When pressure increases, we look for tangible comforts; whether it is a comfort food, a loved one to hug or a friend to talk and share the burden, humanity across the globe reacts—looking for comfort because it is in our nature to need it. Many even make sinful choices to comfort their flesh thinking it will relieve pressure. As a society, we have been subtly trained over the years to medicate that which does not feel good, and we have grown accustomed to an inner dialogue that repeatedly suggests we deserve to be more comfortable. Worse yet, our souls may even demand this comfort. As a result of increased pressure (though I believe much of the pressure is increased darkness perceived as pressure), we have endless resources such as books, programs and groups for coping, self-help and the like that perpetuate an unbalanced system that highlights our weaknesses.
The book of Psalms is clear. The Lord knit and formed us together while we were in our mother's womb. He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. He has compassion toward us like a nursing mother; He will not forget us. The Lord God proclaims Himself, "I, even I, am He who comforts you" (Isa. 51:12b), and He says again later in Isaiah 61:3 that He will comfort, console and deliver joy to all who mourn. The Lord does not shame us because we desire comfort. In contrast, needing comfort was part of God's design, but from where we receive this comfort is the difference. Jesus said:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [See Jer. 6:16.] For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne (Matt. 11:28-30, AMPC).
A worldly view accentuates our weaknesses while the redeemed have an ability to live in Christ's strength. The worldview causes us to look inward, but if Christ hasn't been invited to dwell in them, there is no strength to draw from. When the desire to be comforted is out of balance, humanity as a whole leans toward an immature state becoming codependent on people, things and substances that produce no eternal value—and though a temporal resolve may be found, the cycle begins again when our souls have become weary and dry. We can expect this for the nonbeliever, but unfortunately many Christians are living a defeated and powerless life because they fail to recognize the overcomer Himself—the eternal fountain of life lives in them!
Pressure, fear and anxiety cause us to react strangely sometimes, and even still, the Lord extends mercy, love and compassion on us. From the beginning, we were always on His mind, and God demonstrated His love for us in that even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Especially now, as tribulations and testing have increased, how much more will He fill us with His love and light! If you find yourself reacting more than you would like or ought to be, sometimes making small adjustments is all you need for a course correction. The accessibility to the Lord's strength is truly beautiful. The more we lean into Him and trust Him, the more secure and comforted we will become. This does not mean we will have a life absent of trials, but in all things and even in the midst of tribulation and suffering, as Paul said, we can rejoice! We don't have to settle for unhealthy patterns, habits and codependent relationships because our fulfillment is in Christ. When we become dependent on Jesus and His Word, we draw from within a treasure chest of hope: "Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!" (Col. 1:27, TPT).
Living In Our Spirit-Filled Nature
God created us in His image and in the likeness of the Trinity as a three-part being: body, soul and spirit. Our natural bodies have an expiration date here on this earth; most of us anyway, unless you are Enoch who walked with God and then was "no more," or Elijah who was taken up in a whirlwind!
Our souls are defined as our mind, will and emotions. They are the sum of our personality. Our souls are ever-being transformed on earth as we yield to the Holy Spirit's sanctification process. It is your spirit that gives you eternal existence, and once you have been born again and receive Christ your spirit becomes regenerated. For clarity, a body without a spirit is dead. "Then the LORD God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit]" (Gen. 2:7, AMP).
The hope of the believer is that we have been made alive again through Christ.
"Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life]" (1 Cor. 15:45, AMPC).
Few in the church have yet to fully take hold of the resurrection life and power that resides within us. Many of us have heard these truths of a power-filled gospel, though under pressure we settle for temporal comforts where we often lean to our own understanding and heed to the numbing compromises of society. I humbly warn you, these compromises begin as modest frequencies that eventually shape your thoughts and patterns into full on realities! We succumb to earthly powers and dark authority instead of taking dominion over the earthly realm with the authority of Christ as it was given to us.
Let us not forget what the blood of Jesus paid for: "Now you understand that I have imparted to you my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will harm you as you walk in this authority" (Luke 10:19, TPT).
Is it possible we were designed to overcome? I believe that was always God's intent, for if we look at Adam he had authority to govern, subdue, occupy the land from a place of fellowship and love.
Eden can be translated as "pleasure"; it pleases God to have His sons and daughters reign with Him. With the fullness of Christ embodying us (literally the same Spirit), we love because He first loved us. We pick up our cross and die because He carried the cross and bore our sin. We live in resurrection life because He resurrected from the grave and defeated death and hell. All that is His, is now ours, and this is God's most generous family plan: restored, redeemed and reconnected to His heart.
"And his fullness fills you, even though you were once like corpses, dead in your sins and offenses. It wasn't that long ago that you lived in the religion, customs, and values of this world, obeying the dark ruler of the earthly realm who fills the atmosphere with his authority, and works diligently in the hearts of those who are disobedient to the truth of God. The corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and desires of our self-life. We lived by whatever natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God's wrath like everyone else. But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace! He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!" (Eph. 2:1-6, TPT).
As we are working out our full understanding of our salvation, we can be encouraged that though the darkness increases, Christ has already won! The word salvation can be translated as "light."
Christ our light and our salvation shed abroad in our hearts, "And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]" (John 1:5, AMPC).
Nothing can separate you from His light, salvation or love for it is His power at work in you. Remember you have been born again! "For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
For now, we may see in part yet we know that one day we will see fully, we cling to the promises of God now with expectation and confidence, overcoming in His name as we wait for His glorious return.
"For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run" (1 Cor. 13:12,13, TPT).
Amy Sutherland is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the founder of Ablaze Global Productions. She currently produces and hosts The Long Way Home podcast on The Charisma Podcast Network. Ablaze Global Productions is a ministry-production company formed from her dual call to minister to the church and the unreached around the globe. Investing years in ministry and the entertainment industry, she has had the opportunity to develop her giftings in a unique way for such as time as this. From award winning actress and producer to speaking and ministering prophetically worldwide, she desires to awaken and make ready a fiery bride for her king. Amy is a graduate of Marilyn Hickey Bible College and Harvest Missions School – Iris Ministries Africa. Amy, like a "Samuel," has always remembered knowing the voice of Lord. From this place of responsibility, Amy's deepest desire is to make His truths be made known, connecting a people back to their creator so they may know Him as lover, Savior and friend.
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