Ever felt pressed? Like you are being pushed, prodded and pulled in every direction. Ever felt under pressure? Like everyone and everything is drawing and draining from you. Like the whole world wants something from you?
I have to admit mothering, teaching, working and wife-ing during this lockdown has had its moments. Moments of pressing. Moments where I think, “If one more person, asks me for one more thing, I might just scream!” Just me? Ok.
At the end of each day I sit down and try to reflect on the day. I guess that I am very much aware that we are in unprecedented times. This is a season that will be what these generations, living through it, are defined by. Our great grandchildren and our great, great grandchildren are going to read about it in history books. I am all too aware that I don’t want to see this time come and go without really tapping into the treasure that God wants to uncover for us.
This time is a gift.
I don’t believe that God necessarily orchestrates these seasons but I 100% believe that He brings His agenda to them.
I have often wondered if God is giving us this opportunity of disconnecting, that we might reconnect with the important things. With Him.
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (CSB)
I wonder if God is utilising this season as part of His redemptive plan for each one of us. Could it be that He will use it to draw us nearer, highlight our need for redemption, and restore us to all He intended us to be.
The Bible speaks a lot about three particular things; grain, new wine and fresh oil. Each one representing a blessing from God of some kind. A strengthening of heart, the joy of life, an anointing poured out. Each one of these items also points toward a pressing or a crushing of some kind in order to obtain that blessing. Perhaps too, these items are a picture of Christ’s crushing in order to bring to us his greatest blessing – the gift of redemption.
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)
The thing about pressing is that it isn’t easy. It’s not comfortable. It requires pushing through barriers and pain. It will demand an element of discipline and commitment from you.
But the thing about the grain, the wine and the oil is that the gold only comes because they are pressed.
I wonder if God is calling each of us to press in in this season of pressing. Press in to all He is drawing us to. Press in to His leading and learning. Press in to His voice and His whisper. Press in to His word and His ways. Press in through worship and song. Press in even in the pressing, that the result might be grain, new wine and fresh oil.
HOW DO I PRESS IN?
START EACH DAY BY SETTING YOUR DIRECTION.
I don’t know how many of you would agree with me when I say that every good birthday party growing up had questionable games – I mean, Pin The Tail On The Donkey???? You put a blindfold on a 5 year old, spin them around so they become disoriented and then put a sharp object in their hand and let them go for it????? Really though, after the child is spun around – the adult sets their direction. They point them toward the donkey. Unless we set their direction they aren’t going to make it anywhere near the target.
Unless you set your direction, you are always going to be walking away from where you intended to be.
If you want to take steps toward where God intends you to be – you need to set your direction.
Set your direction toward God every day. It doesn’t need to be huge or long.
HERE’S A TIP:
Make the first 15 minutes of your day about God. Don’t roll over, pick up your phone and start scrolling. Instead, roll over, pick up the Word and start reading.
Here is one idea:
Your first 15 minutes of every day could look like this:
5 MINS IN THE WORD
5 MINS of PRAYER
5 MINS of WORSHIP
Make your first appointment of the day an appointment with God. Set a time and a place and make sure you are there!
BE AWAKE TO GOD IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY. DEVELOP AN AWARENESS OF HIS MOVEMENTS.
I believe all too often we don’t feel like God is near. Not because He isn’t but because He is but we haven’t noticed. We walk about our day oblivious to how He is speaking and moving. The greatest way we can press in to Him is to simply invite Him into every detail.
Develop a habit of speaking to Him throughout your day. Pray before you go into a meeting, before you send that email, before you pick up your phone, before you begin homeschooling your children.
Whenever we are out for a drive I kind of zone out. I am not very good at keeping myself aware of what is going on around me. It drives Steve crazy! He is totally different to me. He is always on the lookout for what interesting thing might be happening along our path. He is constantly saying, “LOOK, aw you missed it, oh my goodness, did you see that, no you missed it”.
I have, time and time again, missed what could have been special or significant moments because I have not been aware of anything outside of my immediate surroundings.
We need to ask God for an awareness of the moments in our day that could become special and significant. Ask for an awareness of His movements so you don’t miss what God might be trying to do in you.
INVITE THE SUPERNATURAL TO YOUR NATURAL.
I believe that any life change at the core of our being only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. He is our comforter, our guide and our intercessor. It is the Holy Spirit that brings revelation and opens our eyes to God at work.
The truth of it is we need more than just what comes naturally if we are going to get through this season with gold. We need the supernatural. We need Holy Spirit power.
If you speak in tongues can I encourage you to, every day, speak in your heavenly language. Tongues bypasses our brain, speaks spirit to spirit and it edifies our spirit. If you want to grow the things of the spirit in you, you need to exercise the gift of tongues.
Pressing in is about doing all that you can to draw near to God. It means trading natural, earthly things, for supernatural, heavenly things. It means going more regularly into that ‘secret place’ and letting refinement take place.
It means digging wells, new wells, deeper wells. That we might discover wells of living water, mines full of gold, fields overflowing with grain, vineyards bursting with new wine and groves brimming with fresh oil.
Now, stay at home and live like you believe it.