Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.
Today’s devotional comes from “Speak To My Heart, God” by Kay Arthur.
When Pressure Builds Up
Are you living life in overdrive? Do you ever feel like running away, checking out, giving up?
Life is filled with pressure, pressure, pressure.
Pressure to be.
Pressure to do.
Pressure to perform.
Pressure to produce.
And with the pressure comes anxiety and stress, especially to the Christian who longs to be pleasing to God.
Am I being the mate I should be? The parent I should be? Am I handling everything the way I ought to as His child?
Life is so accelerated. Hurrying to work. Dashing to get the kids to their activities. Hurrying to prepare meals. Rushing to get to church.
You think you’re going to slow down when the kids get back to school…come winter…come Christmas…come summer…come vacation.
But it doesn’t happen. Or if you do slow down, it’s not for long. Pretty soon you’re back again in overdrive.
Realistically, life is never going to slow down; the pressure is never going to lessen; the stress will always be there in one form or another. So what are you going to do about it? Tough it out until you break? Run into some ungodly escape hatch? Give up? Check out?
The good news is: you don’t have to choose any of the above. God knows about the pressure, the stress, the anxiety, the accelerated pace of our earthly life and He has provided a “way of escape…so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
It’s all wrapped up in our communion with God, what I call “going into the sanctuary.” And there is one element of communion with God that I believe is a vital key to releasing pressure or stress. That key is worship through music: praising God in song. Let me share some scriptures that show this to be true.
During Paul’s second missionary journey, the apostle and his compatriot Silas found their ministry causing a riot, and they felt the brunt of it. Their clothes torn from them, and they were beaten and thrown into prison.
Anxiety? Every legitimate reason for it!
How did Paul and Silas handle it? What kept them from breaking?
Acts 16:25 gives us the answer “but about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God”. They turned their focus from the present pressures of their lives to the throne of their sovereign, Abba father and the tension was relieved.
When sheep become tense and restless, the shepherd will quietly move through the flock, his very presence will release the tension of the sheep and quiet their anxieties. Their shepherd is there!
And this is what happens when we begin to worship our Lord and our God in song. We move into a consciousness of His presence and the tension begins to unravel, the tautness of the pressure eases, anxieties become meaningless, for we are reminded that He is there…our Jehovah Shammah, our all sufficient sovereign God. He inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3).
Songs that still your soul to worship song that brings tears of gratitude to your eyes, songs that cause a throbbing of holy passion for Christlikeness to swell within your breast. Songs that make you want to fall on your face or leap to your feet also have a physical effect upon your body, bringing sanctified release to physical tension.
Singing spiritual songs and making melody in your heart is gods way of delivering you from the stresses of the world.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7)
Praising the Lord in song during my time alone with Him has drawn me into the depths of worship that I have never experienced before. The words of the music are engraved on the tables of my heart and become an ever present song upon my lips.
Try it. Make it a practice to worship God in song every day. Try beginning your day in song. Put your tape recorder in your bathroom or bedroom and play a worship tape while you’re bathing or dressing. Sing in the shower. Carry tapes in your car to use as background music for singing His praises. Play music while you’re doing housework. But, above all, make time daily to be alone and do nothing else but worship God in song.
The more you enter into His courts with praise and into His gates with thanksgiving, the less you feel the stress, the pressure, the anxiety of daily life, for you will have…
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”(Colossians 3:2-3).