Do you know that the only reason the enemy attacks you is to steal the Word? Lay hands on yourself and say, “If I’m going to be just like Jesus, it’s going to be because of the Word. The Word of God is going to change me into His image.” The enemy knows that, and he knows you are well on your way to another realm in the Holy Ghost.
So the only thing he can do is pour on the pressure—psychological pressure and the pressure of natural circumstances. He can’t do a thing to you, but in the natural, your situation can seem so uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and foreign, you begin to wonder, “What’s wrong? When I was way back there, things went smoothly. Now I’m over here, and things are shaky. There’s a storm, and things are flying in every direction. I can’t handle any more.”
“ 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”Matthew 11:2-6
That’s where John the Baptist was. John had already spoken his faith on many occasions. Have you spoken your faith? You said, “By His stripes, I was healed.” Then the pain came, and some powerless theologian said, “We’ll see!” Or you have tithed and believed, “All of my needs are met according to His riches in glory,” and—bam!—you went into unfamiliar territory.
I’ve heard people say, “Listen, man, I was better off when I was in the world!” How many know that when your father is the devil, he might leave you alone for a while? You’re not a threat to him. But when you trade sides, God becomes your Father and the devil becomes your enemy. God equips you to go into the enemy’s dimension, overthrow his altars, tear down his fortresses, and lay claim to the souls he holds. That’s when the devil targets your life.
John preached it. He taught it. He believed it. Notice John had never wondered whether or not Jesus was the Messiah until he was thrown in jail. Before, John had said, “I must decrease that He might increase.” Then, when he was in jail and the circumstance that was going to decrease him came, he began to wonder whether or not he had heard God right.
I am not saying God puts you in jail, in a sick bed, or in the unemployment line to teach you something. Absolutely not! I am saying that if we spiritualize this text, we see John as representing the old way and Jesus the new way.
God says, “You and I are going to make a transition from where you were into a place where I am leading you; to a place you should be.”
During this time of transition, the enemy will bring across your path situations and pressures designed to cover you with a maze of confusion so he can rob you of the confidence, the testimony, the commitment, and the assurance that will lead you through.
By putting on the pressure, he tries to get you to take your hands off the throttle. He tries to get you to back off and not let that thrust carry you through to penetrate and break the barriers.
In prison, he put the pressure on John. John began to wonder, “What am I doing here? I wonder if I missed God. Is Jesus the One? I want to make sure I’m right.”
Some airplanes are unpressurized. They can’t fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet. They are not designed for that altitude. If you take them that high, they begin to fall apart! However, God has equipped and “pressurized” you as a Christian to soar above the circumstances of life. When you know it, you begin to preach it, believe it, and testify to it! Everything is fine as long as you’re only 10,000 feet above the Earth. But the higher you get, the greater your responsibility and need to believe becomes.
You might look down and say, “My God, I can’t keep this thing together by myself!” But it’s not you holding things together anyway! It is the anointing on your life that is doing it, just like it is not the pilot who holds the airplane together. The high-altitude airplane handles the pressure; it was designed to do that. It can soar high. So is the believer who holds to the word of truth and never allows the pressures of the adversary to talk him out of it.
A man or woman of transition always fulfills the mission. On the other hand, a stagnant person won’t have these problems, because his battles have already stopped. Why? Because he stopped. If you quit taking territory, in the natural it feels much better, because all the pressure is off.
Seasons of transition demand commitment, intensity, tenacity, and wholehearted conviction. In the natural, seasons of transition will feel like your mind is racing, like your heart is pressed, and like your relationships are stressed. As a matter of fact, everyone around you—people you count on—will start freaking out. It’s not because they are bad people, but because the enemy knows if he does not stop you this side of the barrier, he will never stop you. When you are called by God to go into high places and you know it, then you tell it, preach it, confess it, and believe it!