Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Pressured - Martin Wiles

"Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” 1 Samuel 24:4 NLT

Pressure surrounded him, but he never gave in.

Jeff and I began working together in a metal fabrication plant not long after we both had graduated from high school. He worked in the quality control department while I worked in the warehouse. But Jeff’s office was smack in the middle of the warehouse I worked in.

Jeff’s job involved inspecting each part that came into the plant … parts that workers would use to assemble various engineering projects … parts that engineers would then ship to other plants where they would be used for other purposes. Jeff felt the pressure of making sure the parts were up to par and matched manufacturing specs.

But Jeff faced other pressures, too. Almost everyone he interacted with was chained by some addictive substance. We were living through two decades where such substances were almost the norm. Jeff never gave in to the pressure to conform. Many of these same folks cheated on wives, had sex before marriage, cursed, told dirty jokes. You name it, someone whom Jeff and I worked with probably did it. Not Jeff.

In spite of the work pressure and the other pressures that surrounded Jeff, he never caved in. I can’t say the same.

Jeff imitated David. Having been secretly anointed as the next king, David ran from the current king who was jealous of David’s military conquests. As David and his men hid in a cave, King Saul entered to relieve himself. David’s men pressured him to kill the king. God had served the king up on a silver platter for David. But David refused to give in to their pressure.

What pressures us may be neutral—neither good nor bad. This makes situations even more complicated. When such circumstances occur, timing comes into play. David knew God willed for him to take the kingship, but this wasn’t the right time. So, he refrained from killing the king and waited on God to take care of the rebellious ruler. Eventually, God did.

Through prayer and the study of God’s Word, we can not only determine God’s will but we can also figure the timing of God’s plan. Others, although unintentionally, may not give us good advice.

If the pressure involves actions or attitudes that violate God’s principles, we don’t have to pray about our response or look to God’s Word for guidance. Our answer should be the same as my friend’s when he was pressured by those who invited him into their ungodly ways: “No.” God can also give us the strength to say that.

When pressure comes—from whatever source—look to God for direction and courage.

Prayer: Father, help us to stand firm when we are pressured to disobey You.

Tweetable: How are you facing your pressures? 

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