Ezra 4:24 Giving In To Pressure

Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:24

King Cyrus had given the Israelites permission to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The people in the surrounding area began to be afraid. They that if the city was rebuilt, the Israelites would revolt and break away. They persuaded the king to force the people to stop the building. After a lot of pressure, the Israelites stopped the building of the temple.

In the eyes of the world, Christians are a dangerous threat, even though Christians are to love everyone, including their enemies. The threat comes in that Christians do not believe in or act the way the world does. Jesus had set a standard that was different from that of the world. This has a severe effect on the lives of those in the world and they do not like it.

People in the world try to accuse Christians of hate because they do not conform to the world’s standards of living. For many years in America there has been the term of “political correctness” being used. Believers are threatened in many ways to give in to the world’s way of living.

Sadly, many believers have given in to the pressure to conform to this world’s standards. They feel the threats of job losses, jail time, lawsuits and more, and choose to change their words and standards. Churches, and many believers, now allow open sin as acceptable in God’s eyes, changing the Word of God, and doing what God clearly says not to do.

As the Israelites gave in to the pressure to stop building the temple, many believers today give in to the pressure to stop building God’s kingdom. They stop being His witness out of fear of those in the world.

The world will do their best to put pressure on you to turn from Jesus and follow their ways. As the world puts on the pressure on you to give in to their ways, you must make a choice as to who you will follow.

Will you follow Jesus, who gives life?

Or will you follow this world, which brings only death?

I pray today that you will stay focused on what God wants you to do; that you will only live for God; that God will give you strength to overcome pressure to turn from Him; and that you will continue to build His kingdom.

Judges 16:17 Giving In To Pressure

So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” Judges 16:17

Samson was a child God had given his parents when they were unable to have a child. He was dedicated to God at birth to be a Nazarite. There were certain vows that were made to God that had to be kept.

As a Nazarite, God gave him supernatural power and strength. When he married Delilah, the Philistines threatened her to get her to find out the secret of his strength. After lying to her several times, Samson gives into her pressure and tells the truth. She then has his hair cut and he loses his strength and is captured by the Philistines.

Pressure is what gets something to work. The build up of pressure from the gas being on fire in an engine is what starts to move the pistons, which in turn gets the engine running and moving the car down the road.

However, pressure can also be done in a way that is not good. The world will always try to pressure a believer into doing something wrong or allowing something wrong to be done.

Delilah put a lot of pressure on Samson to tell her the truth about his strength. The world will put the pressure on you to give in to temptations or to reveal something that is to be kept secret.

There will be times God will tell you something that is not to be shared. It is only for you to know. Do not allow the world to pressure you in to revealing that information. Do not allow the world to pressure you to sin against God.

God is stronger than the one who is in this world and He is in you. He can give you the strength to withstand the pressure.

Are you relying on His strength to overcome the pressure?

Or are you relying on your own strength to overcome the pressure?

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for you; that you will recognize pressure that is against you and God; that you will not give into pressure to sin; and that God will strengthen you to stand up for Him under pressure.

Luke 21:19 Stand Firm

“Stand firm, and you will win life.” Luke 21:19

The disciples were looking at all the great looking buildings in Jerusalem and commenting on how great they looked. Jesus tells them that all the things they see will one day be destroyed. He then goes on to tell them some bad news. This news was that they will be persecuted. This persecution would even come from their own families. It would be because of Jesus that they will be persecuted. He continues with the fact that they will not be harmed, but they must stand firm.

As the days pass, the time of persecution is rising more and more. The world is taking a stronger stance against Christians each and every day. Satan is on the warpath. He knows his time is limited, so he is making every effort to stop believers from believing in Jesus.

Jesus said to stand firm. This is standing on what you know is the truth. Do not allow yourself to be persuaded of anything different. The persecution will get very rough. The times will be very tough. You must be willing to hold your ground.

Know that you know that Jesus is the One who is saving you and will return someday. Know the truth that Jesus preached and live it. Do not allow others to change those thoughts.

There are some people, when under persecution, give up. They feel that God has abandoned them and all is lost. Others will feel it is not worth the persecution and pain.

Life with Jesus in heaven will be perfect and for all eternity. There will be no sorrow, pain or suffering in heaven. The suffering and persecution of today is very small and short in light of all eternity.

Do not give up! In the end you will win the crown of life. That life will be for all eternity. What better prize could there be than that?

Each day be willing to be God’s witness and live for Him. God is on your side and you will win.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that God will strengthen you to follow Him; that you will stand firm in what you know to be true; that you will not allow anyone to deceive you; and that you will know God is by you and with you in all you go through.

Matthew 10:22 You Will Be Hated

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22

Throughout the gospels Jesus talks about loving everyone, including your enemies. He also mentions that you are to live your life so well they cannot find anything true against you. Now, He tells you that you will be hated.

If you are living your life so well, why would people hate you? It is because you are following Jesus.

Again why would people hate Jesus, since He is showing perfect love? It is because He also reveals their sinful lives.

No one likes to be told that they are doing things the wrong way, or that they are going to be punished for eternity. Most people think that overall they are a good person. They do not like the idea of them being bad to where they are separated from God.

As you are fully living for and following Jesus, people will hate you. Their hatred is because of Jesus. Jesus had said that if they hated Him, they will hate you.

Take a look at your life. Do you have people in your life that are angry with you because of the way you follow Jesus? Do people get tired of hearing you talk about God? Are people upset with you because you will not go fishing with them on Sundays in order for you to go to church?

If the world loves you, be careful. Make sure you are following Jesus and doing everything He is telling you to do. Give yourself one hundred percent to God and stand firm for Him.

Jesus finished this verse with stating that whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. Do not give in to the pressures of the world. Do not change to have the world like you. Do not compromise God’s standards and will to alleviate the hatred. In the end Jesus will save you.

Remember that Jesus followed God perfectly, then was killed for it. Afterward God raised Him from the dead. God will do the same for you. Trust Him.

I pray that God will strengthen you to follow Him in every area of your life; that you will stand firm in God’s ways; that you will be God’s witness everywhere you go; that you will speak God’s truth and love to everyone; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

James 4:7 Submit and Resist

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Many people love to pass the blame onto someone else. In the corporate and political world you often see people blaming other people for making them do something wrong. Even in the family many people blame parents or one child will blame another for things they themselves do wrong. One very common phrase a lot of people like to make is “the devil made me do it”. Very few people like to take the blame for what they do.

In reality, no one can make you do something you do not want to do. The problem comes in when the pressure to do something you don’t want to do is raised higher and higher. Most people will cave under the pressure, once it gets strong enough, to do something they do not want to do. This pressure can come from friends, family, enemies, and even the devil himself.

In this passage, however, we see that one is first to submit to God. This is letting God have complete control of your life. All your actions, thoughts, and words should be done with God’s direction. Allow God to work in and through you.

Once you submit to God you must, then, resist the devil. The devil will do all he can to get you to fall to temptation. He will use any method necessary, such as your family, friends, co-workers, and even your enemies, to get you to fall. God has given you the power to resist the devil. He has no power over you unless you allow him to have that power. When you resist the devil and turn to God, the devil must flee away from you; but you must do the resisting and the submission. If you do one without the other, you will lose. You have no power in yourself…it is all God’s power.

Today submit your life to God. Let Him have complete control. Resist the devil. Resist all temptations that come against you.

I pray that today God will help you to submit to Him; that God will help you to resist the devil; that God will strengthen you in resisting all temptation; and that God will bring you through to a victory in the battles of temptation that will come your way.