Pressure to Prove: Living Free, Aligned & In Peace

Hi friends,

I trust February has been a great month for you, and you have come into a deeper understanding of God, His love, and His word. Remember, the Growing Together with C.I podcast is available on your favorite apps – Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, Anchor FM, Spotify, etc. There are great and insightful content on there that is sure to be a blessing to you, so please binge on God’s word. As we start out the new month, I pray that March yields to you its own fruits and that you experience His wisdom, companionship, and grace in new dimensions in Jesus name.

Alright, not much chitchat this week, let’s dive right in.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been studying the book of Matthew and it has been such an insightful experience, so I thought to share some of my learnings with you. I pray that the Lord takes my words and uses it to minister to your hearts.

Let’s start from Matthew 4.

The chapter opens with the account of Jesus’ temptation. It starts with the Scripture telling us that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted and tried. I read that and thought, ‘wait, what?’ The purpose of this wilderness experience wasn’t to receive power. It was to be tried. Just wow! Here, I realized that what we consider trials could very well be God’s way of refining our character, purifying our motives, and pruning us to serve His purpose. I love how James 1:3 (AMP) renders it: ‘Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]’. Don’t despair, rather receive grace for your trials.

The chapter continues by outlining the three temptations and Jesus’ response to each one.

Temptation 1: Turn stones into bread.

Devil: “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.

Jesus: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’.

Strike 1! *Soft punch to the devil! *

Temptation 2: Throw yourself down.

Devil: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus: “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

Strike 2! *Uppercut with sound effect! Gbish!*

Temptation 3: Bow down in worship to me.

Devil: “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Jesus: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”

Strike 3! *Total Knock Out! Be gone!*

From these 3 temptations, one thing that stood out for me repeatedly was ‘the pressure to prove’. I think that we can relate to this as each day we are consistently faced with the pressure to prove one thing or the other. For some, it’s the pressure to prove that you are as spiritual as others in your Bible study group, as financially secure, trendy, popular, etc. That you are making strides in your career, have it all together, are a great parent, and so on. For others, it is the pressure to be married, have a child, have more children, and so on. The pressure of pressure is real!!!

Pressure is as old as time, so gather around and let’s discuss how to deal with it. I mean, if Jesus faced pressure, then we are in for a lifelong pressure feast. All we need is to arm ourselves with the required wisdom and grace.  

So, how do we deal with pressure? How did Jesus do it?

First, Jesus used the Word.

Jesus consistently started His responses with, “it is written”. He consistently referred to what the word of God had said about each of those issues. Friend, do you know what God has said about the respective ‘pressures’ that you are facing? The word of God isn’t just the light to your path (Psalm 119:105); it is also the sword of the Spirit with which you disarm the enemy; but first, you need to feed on it.

Second, Jesus was sure of His identity.

You see, Jesus responded to the testing God part in temptation 2 without paying attention to the question as to His identity – because He was confident of who He was. He also said, ‘you shall not tempt the LORD your God’, meaning that He is (and you are) Lord over the devil. Of course, the devil knows this but a lot of us do not. The devil is a trickster and deceiver, known to often plant seeds of doubt in our hearts, especially when we don’t know who we are. Friends discover and rest in your God-revealed identity. Not in your achievements, failures, or ambitions but simply in who God says you are. You are recklessly loved, valued, made perfect in Him, equipped for life and godliness. Irrespective of your current reality, this is who you are – simple as that!

Think of it this way, if a consumer had questions about a product, they wouldn’t ask the product. Rather, they will ask the manufacturer. In turn, if anyone has questions about you, your journey or requires proof of your authenticity, kindly refer them to your manufacturer – God.

Third, Jesus exalted the Father’s will.

All through these temptations, we see through His responses that Jesus wasn’t about what He wanted, what the devil wanted or what was convenient. Nope, He was focused on pleasing the Father. In temptation 1, his response was ‘to live on the words that proceed out of the Father’s mouth’. In temptation 2, his response was ‘don’t put the Lord your God to the test’ and in temptation 3, he responded saying ‘worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only’. Everything was centered about doing the Father’s will and pleasing Him.

Friends focus on God. Make Him the meditation of your heart and the desire of your soul; and that would significantly eliminate these ‘pressures to prove’. It would give you a purpose for living and provide a compass for your soul. It will empower you to live guided, to live free and unencumbered because your decisions are made in advance.

Ditch the pressures and follow Jesus. He’s sweet, easy and guarantees you peace. (John 14:27). Not the fragile and temporary kind the world gives when you conform to present trends, but the lasting one you get by being joined with Him.

Never forget,

Share Post :

One Response

  1. How are you Amaka? Good to read another of your insightful posts. Huuuuunnh! Identity! It is key. Knowing who we are in Christ, will not allow us to be tossed here and there. I love this: focus on discovering who you are, not your achievements, failure or ambition, but simply on who God says you are. May God grant us the revelation of we are in Christ, in Jesus Christ name 🙏

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *