It’s time to press the Word of God for direction and deliverance.
For several months, my fine wife Bev kept mentioning the need to press the word. After a recent Sunday TLC church. . .our faithful friend, Fred. . .wrote for more information on exactly what is meant by pressing the Word.
Here’s what we wrote Fred back after his inquiry.
“Pressing the Word is like taking a scripture and continually applying it to the problem you want to eliminate until you receive the break through.
“What happens to so many Christians is they pray a scripture over a problem... then they leave it alone…then giving up when nothing happens. I feel the Holy Spirit showed me how to continually put pressure on that scripture to perform...like reapplying pressure to stop the bleeding in a wound... it helps to be forceful... purposed.
“Get mad at the devil... and REFUSE to let him have his way...why should he win? He likes to make you think "you're the one doing something wrong" but if you KNOW the Word works... you can literally force the enemy or circumstances to step aside! He has to obey you!!
After Elisha saw Elijah go up into heaven... let’s look at what happened next in 2 Kings 2:13-14:
“He picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan River.
Then he struck the water with Elijah's coat. "Where is the power of the Lord?" he asked. "Where is the power of the God of Elijah?" When Elisha struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left. He went across the river.”
“Elisha knew there was power in Elijah's coat ...but he had never used it... so he called on the power to make it perform for him as it had for Elijah.
“We believe this is a big key in pressing through... if anyone could just quote the word and the sea part... we'd all be walking in victory.
“We need to be assured the Word works and then stand on that faith and not let the devil feed us all kinds of doubt. If a person is feeling all kinds of doubt...you can be pretty sure it really is working or the enemy of your soul would be trying to make a last ditch effort to talk you out of your victory...”
After Fred received, read and meditated on our email. . .this is what he wrote back to us.
“As I was studying the scriptures I came across the scripture about the wine press. My mind went crazy for a little bit as I realized, that is exactly what we are doing to our needs and problems.
“We put our needs and problems in the press known as the Word and continue to press the situation until it is solved or no longer exists. What we are left with is the sweet answer to our prayers.
“When the wine press was loaded with grapes the press squeezed the fruit until juice ran out of the press leaving only the skins. The valuable juice was left for enjoyment.
“Thank you for your time to put together the information for me. I have been in church for over 50 years and I now know how to make the Word really work for me. The pressing of the Word is a system that does not fail.”
As reading Fred’s email, I was prompted to write “seven ways to put pressure on the Word.”
1. Quit doing what you’ve been doing if it’s not working.
Judges 6:1 in the New International Version says:
“Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.”
Again. . .the Israelites were doing the same thing over and over again.
Since God would forgive them. . .they would sin again. God would forgive them again . . . and they would sin again.
Your problem may not be sinning. . .but you may be doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Are you trying to solve your problems…or are you applying the Word so God can deal with them?
The children of Israel were living in the land flowing with milk and honey. . .the Promised Land. It’s the land God promised the children of Israel and the land Joshua led them into. However, they were living in less than His best because they were not following His instructions.
Judges 6:2 in the New International Version says:
“Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.”
Not only were the children of Israel not experiencing God’s best. . .they were in fact hiding in the clefts and rocks to avoid their enemies.
The Israelites fell into a comfort zone and started taking things God had promised for granted. Not really a smart thing to do.
The Israelites were not only living in less than His best. . .they were hiding like a bunch of scared rats.
Again. . .God will forgive you again and again but you will never leave the starting gate or arrive at your divine destination. . .until you do something different.
You’ve got to change. . .before anybody or anything else changes.
Don’t spend another day living in anything less than God’s best. Do what God says and expect a breakthrough. Press the Word until you have it.
2. Realize God sees you as you can be not as you are.
Judges 6:11-12 in the New International Version says:
“And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”
In the Amplified the angel calls Gideon “a mighty man of courage.” The New Living Translation calls him “a mighty hero” and a number of other translations call Gideon “a mighty warrior.”
Gideon’s first reaction was probably. . . “I’m a what?”
Gideon was from a small town and he was. . .by his own admission. . .the least of his family. . .the runt of the liter. . .if you will.
