I have heard men preach against different kinds of pressure whether it be peer pressure or sin pressure or the pressure of man and while all of these can have adverse effects on adults and children alike pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s what I’m talking about:
1. Pressure to do God’s will – Each and every child of God should have a burning desire to do God’s will no matter what that means in any other area of our life. It may cause us pressure in other areas of life (family, work, schoole, etc.) but the will of God must be our highest priority in every area and we should feel the constant pressure to keep doing His will. The Bible speaks of having your conscience seared in such a way that you no longer feel the convicting hand of God on your life and the pressure is gone. Would to God it never be said of us that we gave in to the pressures of man over the conviction of God.
2. Pressure to follow Godly leaders – As children we understood this so well. A leader was to be respected, obeyed and followed. No matter how difficult the task or illogical the request, the leader was in charge. We followed not because we understood but rather because we did not want to disappoint our leader and on a greater scale because we did not want to disappoint God. Now as mature adults this reasoning is so foreign to most people. As early as the pre-teen years we are encouraging our youth to challenge authority, buck the system and shy away from the pressure as much as possible. When the going gets tough, the weak criticize. Any amount of requirements, guidelines or rules laid down by an authority figure are no longer seen as tools to make us better but rather as clubs with which to beat us over the head and oppress us. May we all long for Godly leaders who pressure us to become more than we ever thought we could be.
3. Pressure to reach the lost – We have become so comfortable hearing self-help talks instead of convicting sermons. We have traded the Great Commission for gratifying comfort. When was the last time you felt the overwhelming pressure to reach a lost world on their way to a devil’s hell. Our pastor recently preached a message on the doctrine of hell and I was amazed at how many people who had attended good churches for years had never heard someone preach a message on hell. We should feel a constant pressure on our lives to reach the lost, their eternity depends on it!
Of course there are many other areas where pressure should be seen as a good thing and not as a negative force created to cast us down and keep us oppressed but my prayer is that these few thoughts would remind us to allow pressure in our lives. Next time you feel the weight of conviction or the burden of compassion or the strain of consecration don’t run and hide but rather mount up and stand. Strength does not come to those who pick up the light weights but rather to those who struggle with more than they think they can bear but discover that they can!