Push & Pull: Compression

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]hen there are a lot of demands on your time, how do you know what to put your full effort and focus to? As a recovering hypercompetitive athlete and perfectionist, I have found that I needed to find the middle ground in many things that may otherwise seem contradictory.  

You must be strong and flexible.

You must be relaxed and powerful.

You must be focused and not overthink.

You must be disciplined and have fun.


There are many more things, like this, that apply outside the playing field.  Maybe you are an athlete, or maybe you’re in a very competitive work environment where you deal with tension every day.

I am not talking about relational tension.  That kind of tension requires a whole series in and of itself.  I am talking about the tension we feel when our circumstances and the reality of today do not match up with the picture (vision) of our desired future.  We have can goals but there is work to make them come to pass. Our daily tasks show only glints of those goals becoming reality.  It seems as though the rhythm and routine of the day to day acts almost as a blurring agent to that picture of our future.

Why is that? I think it has to do with the PUSH & PULL we are under everyday.  To illustrate these forces better lets look at the PUSH & PULL the body under goes in a workout.  Tension (PULL), in verb form, means to apply force to something in order to stretch it.  In physics, tension is described as a pulling force in opposite directions exerted by each end of a string, cable, chain or a similarly shaped object.  Tension, alone, is not a force but creates resistance.  It helps to consider what the opposite of tension is in physics, that is compression .  Compression is the application of balanced inward forces (or PUSH).  One is focused inward (compression) the other is focused outward (tension). How does this all relate to how we hold onto a vision and cope with tension in the throes of advancing toward it?

In Proverbs 29:18  it says

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“where people lack revelation (or vision) people cast off restraint.” (NKJV)[/mk_blockquote]

Tension brings the proper restraints we need to channel all our efforts efficiently in order to move forward.  Compression is the test of what internal pressure we can handle before we crumble.  Tension must be strong to help pull us forward.  Likewise, our faith must be fortified in order to stand firm against the compression forces that the enemy would try to overcome us with. They are necessary to build in us the character we need to stand firm in the good fight of faith.  The issue is they can sure be distracting.

As a highly competitive person, tension (the pull) has been one of the hardest things for me to make peace with.  When it comes to vision you can not see with your eyes the direction you are being pulled toward.  You do know that it is a fight for growth and there will be opposition. It is in the lane next to you in swimming, or the person in the other jersey.  Compression (the push) of others and life is easier to understand.  Even scripture clearly addresses that we will have to tackle the push (or compression) of  our opponent.  We even get to know who our opponent  is so it is spelled out avoiding any confusion.  It is not the person next to us but instead the opposition or the push back from the enemy.

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.- Ephesians 6:12[/mk_blockquote]

These powers are what  push against us. They intentionally try and hinder our progress.  The devil’s objective after all is to “steal, kill, and destroy” right? Anything that hinders our progress toward advancement using these tactics can be traced back to the enemy.  Knowing this is a relief because we have a “counter play” in place:

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.- James 4:7[/mk_blockquote]

That’s as simple as it gets.  It works every time. Instead of focusing on the circumstances around you and the PUSH the enemy is trying to distract you with see it for what it is.  An opportunity to choose faith and stand on the word of God.  To exercise your authority and  operate in the powerful principles of God.  You will find the more you do this the clearer your picture of your future becomes.  I dare you, PUSH pack and pray.  My pastor Jurgen Matthesius wrote a book on it called you guessed it PUSH.  Get it and live it.

You are probably thinking though, we have addressed what PUSH & PULL is and the simplicity of compression, but what do you do with the tension of life (the pull)?  How do you make peace with it?  That is up next in Push & Pull:Tension.