Taking The Pressure Off
He [Gideon] said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house.” But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6:15-16
Pressure. Ever felt it? In sports, we marvel at those who can step up amidst the pressure and sink the winning putt, kick the winning field goal, or make the winning free throws.
I recently saw the movie The King’s Speech. King George (B, B, B, Bertie) definitely felt the pressure as he stood to overcome his stammering and deliver the most important speech of his life.
Have you ever felt great pressure to try to live the Christian life? Have you ever felt great pressure to be the person God wants you to be? Have you ever felt great pressure to knock one out of the park for Jesus as you teach or preach or witness or sing or serve in His name?
Have you ever wilted under the pressure, and then beat yourself up for failing?
In Judges 6, God calls Gideon to deliver Israel from the hand of Midian and their vast armies. Gideon is stunned. He responds with incredulity – “There is no way I can do this, Lord! I am a nothing nobody from a family of nothing nobodies. I don’t have what it takes to deliver Israel. I can’t make the putt, kick the field goal, sink the free throws or deliver the speech. I am not up to the task and can’t take the pressure.” And God says, “I know YOU can’t, but I will be with you and will enable you.”
The Bible tells us in Judges 6:34 that “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon.” Literally, it says that God clothed Himself with Gideon. He wore Gideon like a suit, and delivered Israel through him. God did it through him. The results were not dependent on Gideon, they were dependent on God. You see, the pressure is gone when God shows up and does it through us.
A SUIT OF CLOTHES FOR GOD TO WEAR
Just as God clothed Himself with Gideon, He wants to clothe Himself with you. God wants to do amazing and miraculous things THROUGH you! The best ability is simple availability. As Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Perhaps you are trying so hard to do this, that and the other, thinking it all depends on you. Perhaps you are starting to crack under the pressure of trying to be the perfect spouse, the perfect parent, the perfect boss, the perfect employee, the perfect pastor or deacon. A tell tale sign that YOU are trying to do it on your own is anger, frustration and irritability. Do you see those things leaking out of your life with increasing frequency and velocity? Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Listen, your only real job is to present yourself to the Lord as an empty vessel for Him to fill. You don’t have to do it all yourself. He will do it through you, if you let Him.
Dear God, I have been trying so hard, when I really just need to be trusting. I don’t have what it takes to do what You want me to do. So, I humbly ask You to wear me today like a suit of clothes. I surrender to You and claim the truth that the pressure is off and the power is on. Today is going to be a great day of victory as You, Lord Jesus, live your life through me. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.