Several years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I would fall asleep, but never get rest. I would also stop breathing for up to a minute before popping up gasping for air. The doctor said that having my heart go from a resting rate to the sudden fast beat could kill me, so he put me on a CPAP machine. He explained that I had a negative pressure where the pressure outside my body was greater than the pressure inside my body. The CPAP, which stands for continuous positive air pressure, would force air inside my body to push against the negative pressure and keep me from not breathing. Ever since I’ve been on it, I’ve been able to get rest when I sleep.
In Matthew 4, Jesus had just been baptized and was led into the wilderness for a 40 day fast. While He was hungry and weak, the enemy brought negative pressure in order to tempt Him. He was first tempted to turn stones into bread, but He pushed back by quoting the Word of God. He was then tempted to test God, but again He pushed back with what the Bible says. Finally He was offered earthly kingdoms in exchange for eternal ones. Just like before, He was able to overcome by the Word of God. In doing so, He taught us how to overcome the negative pressures we all face.
Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (NLT). Having God’s Word in our heart provides a positive pressure inside us that pushes back against all the negative pressures from people around us. Without having it in our hearts, we can have the life choked out of us spiritually. Reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture and studying it are all ways we create positive pressure inside our spirit in order to overcome.