything out of my own capability or strength at all. It needs to be ‘no pressure’. You want it that way, don’t You? My striving doesn’t please You. My striving gets in the way of Your strength. I become useless when I allow this kind of pressure to cause me to strive – it all backfires when I don’t let go, if I don’t lean on You.”
the burden of physical or mental distress
the feeling of stressful urgency caused by the necessity of doing or achieving something, especially with limited time
strain, stress, tension, burden, load, weight, drain, care, hassle, force, muscle, obligate, oblige
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” – Luke 21:34
There is a different side of pressing that isn’t a bad thing. It’s the kind the Lord uses for good, for our growth. It’s the kind of pressure that we face while enduring trials. This kind of “pressing” is designed to shape us, to mature us, to teach us to endure as we depend on the strength of the Lord in faith. We couldn’t withstand these kinds of pressures if we didn’t depend on His strength and His peace to carry us.
This kind of pressure is defined as,
the pressure exerted in every direction by the weight of the atmosphere
trouble, adversity, difficulty
“You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” – James 1:3-6
What it really boils down to is this… what will I do with whatever kind of “pressure” I face?
Will I allow needless, unneccessary pressure to push me to strive and strain in my own strength, will I allow it to cause me to strive for perfection? Or will I let go?
And in trials, when I am pressed by pressure on all sides, will I allow that pressure to shape me and grow me as I endure it, will I choose to allow that kind of pressure to “press” me into the Lord, as I hand it all over to Him and let Him take all the burden away as He replaces the heaviness with His peace, His strength, and His joy.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” – Psalm 94:19
I’m learning that “letting go” of the pressure to strive for perfection may not be easy — but the Lord does make it very simple. He offers this to us…
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” – Isaiah 41:10
God doesn’t want my “perfection”. He wants my trust. ?