Pressed On Every Side

September 30, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Turn in your Bibles with me tonight to the book of Matthew chapter twenty-six. Matthew chapter twenty-six. Amen. When you reach the book of Saint Matthew chapter twenty-six, please stand for the reading of God’s Word. We’re going to read verse forty-seven through verse fifty-six. Verse forty-seven through verse fifty-six. Somebody say amen. Look at verse forty-seven.

47. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

51. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

Somebody say, “Peter.” Verse fifty-two.

52. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54. But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Let us pray.

Father, we thank You tonight for Your goodness and Your mercy. Father, hide Your son behind the cross that Your people would see and hear You only, and not me. Master, I decrease, that You would increase. And Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Father, let my head by Your head. And I ask for revelation knowledge to feed Your people. Let my eyes be Your eyes, that I would see, Lord, God, what You’re trying to show me in this hour. Let my mouth be Your mouth, that I would be a mouthpiece for you to speak the oracles of God. Let my ears be Your ears, that I would hear what You are saying to the church, Lord God. Let my heart be Your heart, that I would feel about Your people the way that You feel. Father God, use me as an instrument of Your praise, in Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

And all those that agree with this prayer said amen. You may be seated in the house of the Lord.

Here we have Jesus. Earlier . . . Listen. Earlier in the chapter we had Jesus sin the Garden of Gethsemane. When we look at the word “Gethsemane,” it means “oil press.” And while Jesus was in that garden, He being pressed (glory to God), that His flesh would be separated from His spirit.

When we look at the oil press (glory to God) it was when the olives were pressed and the oil came out. The Garden of Gethsemane was a place of extraction, because in order for Him to fulfill with the will of God in His life, He had to have His flesh extracted from His spirit.

And God is speaking to the body of Christ tonight that we all have a work to do for him. And we must work while it’s day, for the night cometh when no man can work. But while you’re in the garden God is saying to you that He’s extracting your spirit from your flesh. No, it’s not a comfortable place to be. No, it’s not a place that you desire to be, but it’s a place that God can get all of you out of you, that He may use you for His glory. Somebody say amen in the house of God.

He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. And He had been praying (oh, my God) for the Father to allow the cup that He was drinking to pass from Him. And every time He went back to His disciples, He found them sleeping. He found them in a position of not being ready. He found them not watching, and He found them not praying. And so He was giving them an illustration and instruction about the enemy coming in to tempt them, because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

So now after He gives His illustration and begins to come out of the Garden of Gethsemane, here comes Judas and the people that Judas had spoken to, to be able to take Jesus away. Glory to God. But Jesus did not look for a way of escape, because the Scripture had to be fulfilled. Jesus said, “I must go through the process, that I may finish the course that God has set me on.”

You see, a lot of you are in the oil press tonight, and you’re looking for a way of escape. But God is saying, “Don’t look for a way of escape, because there’s a process that I’m taking you to; and at the end of that thing, you will be fulfilled in Me.” Oh, God. Give Him praise tonight.

He was being pressed for a reason. You see, you’ve got to understand that when you’re being pressed and after (glory to God) you come out of a place of prayer, communicating with your Father, Satan is coming to test you. You see, you though you came out of prayer, and it was all going to be good, because you talked to the Father. But as soon as you came out of prayer, here comes Satan and his imps trying to get you to lose your focus and your direction and guidance, and the course that God has set you on. But let me tell you something. Don’t turn around and run. Don’t try to look for a way out. Say, “I must stay in the Presence, because God is not finished with me yet.”

He could have easily called for the armies of heaven. He could have easily asked the Father to intervene on His behalf. But He understood who He was.

You see, when you understand who you are, as a child of God, it doesn’t matter what comes your way, because you understand that it’s all a part of the purpose and plan that God has for you. It’s only going to make you stronger, so that when you get to the cross, and they hang you up there (oh my God), and nail (oh, my God) the nails in your hands, and the persecution comes, you can . . . Oh, my God.

Somebody needs to hear this word tonight. Because you are going through. And you’re saying, “God, I’m ready to give up. I’m ready to give in.” But God is saying, “Hang on the cross a little while longer. Because after while I’m going to take you down.”

He understood His destination; and therefore, He allowed it to happen. We look for a way out all the time.

I’m not telling you not to ask God for wisdom, because the Bible says in James chapter one, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth not.” In other words, He will give you all the wisdom that you need for your situation.

But in this I’m saying to you, don’t get off course because you’re going through the fire, and you’re walking through the flood. It’s now time for the saints of God to stand up and say, “God is alive,” in the Name of Jesus, and keep on pressing in Jesus Name.

Instead of facing His crisis . . . Somebody say, “Crisis.” With looking for a way of escape, He said, “God, nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done.”

You see, this is all a part of a life crisis. Have you ever been in a life crisis, where you said, “My God, I’m about to lose my mind. If something doesn’t happen for me soon, I don’t know if I’m going to make it”? You ain’t never been there, where you said, “I’m about to . . .” Oh, my God. If you don’t . . . I don’t . . . I need . . . You ain’t never been there when you sat up all night crying, because you needed God to move for you. You ain’t never . . .

He was in position, and He refused to get out of position. You see, what happens is, when the warfare comes, we start to get out of position, and we start to call it the devil. We start to get out of position and say, “Uh, uh, it’s the devil.” It ain’t the devil. It’s God working on that flesh.

He prayed three times for God to move the cup that He must drink, that He may take on the sins of the world. But God didn’t respond, because He knew what He had in His Son.

You see, God is not responding to you, a lot of times, because He already knows what He’s placed in you, and what He’s placed in you is victory. That’s why He doesn’t move the way He used to move when you first got saved. When you first got saved God would move. Every time you prayed, God would move. Every time you whimpered God was there. Every time. But now all of a sudden it seems like He’s not around any more. He’s still there. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He said, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.”

So here we have our Jesus, not looking for a way of escape, but looking for the Scriptures to be fulfilled. You see, that’s why you’ve got to know God. Because you’ve got to know whether or not we need to be still and let God be God. You need to know whether or not you need to just stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Or you need to know whether or not you need to fight in that battle.

That’s why it’s so important that you have a relationship with God. Because when God tells me I need to stand up and fight, you better bet your dollar, baby doll, I’m about to stand up and rip the devil’s head off, in the Name of Jesus. But if God tells me to stand still, I’m going to stand still and see the salvation of my God.

That’s why I’ve got to have a real relationship with Him. So many people are sitting in church. Listen at what I’m saying today. And they’re going to hell in church, because they don’t really know Him. No, I’m not preaching fire and brimstone and damnation to you. I’m talking truth to you. I’m talking truth to you. Don’t you want to know truth? I don’t want nobody to lie to me, and then I’ll wake up, look up, my eyes in hell. I don’t want you to lie to me. Tell me the truth.

“I’m alright. You alright.” It ain’t alright if God ain’t alright with us. Yes. Yes.

He didn’t run. So in this crisis hour, how do we meet it? Though our very foundation I shaken, what type of attitude do we take? Do you all hear me tonight? Listen, saints. He’s speaking to us. Because He just came out of prayer, and there was the devil.

You got prayed up, and you were under the Anointing of God, and here came the devil. And you thought you were going to cast him out. And God said, “Be still.”

“But God, they’re talking about me.”

God said, “Be still.”

“But God, they’re slandering me.”

God said, “Be still.”

“But God, I got the anointing on me, and I can cast out devils.”

God said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

He’s talking to us for a reason, because you’re in the garden.

The Bible said that Jesus prayed until sweat like drops of blood came from Him. There was such an intensity in His prayer that it caused His insides to come outside. There’s got to be such and intensity in our relationship with God that what’s on the inside of us needs to come to the outside.

We always talk about we’re bringing that, you know, whatever’s not like Him will come out of us, in the Name of Jesus. But what about what is like Him coming out? I want everything that’s like Him to come out, the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, long suffering, temperance, meekness, goodness, gentleness, and faith. I want them all to come out of me.

I’m not trying to escape no more. I took that route before, and the devil caught up with me. I tried to cut the devil’s ear off, like Peter did, and Jesus rebuked me.

You know how we do. We try to get folks straight, don’t we? Hello? We try to get them straight with our saved, sanctified selves. We don’t want anybody to get the best of us. And when they do, we can’t let it go. It just eats at us. It just eats at us. I’m very competitive.

I play basketball. And they’ll tell you . . . The fellows in here, they’ll tell you that I’m competitive out there. But see, I can’t be competitive in here. I can’t let stuff eat at me in here. I’m not in a competition in here.

He said that the Scripture must be fulfilled. He said, “I’ve got to go through this process.” He said, “I can’t let it go.” Evangelists. “I’ve got to go through this process.” Pastor, minister. I’ve got to go through this process, though I don’t like it. Though I know that I have the power that I can deck somebody and knock it out, I’m going to keep my hands down at my side, and I’m going to walk in the Name of Jesus, in love.” Just like Jesus. I’m going to raise up my hand to what? I’m not going to raise my hand at you.

And another way we do it is with that tongue. We cut with the tongue. We don’t just cut the ear off; we slice them, and then we’ll serve them on the plate, and think we’re doing God justice.

How many of you know that our enemies most of the time are not God’s enemies? The same people that we’re saying that we hate is the same people that God is saying that, “I love.” Just because you have a confrontation with somebody or a disagreement with somebody, that doesn’t make them your enemy.

