We hear this phrase a lot —press forward, press on, press through, and press towards the mark. but what does that mean and what does it look like? What does it mean to press? What does that consist of? Here is my answer.
To press means to pursue or go after something. It means to push past obstacles until you succeed. Those obstacles can lie in three realms.
The first obstacles are in the mind. These are feelings of defeat, self-doubt, discouragement, disillusionment, distractions, etc. These can be any thought system that puts up a barrier between you and anything you desire from God.
The second obstacles are those in our natural realm. That could be people who are fighting against you. They could be circumstances that present walls or make it difficult to get to our objective. Or it just might be Individual people who do not want to see you succeed.
The third obstacle is demonic spiritual forces that are sent by Satan to keep you from entering into the destiny that God has created for you. When God thought of each of us, he had an image of what he wanted to see manifested in our lives. We get to partner with that image by connecting with God and building a relationship with him. He works in our lives to achieve that image. Joseph in the Bible is a perfect example of partnering with a dream until it manifest.
He gives us glimpses of this vision he has for us through prophetic words, through our own imaginations, through the dreams that we aspire to accomplish. The enemy of our soul, his name is Satan, does not want us to access that person and to become who God visualized we could be. Thus, he opposes us and fights against us to discourage us and to get us to quit. That is why we have to press, push past obstacles, pursue and overtake the vision of our higher selves.
Here are three examples from the Scriptures of what it means to press.
Philippians 3:14 (KJV)
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul the apostle said I press or push past obstacles toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. In other words, he was saying there would be obstacles in his way. There would be resistance and in order for him to access the prize of Christ, he had to press or pursue or push past the obstacles regardless of the difficulty.
Mark 5:27 (KJV)
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. Another example from Scripture is the woman with the issue of blood. She had a condition that no doctor had been able to cure. When she heard that Jesus was nearby, at risk of death by stoning, she pushed past the mental opposition —fear of death. She pushed past the physical opposition— the people that were in her way, and she pushed past the mental resistance feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy to pursue her healing. She overcame everything in her way to get what she needed.
Mark 2:4 (KJV)
And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken [it] up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. And in this final example from scripture, we see a group of comrades who were determined to get healing for their friend. When they could not get him into the door, their pursuit of healing for their loved one, compel them to take actions out of the norm. They climb to the roof of the house, created a hole and lowered him in front of the healer. That is pressing past all opposition.
To press means looking beyond where you are now and realizing that there are alternate realities. The mark of the prize that Paul saw was an alternate reality. The healing that the woman with the issue of blood and the group of friends saw was an alternate reality.
There is the reality that the enemy wants you to see, and there is the reality that God is setting into place for you. If the enemy can keep you focused on a specific paradigm. He can keep you from seeing what God is actually doing in the background. To press means to look beyond what is in front of you in the natural and to see what lies ahead of you in the spiritual. One of the best examples of this in manifestation is a video I saw by Steve Harvey when he had been waiting for his breakthrough into the comedy circuit.
In the video, Steve Harvey talks about how he was down to his last $35 and was about to quit on his dream. He describes what happened when God challenged him to press on. As he pushed past that lying reality, he realized that God was opening the door for him at the Apollo theater in New York. That opportunity was the breakthrough he had to press into.
At each juncture, Steve had to press pass the FALSE reality into seeing by faith what he desires and WHAT HE has been clinging to. In the natural, it looked impossible. But God wanted him to see — by FAITH— and in the spirit, each step of the provision that was being made for him along the way. To access that provision HE had to act by faith. Steve’s world was being framed by the Faith actions he took. Every step required faith. Every step required that he connect with God and move closer to who God wanted him to be. Faith helps us in the process of becoming. The word BE– coming Speaks to a version of you that God is drawing out of the spirit and bringing into the natural. The you–HE SAW when HE imagined you in his mind IS COMING into this natural realm. To press is to agree with that reality and to pursue taking action until it manifest.
Many people think that dreams happen by chance, fate or destiny. The truth is we have to partner with that inner image.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) Talks about the eternal image already in our hearts. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart…” There is an eternal version of you inside your heart. It was placed there by God. And God gives us snapshots of that image. But we have to press on, pursue and overcome obstacles until we see and manifest it. That is the process of developing our faith. We learn to trust and rely on God. And we are changed into the image he saw when he thought of us in his mind.