I am sure we’ve all heard the infamous quote “Pressure can burst pipes, or pressure can make diamonds”, although it may sound like our next cool instagram caption, we need to evaluate how pressure can cause our faith to waiver. So, what is pressure? Pressure is putting our goals/dreams on a timeframe of our own making and quite often those time frames are unreasonable. It is also prioritizing ALL of your tasks in one day so you can feel a sense of accomplishment when they have been completed. This all may sound productive but at what expense? Normally when I thrust myself into phases of immense pressure to accomplish goals in unrealistic time frames it is nothing more than me attempting to take control of my own life. I try to become the CEO, manager, financial advisor, provider and sustainer; I don’t know about you but with that many tasks on my plate my anxiety levels become astronomically high. I can’t sleep due to my mind racing faster than a speeding bullet. I begin to stress, bite my fingernails all because I’m trying to make things that are impossible within my physical reality possible. Quite frankly, my body can not properly function under these conditions. So why do we constantly do this to ourselves? Well, just like trees there is always a root and generally speaking the root cause of pressure comes in the forms of lust, worldly ambition, and entitlement.
Oftentimes when we hear the word lust we automatically assume it’s referring to sexual cravings however, lust can also be an overwhelming or desirable craving for material things. Lust has the ability to distort the mind into thinking that new age manifestation outweighs the power of prayer. Lust focuses on pleasing oneself, and can often lead to unwholesome actions to fulfill one’s desires
with no regard to the consequences. Lust is about possession and greed. It's no secret that social media is probably the number one trigger when it comes to things that cause us to lust. We begin comparing our lives to others, either consciously or subconsciously desiring their beautiful homes, fashion senses, parenting skills, businesses, and even other ministries. We are always trying to figure out new ways and schemes to get what the next person has, or how to do what the next person is doing. Unfortunately it's human nature dating back to Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and even Joseph and his brothers just to name a few.
Alongside lust, worldly ambition can creep into our hearts through social media and any other ungodly devices we choose to consume. Its considerably easy to become frustrated watching unbelievers seemingly thrive on social media with their fancy cars, clothes, and homes and sometimes I find myself truly lusting after materialistic things until I read Matthew 6:19-21
as a reminder that as Christians our treasures are not here on earth and materialistic things will eventually be eaten by moths and destroyed by rust. Our treasure resides in heaven where neither moth nor rust can destroy, for where your treasure is, your heart will be also. We think if we work harder, sleep less, and agree to work more overtime at a job that we are not using to glorify God, neglect our friends and family, or even steal, we can be one step closer to obtaining the things we want but in the process we have pushed ourselves further away from God. You will be completely blind to the fact that your lusting after worldly materials will never end and you will never be satisfied. For you can not serve two masters, you can not serve God and money.
Lastly, people and Christians included struggle with entitlement. We feed ourselves the idea that because we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we pray, read our bible, and post daily scriptures in our insta stories that we inherently deserve privileges and special treatment. Although this would be great, it’s simply not true. I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Entitlement comes from pride, we feel like we are owed things and that's not the case. God doesn't owe us anything, he has done everything (on the cross) and anything else the Lord chooses to give is a blessing due to his grace. James 4: 6 states it perfectly “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore, release that pressure; you are already a diamond. Don’t allow the things of this world such as lust, worldly ambition, and entitlement to shake your faith and trust in Christ. The power of God surpasses all of our anxieties. Read this aloud as a guide to help strengthen your faith:
Matthew 6: 25-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.