He didn’t try to escape. He stood His ground, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

When we look at Peter’s actions, it was zeal (listen) without knowledge. A lot of us in the body of Christ, we have a zeal for things, but we lack the knowledge. Peter didn’t understand that this had to happen, and so he reacted. Sometimes you don’t understand that they had to do you like that. And so instead of reacting negatively, we need to start acting positively. Because what we do is we use our negativity as a way of escape. Amen.

Why did Peter draw is sword? He drew his sword out of fear. You see, when you begin to draw your sword, you’re drawing it, most of the time, out of fear that that person can do you harm. And so therefore, you’re trying to protect yourself. But how many of you know that they that try to save their lives are the very ones that will lose their lives? He drew the sword out of fear. Somebody say amen.

So here we are tonight in the body of Christ in our own garden of Gethsemane, being pressed like the olives to get the oil out of us. You see, a lot of us think we’re just being pressed, a lot of times, to get the dross out of us, right? To get the impurities out of us. No, no, no. Sometimes God is pressing you to get the goodness out of you. He’s got to press you sometimes to get the goodness out of you, to make sure that everything that needs to be extracted is extracted from that flesh.

You know, there is goodness on the inside of you. I don’t care what you say about you. You didn’t catch that. There’s goodness inside of you. I don’t care what you say about you. Because don’t you spend time sometimes (I know I do) before the Lord, say, “Lord, I’m not worthy. Lord, I got this in me. Lord, I got that.” There’s goodness in you, in spite of what you say about you. Amen. Amen.

The Scriptures had to be fulfilled. They had to be fulfilled. There had to be a final result. Listen, saints. And I’m about to close.

Suffering leads to glory. Shame leads to honor. And your weaknesses lead to power. Take that in. Take that in. We need those words of wisdom. Because we’re being pressed on every side, from the front, to the back, to the sides, to the top, from the bottom. Is there anyone in here being pressed? You’re being pressed for a reason.

It’s not time for you to give up. It’s not time for you to give in. It’s not time for you to say, “Well, things are not going my way, so I’m not going to do what I should be doing, and I know I’m supposed to be doing, so then therefore, you know, I’m not going to do it until God moves for me.” You’re setting yourself up. You’re setting yourself up.

Let me tell you a secret. You’re not going to always get along with everybody. Do you all think that with all the personalities that are in this church that I’m just some spectacular person that I could just deal with everybody? I’m not that wonderful. He is.

Everybody is not easy to deal with. All of us have our moments. All of us have things about us that a lot of times we don’t want to see. Isn’t that right? We do. And we try to ignore those things that are about us, but we try to magnify the things that concern everybody else.

If you think hard enough, I’m sure there’s something about you that you know can be changed. I don’t even have to think hard about myself, and I know I’m a man of God. And there’s some things that I need to change. Because when I come out of prayer, and I’m praying, and I’m asking God, “Lord, I need You to move,” just like Jesus was in the garden and He was asking God, you know, for His prayer request; when I’m in prayer and I come out of prayer, and I’m feeling good, I don’t want the devil to get in my way, but the devil is coming. He’s coming.

And that’s when you’ve got to speak the Word. Speak the Word. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Speak the Word. Allow God’s fulfillment for your life to be done in you. I’ve come too far. You’ve come too far to give up and to go back. Somebody say, “I’ve come too far to give up and to turn back.” Do you believe that? Do you believe that for real? I believe that. I’m going to be forty years in December. I’ve come too far to give up and to go back. There’s nothing to give up for, and there’s nothing to go back to. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

So even folk can say what they want to say. Folks can do what they want to do. I’m still anointed. Amen, somebody. You better take that what I said. Folks can say what they want to say about you. They can do whatever they want to do to you, but you’re still anointed of God. Yeah.

Jesus was the Anointed One that had the Anointing. And that’s why they could say what they wanted to say, and they could do what they wanted to do; He was still going to die and rise again with all power in His hands, and be seated at the right hand of the Father.

“Oh, but they said this about Him. Here is the King of the Jews. Oh, they said that about Him.” They pierced Him in His side. They spit on Him. The Bible said in Isaiah that His face was so marred that it was unrecognizable.

I know that we look at this picture of Jesus on the cross, and we see Him hanging there, and we can recognize Him, and it seems like, you know, He’s hanging there. No, no, no, no. He was brutally beaten, but He didn’t come down until God took Him down.

How many of you are crucified with Christ tonight? Nevertheless you live, not you, but the Christ that lives in you. I put you in there, but it’s not, it’s I. Nevertheless not I, but Christ that liveth in me.

Now, take your mind off of what your mind is on, and put your mind on Jesus, because He’s not going to leave you, child of God. He’s not going to forsake you, child of God. Just wait on Jesus. Wait on Him. Wait on Him. Wait on Him.

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