A stress-induced environment.
Pressure from all sides.
If you’re experiencing restlessness and a bit of anxiety from reading these words, I feel you! But don’t let that stop you from reading on!
We’ve all experienced pressure that resulted in anxious living. As we step further in 2023, we are still adjusting to a world that got wrecked by covid in a colossal way. What we knew before the pandemic vastly differs from how we walk through everyday life. In fact, you could be reeling from the devastating pressure covid had on you mentally, emotionally, and relationally.
Despite this reality, what if I told you there is a solution to the fallout effects of covid? As you attempt to move forward past the fatigue and stress from the demands of life, there is a right way to press on. What could it be?
If you have an adverse reaction or are bewildered, let me explain: God beckons you to come to Him in ALL THINGS. Whether you are experiencing an all-time low, suffering from a lack of motivation, or stressed out to the max, His invitation is still available. God loves you, and His arms are open wide, no matter what is happening within you or coming against you; He is your ever-present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).
The crazy part of it all is this – You could be in a place where God is simply waiting for you to press into more of Him. This unwavering, unadulterated, Godly resolve is what pressing in is all about. Actually, there are certain situations you are facing that the only solution can be through a determined, focused pursuit of His presence.
In Mark 5:24-341 we come across a story of a woman who has been bleeding internally for 12 years. She saw several doctors, but they could not find a solution. Instead of healing her, she became worse and suffered greatly. The constant bleeding made her unclean, so she was isolated and ostracized from society. She had spent all her money. No one could help, and nothing seemed to work. This woman exhausted all of her possible options.
As she tries to get through the daily grind, this woman hears a commotion in the crowd. Jesus, the one who has been healing others of their infirmities, is walking by. He has an appointment with one of the synagogue rulers to heal her daughter, so Jesus is on his way. But there is a problem:
“A large crowd followed and pressed around him.” – Mark 5:24
Another obstacle in the way! Imagine the thoughts in her mind: “How am I supposed to make my way through these people without touching them?2 What if Jesus is too busy for me? What if He doesn’t want to heal me?”
This type of thinking is where you might be right now – where the crowd pressing against the woman are the pressures pushing against you. It can seem impossible for God to come through for you in your circumstances. The exhaustion, the stress – it can feel like there is no hope. But like the woman, Jesus is right there and is always willing to meet you.
While the circumstance pressed in on the woman, she pressed into God. This was her opportunity, her last ditch effort. She put all the chips on the table and went through that crowd, thinking, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” As the woman reached out and touched Jesus’ garment, the bleeding immediately stopped, and she was freed from her suffering (Mark 5:28-29).
If the woman only watched Jesus pass by in the distance and never pressed in, we would never hear of her incredible story in the Bible today. It was her faith, through the action of stepping out, that healed her. (Mark 5:34)
I hope that the determination and faith of this woman is an encouragement for the breakthrough you currently need. It’s time to ask, seek, and knock for that door to be answered for you! (Matthew 7:7) But will you pursue God at all costs? You are not meant to sit on the sidelines and continue feeling pain and distress. Will you press into Him and reach out for what you need?
Here’s how you press in: Spend quality time with the Lord. That’s it! There are many ways you can do that, such as:
- Biblical fasting (our church is currently on a fast, join us!)
- Undistracted prayer
- Scripture readings and devotionals
- Journaling to God
- Worshipping on your own (you can use YouTube if you can’t play an instrument)
The key is to be intentional and consistent in seeking the Lord. The Holy Spirit will reveal what He has for you as you dedicate this time to keep reaching for Him. Remember, God WANTS you to bring your requests, burdens, and pain to Him – nothing is too hard for God!
I am praying that your pursuit will lead to lasting fruit! May you experience the richness of dwelling in His presence as you press in like never before.
Blessings in Jesus’ Name,
Pastor Nathan D. Cherney
- We also hear of this story in Luke 8:42-48
- You cannot touch people when you are considered ‘unclean’ (Leviticus 5:3)