Pressure

That we don’t just explode is amazing. It also astonishing that we do not implode.
We all live with tremendous pressure in us and on us.

  • These spaces suits our souls wear—these human bodies—have to exert pressure from inside to counter the weight of the atmosphere. Our hearts create blood pressure and our lungs produce pulmonary pressures that keep the brain going. Inside us also are the forces of the feelings and fears, affections and ambitions that pressure our souls.
  • From outside of us there is more than the atmosphere pressing down. The culture pressures us to compare and perhaps even to conform. Debts to complete strangers and responsibilities to those we love or work with or work for, press upon without letup. Time itself is like gravity on steroids pressing us to either take a nap or get busy.
  • The world we live in is filled with pressure: terrorism, wicked countries with nuclear weapons, chaos in the city streets and random crime in the towns and in the country. The weather gets stranger every year and they tell us we are past due for the “Big One” earthquake.
    Well, that’s enough of that!

There is a solid foundation of rock beneath the squishy, porous pressure pressing down on us.
Beneath the fear of what might happen, we have the solace of what happened:

  • Jesus has come to earth, bearing the Good News that God loves us and demonstrating the strength to push back against the pressures of life and of this world.
  • Jesus has come to us, bearing forgiveness for our sins and a precious infilling of His Spirit. He us our Rock, our security, and our counter-pressure, giving us inner strength that is more than a match for the forces pressing up on us from within.
  • Jesus makes all the difference for us. He sends an umbrella of angels to cover us, an army of them to watch fore and aft.

Deep inside us Jesus is like the core of the earth:

  • heated white hot with love, ever moving yet solid,
  • shaking anything that we think might shake us, and
  • boiling through the surface like a mountain on fire when it seems the atmosphere itself will press us into the earth.

With His personal strength he pushes back against the pressures we face from outside.

With His pulsing heart he calms our fears and comforts our minds, reminding us that He has us. That makes us strong enough to press through the pressure no matter where it comes from our how strong it is.

We will neither explode or implode.

Scriptures:
Psalm 55 BCP
Hear my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my petition. Listen to me and answer me; I have no peace, because of my cares. I am shaken by the noise of the enemy and by the pressure of the wicked; For they have cast an evil spell upon me and are set against me in fury. My heart quakes within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come over me, and horror overwhelms me. And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee to a far-off place and make my lodging in the wilderness. I would hasten to escape from the stormy wind and tempest. …But I will call upon God, and the Lord will deliver me. In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament, and he will hear my voice. He will bring me safely back from the battle waged against me; for there are many who fight me. God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and bring them down; they never change; they do not fear God. … Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous stumble. For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful down to the pit of destruction, O God. They shall not live out half their days, but I will put my trust in you.
Ephesians 6:10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.
Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Romans 8:28-29 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11 KJV
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
Isaiah 59:19 KJV
So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am strong in You today. The forces pressing down on me are great, but Your power pressing up in me is greater. You said You had overcome the world and it is still the truth. Like an old-fashioned big game hunter in a photograph, You have defeated the “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” and Your foot is still on him. In Your name I will walk in victory today. I will do the things You have called me to do and be the person You have called me to be. I will be “strong in the Lord and in the power of Your Might!” Amen and Amen.

Song:
The Battle Belongs to the Lord
Words and Music: Jamie Owens-Collins

In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord!
No weapon that’s formed against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord!

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood.
The battle belongs to the Lord!
He’s raised up a standard, the power of His blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord!

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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