It can be assumed he was hiding where he was. . .because of his fear that the Midanites would steal the grain he was threshing for his family.
You may not physically be the runt of your family. . .but perhaps you feel the runt mentally or spiritually.
The difficulty of most people is they judge their future by their past results. That’s a mistake. . .because it totally neglects the reality of God completely turning your life around.
Don’t you think. . .that if God can instantly change a criminal drug-dependent user into a saint whose sins have been washed by the blood of the Lamb whose out preaching Jesus . . .that He can turn your life around too?
You may feel like you can’t do this or that. . .BUT GOD knows you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.
Philippians 4:13 says:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
I particularly like the Amplified Bible translation of Philippians 4:13 which says:
“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
Now I encourage you to personalize the Amplified Bible translation. Write it out on an index card. . .or put it in your smart phone for easy and frequent referral.
This scripture proves God specializes in calling ordinary people to do extraordinary things. That’s what He did with Gideon and that’s what He’s doing with you when you begin seriously applying the Word.
When God chose Gideon. . .there was nothing heroic about him. . .in fact, in his own opinion of himself. . .he was weak and insignificant. BUT GOD saw something Gideon didn’t see.
There is a scriptural reason why God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 in the Message Bible says:
“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."
If you’re waiting on God to change your situation. . .it might surprise you to know that God is waiting on you. Let me repeat that because I want you to let this go deep enough that you get it:
If you’re waiting on God to change your situation. . .it might surprise you to know that God is waiting on you to work and press the Word.
3. Your life begins to change when you start paying the price for that change.
Judges 6:16-18 in the Amplified Bible says:
"The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man. Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talks with me. Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return.”
Gideon has just been called a mighty warrior and now the angel is telling him that he will defeat the Midianites.
At this point. . .Gideon begins pressing the Word by saying the following three things.
First, he confirms that he has found favor in the angel’s sight.
Second, he wants a sign confirming who it is that’s talking with him.
Third, he’s pressing the Word by asking the angel to stay until he returns with an offering.
And the angel agrees to all three of Gideon’s requests.
When you’re facing an enemy that seems overwhelming. . .your own Midianites. . .you need to press the Word as well.
First, confirm God’s promises to you by confessing them straight from the Word.
Second, pray for a peace and a knowing to come over you. . .which would also bring agreement with your spouse and/or prayer partner.
Third, like Gideon. . .give an offering when you’ve been spoken to through the Word.
If you’ve been fighting the spiritual Midianites. . .having everything stolen from you day by day. . .never achieving the fullness of what the Word promises, it’s time to stop being pushed and fooled by an enemy who is weaker than you . . . and push back by pressing the Word. You either believe God’s Word or you don’t. If you do, then take God at His Word and press until you see the victory He wants for you.
It’s time for you to take comfort in the words the angel spoke to Gideon.
“Surely I will be with you.”
God is with you. . .all the time. . .He never leaves nor forsakes you … that’s a scriptural promise found in Hebrews 13:5.
Your future will be determined by whether you decide to press the Word or not. The decision to press the Word. . .is a choice you will make or fail to make.
4. Press yourself. . .as you press the Word.
There are seven words that represent seven questions you should ask yourself.
Where, Why, Which, How, Who, What and When?
Now here are the questions.
First, where do you want to go?
If you don’t know where you want to go. . .how will you know when you get there?
Do you know your purpose in life? Do you know your assignment? Do you have identifiable goals?
If the answer is “no” to any of the three previous questions. . .here are seven keys to setting the proper mood and moment. . .to find your answers.
1. Find a quiet place.
2. Find a quiet time.
3. Turn off all electronic equipment.
4. Have something to write with and something to write on.
5. Personally, I like soothing anointed instrumental music.
6. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
7. Begin praising God for who He is and what He’s done.
Second, why are you going there?
Once you discover where you’re going. . .you’ll most often know why you’re going there.
The why is often determined by the things we do every day.
Why do you turn off the alarm each morning instead of hitting the snooze button?
Why do you choose to eat a healthy breakfast instead of grabbing a donut?
Why do you go to work instead of staying home or playing golf or going to the spa?
