Topic: Living Under Pressure
Text: 1 Samuel 13:5-14
Key Verse: but Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul answered, “The people were deserting me, and you had not come when you said you would; besides that, the Philistines are gathering at Michmash. – 1 Samuel 13:11
Pressure can produce both positive and negative outcomes. How you respond during stress is also a reflection of your preparation. Two famous quotes l want to reference point to the effects pressure can have on a person.
The only pressure I’m under is the pressure I’ve put on myself. Mark Messier
This first quote points to the source of pressure, Saul had an opportunity to defend the people of Israel previously, and he saw God miraculously rescue him and give them victory; what was different now?
He had a ready army, and he also had an instruction from God to wait till after seven days. Saul took his eyes away from the Lord, the Man of War, and placed them on his soldiers, and the outcome was he embraced their fears.
Then they launched a strong attack against the Israelites, putting them in a desperate situation. Some of the Israelites hid in caves and holes or among the rocks or in pits and wells; – 1 Samuel 13:6
The battle had not yet begun, but the people had already deserted the battlefield. These were the same people who had asked for a physical King to lead them in battle, but now, they could no longer stand behind the king.
Watch who you look up to in times of crisis and difficulties, as easily as they offer advice, so they also desert you to face the music alone.
Many people have walked down the aisle with abusive partners due to pressure. Others have walked out of their jobs, marriage, and commitment to God due to pressure from family and friends. The truth remains; the pressure you have is the one you give yourself.
Another cause of this error is assumptions about God, his ways, and expectations. Saul believed a lie that without offering sacrifice, God would not be willing to rescue them from the Philistines. I don’t know how and where he got that notion, so he decided to break protocol and step into the office of Prophet Samuel.
so he said to them, “Bring me the burnt sacrifices and the fellowship sacrifices.” He offered a burnt sacrifice, – 1 Samuel 13:9
Spiritual activities may look simple and easy to replicate, but their significance can have grievous consequences if handled by the wrong person.
But Nadab and Abihu died in the presence of the Lord when they offered strange (unholy, unacceptable, inappropriate) fire before the Lord in the Wilderness of Sinai; and they had no sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the presence and under the supervision of Aaron, their father. – Numbers 3:4 AMP
Be careful how you respond under pressure, especially what you do in the presence of God. Saul’s offense had far-reaching consequences to his future generations.
Pressure can burst a pipe, or pressure can make a diamond. Robert Horry
During the time of pressure, David, Gideon, Deborah, and Esther manifested in Israel; pressure reveals an individual’s true character. Daniel did not back down during a season of intense pressure against his faith, don’t compromise, God may seem far away, but He is always on time, never late to keep His Word.
Let the pressure around you reveal the quality of your faith, let the pressure transform you into a warrior and conqueror as it did for Gideon.
Jonathan said to the young man, “Let’s cross over to the camp of those heathen Philistines. Maybe the Lord will help us; if he does, nothing can keep him from giving us the victory, no matter how few of us there are.” – 1 Samuel 14:6 GNT
This was the confession of Jonathan, Saul’s son, before he attacked the Philistines and overcame them, what you believe can motivate or sabotage you under pressure.
Financial pressure can lead you to identify several untapped opportunities around you; pressure can force you to go the extra mile in stretching your potential in athletics and other skills you have. Pressure releases the juice of many fruits, increasing their value to humanity. Allow the pressure you face to make you an eternal excellency in Jesus’ name. Amen
Father, thank you for your faithfulness to your Word and promises; we need you more than ever as your coming approaches. The pressure from the kingdom of darkness is rising every day to push us into fear, panic, and compromise; help us stay obedient to the Holy Spirit until your Word comes in Jesus’ name. May the pressure we are facing today produce greater glory in our lives, character, and testimonies in Jesus’ name. Amen
Oh Lord, encourage everyone afraid and alone in the face of temptation and trials in Jesus’ name. Amen
We trust you, Lord!
Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash