Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overcoming the Pressures of This World

There are so many pressures in this world lurking...looking to overwhelm and enslave us; to drive us away from God's intent for our lives; as well as, to distract us from walking humbly and obediently with our God. 

Pressures to perform, to please others, to be defined by greatness or beauty, to stand out, to be liked, to be somebody special in the eyes of others.

Even the purest of motives can be tainted by the pressures of this world.

When I felt God's leading to start this blog I wrestled with the idea for quite awhile.  I told Him I was concerned with the amount of time I would have to give AND with the personal exposure and vulnerability it would likely require of me. 

After much prayer, I knew He was asking me to step out in faith and be obedient to His call.

Okay God.  I will do it.  But I never want this blog to become about me.  Keep me humble.  And keep my focus on praying for my kids and nothing else.

Recently, my original motive for starting this blog has begun to be tainted by the pressure I feel to perform and please others. 

I've had moments where I've lost sight of WHY I am doing this blog (obedience to God & commitment to pray for my kids) and have begun to get caught up in the pressure trap.

The pressure I feel to perform and please those of you who are reading this blog has at times distracted me from God's original intent for this blog which is

To create a community of believers who are committed to praying God's Word over the children in their lives. 

Can any of you relate to this struggle? 

Have you ever been called by God to do something and found your motives tainted by a pressure of this world?

Have you ever become so distracted by the pressure to please and perform that you've lost sight of what really matters?  

Our children most certainly can relate.

There is SO much pressure on kids these days.
And the pressures begin at a very early age.

Pressures to perform above average, to succeed regardless, to please others, to be THE best!
Academically...there is pressure to make the grade, qualify for the "gifted" programs, and perform above and beyond one's grade level expectations.

Athletically...there is pressure to be the strongest, the fastest, the most agile, the most versatile, and the most well-rounded athlete on the team.

Socially...there is pressure to be popular no matter the cost, to have the most twitter followers or facebook friends, to attend all the hip parties, and to willingly participate in rebel-like behaviors such as underage drinking, drug sampling, and sexual activity.

Visibly...there is pressure to be "hollywood" beautiful-- to sculpt a ripped, toned, and thin body, to wear the latest trends and fashions no matter the cost, to expose body parts in the name of confidence, and to add-to, alter, change, enhance, or replace any outward imperfection.

Parents feel the pressure too.

Our motive to give our children as many opportunities to enjoy life and use their God-given talents can easily become tainted and driven by the pressure we feel to impress others. 

We can feel pressure to enroll our kids in gobs of before, during, and after school activities essentially aimed at training them to outperform their peers.  

We can spend money we don't have trying to keep up with the Jones and give our kids as many opportunities as the other kids around them are getting. 

And we then feel guilty and frustrated if our kids don't measure up and impress. 

Before we know it, we've lost sight of what truly matters and are placing heavy pressure burdens on our children and on ourselves. 

There is no escaping the pressures of this world.

So how do we overcome their pull and protect ourselves from losing sight of God's will and intent for our lives?
This is the question I took to the Lord over the past few days in regards to this blog and the pressures I was feeling to please and perform.  

He led me to Colossians 3:17.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

His answer for me was simple: 

Renee--don't lose sight of WHO you are living your life for.  Everything that you do and every word that you type should be done unto Me.  All the other pressure you feel only distracts you from Me.  Keep your eyes on Me and the only pressure you will have is to walk humbly and obediently with your God.

So, when our children become overwhelmed by the pressures in this world let's point them to Colossians 3:17 and remind them that whatever they do, they are to do it ALL for Jesus.  Nothing else matters.  Boy is there freedom in that!

Join me today and let's pray the following over our children:

Jesus,   I pray my children would never become so overwhelmed and enslaved to the pressures of this world that they lose sight of what truly matters.  I pray they would not fall into the pressure trap of pleasing others with impressive performances.  Rather, I pray that WHATEVER they are doing--whether in WORD or DEED--that they would do it all for the glory of You.  I pray their sole focus would be to walk humbly and obediently before You. 

Colossians 3:17

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