Why do you choose to pay your bills on time (even if it’s just the minimum payment) instead of allowing your electricity to be turned off?
This list could go on. . .but the “why” you do certain things determines where you will go in life.
Third, which path are you taking to get there?
Your path to the future is determined most often by whom you’re listening to.
If you want your journey to be successful. . .talk with successful people
I’m always amazed at how people who never experience success in their personal and/or professional lives are the loudest voices when it comes to advising you on your path.
Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Message Bible says:
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.”
Your choice of path on your journey to success should be the result of what He directs you to do.
Fourth, how will you overcome any obstacles along the way?
Joshua 1:7 in the New Living Translation says:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.”
The instructions from this verse are clear. When you press the Word by being strong in the face of obstacles. . . or courageous when it appears the current adversity is insurmountable. . .and you obey His instructions. . .you will be successful.
One more thing to remember.
The path of least resistance will lead you to a place you don’t want to be.
Fifth, who do you need to help you along the way?
Your number one mentor should always be the Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah 33:2-3 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”
Sixth, what do you want to do when you get there?
Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place, said:
“Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
Isaiah 48:17 in the Message Bible says:
“I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go.”
Seventh, when do you expect to arrive there?
Create a timeline. . .which requires you to press yourself for success. . .even as you press the Word for direction, motivation and inspiration.
5. Forget the odds or how bad things look. . .God is on your side.
As you’re pressing the Word for changes you want to see manifesting in your life. . .you need to always be ready to adapt to your changing environment.
Sometimes those changes. . .may be different than you think. . .requiring more faith on your part.
Gideon and his army of 32,000 were preparing for battle against a Midianite army of 150,000 soldiers. Not the best odds. . .but Gideon probably reasoned his soldiers were more dedicated as they were fighting for their families, homes and livelihood.
But then. . .
Judges 7:2-3 says:
“And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
“Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.”
Gideon was now down to 10K. . .you know the rest of the story. . .he ended up with 300 men.
Judges 7:7-8 in the New Century Version says:
“Then the Lord said to Gideon, ‘Using the three hundred men who lapped the water, I will save you and hand Midian over to you. Let all the others go home.’ So Gideon sent the rest of Israel to their homes. But he kept three hundred men and took the jars and the trumpets of those who left.”
The men who were left were committed and brave but the point is this: if it’s just you and God … you can still come out a winner.
I think it’s fair to say that Gideon and his 300 men were pressing the Word.
Charles Lindbergh, the great aviator, said:
“Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
Or as Romans 8:31 says: “. . . If God be for us, who can be against us?”
6. At times, you must do the ridiculous. . .to experience the miraculous.
Now that Gideon had assembled his Delta Force or Navy Seal team. . .he didn’t issue them assault rifles or machine guns.
Judges 7:16 in the New International Version says:
“Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.”
When confronted with overwhelming odds. . .seemingly insurmountable problems with no apparent way of escape. . .your best choice is to press the Word. Follow God’s instructions.
Judges 7:17 in the New International Version says:
“Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do.”
Leadership must always be duplicatable.
First, watch me. Don’t look at the problem . . .nor the circumstances. . .keep your eyes on me.
Second, do what I do. Don’t do what your neighbor is doing or even your best friend. Do what I do.
Judges 7:18-19 in the New International Version says:
“When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
“Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.”
Hiding the torches in the clay pots gave the 300 an element of surprise. The sound of the smashing pots amplified to the extent that it caused a panic among the Midianite troops and they began killing each other.
We’re continuing to see the benefit of pressing the Word. . .doing what God says.
7. When you press the Word. . .God gives you revelation, directions and connections.
Isaiah 55:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
When you press the Word. . .you gotta know the words coming out of your mouth will not be lost, wasted, empty or without success.
The spoken Word cannot be stopped, changed, deleted, erased, short-circuited or come back empty handed. Not only that. . .the Word has the ability to make something out of nothing.
When you press the Word. . .it will accomplish what it promised. As you press the Word. . .the windows of heaven will open up and pour you out a blessing that you can’t contain.
The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 55:11 says:
“So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.”
When you press the Word. . .you will empower yourself to complete your assignment on planet earth in victory.
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