Waking one morning in January of 2011, I was despaired about why I was receiving so slowly spiritually, and sought God about it. He said Press in. Now a new task and questions posed itself; what does it mean to press in, and how do we achieve it? A study of the words translated “press” followed.
For each instance of the word translated press in the King James (New Testament) the scriptures will be included, followed by the Strong’s Number, Greek word, and definition.
Mark 3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
1968. epepipto, ep-ee-pip’-to; from 1909 and 4098; to embrace (with affection), or seize (with more or less violence; lit. or fig.)
The churches are full of people who embrace their concept of God with affection, so if this is the pressing, why aren’t we seeing the depth of spiritual walk? Those who had plagues that were seizing Jesus, sought and desired a physical thing, their healing. Oh, to have this desire for the spiritual things! This pressing would not necessarily result in a greater spiritual walk. Let us press on to press in.
Mark 2:4 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.
Mark 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
Luke 8:19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
Luke 19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was: and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
3793. ochlos, okh’-los; a der. of 2192 (mean. a vehicle); a throng (as borne along); by impl. the rabble; by extens. a class of people; fig. a riot
If a throng was all that was needed, the large churches that do not preach against sin would have many more living in victory. Rioting surely does not result in humbleness or righteousness. This cannot be the pressing required to grow as God desires us to spiritually.
Luke 5:1 AND it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
1945. epikeimai, ep-ik’-i-mahee; from 1909 and 2749; to rest upon (lit. or fig.)
Is this the needed pressing? The people have a desire for the Word, and are resting upon Him for it. Ezekiel 33:30 – 33 speaks of people desiring to hear the word, but not changing their lives. How often do we see this in churches, where people rely on the pastor for the Word one or two times per week? There must be a greater depth to the pressing.
Luke 6:38 Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
4085. piezo, pee-ed’-zo; another form for 4084; to pack
The word “give” has been read and preached as monetary in this scripture, and the scripture was almost excluded here for that reason. But giving extends to everything; love, time, joy, peace, faith. With the same measure that you give will you receive from men; throw away your teaspoon, and find a big scoop shovel! Also know this, God gives exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think; you cannot out give God, and you are laying up great treasure if you allow God to establish His will and plan in you. Press in to receive and share Jesus more! And yet, if we are operating in self or flesh our giving will be limited spiritually: we need to find a greater pressing to reach the depths in God.
Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
598. apothlibo, ap-oth-lee’-bo; from 575 and 2346; to crowd from (every side)
This crowding is similar to the prior throng, and does not result in our receiving. We need a greater spiritual pressing.
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
4912. sunecho, soon-ekh’-o; from 4862 and 2192; to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); fig. to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy
Paul was pressed, or compelled to let out what he had, the testimony of Jesus. But this was not an adding to what he had. This pressing will be how God uses you after you are prepared. The pressing we need will result in our gaining more of Jesus.
II Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
916. bareo, bar-eh’-o; from 926; to weigh down (fig.)
While being weighed down can have some spiritual benefit, it is not the seeking that will let us grow in Him. It is again a pressing that God can use you in, and you can be a witness to who He is. But we need to find Him in a greater way.
Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
971. biazo, bee-ad’-zo; from 970; to force, i.e. (reflex.) to crowd oneself (into), or (pass.) to be seized
The Matthew scripture is included because the word translated violence is the same Greek word translated presseth in the Luke scripture. We are getting somewhere now! Surely seeking the kingdom and heaven are a pressing we need, and it is not a passive pressing, as the scripture notes the violent take it by force. This speaks of a desire and diligence that are necessary, but what is our motive? How many are in church seeking heaven to avoid hell? Have you heard someone say “I just want to make it”? This will not necessarily result in a greater spiritual walk. We need to not only diligently pursue where we are going, but allow Him to make us who He wants us to be as a soldier for Him. We must have that desire and diligence for a greater relationship with God. Our walk should glorify Him as we press for the goal. We must be hearing from God and doing what he commands us, not just seeking for our purposes.
And now we come to the first scripture that probably comes to mind about pressing; Paul’s pressing in Philippians;
Philippians 3:12 – 14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1377. dioko, dee-o’-ko; a prim. (and caus.) form of a prim. verb dio (to flee; comp. the base of 1169 and 1249); to pursue (lit. or fig.); by impl. to persecute
In the above scriptures the words follow and press are translated from the same Greek word, meaning to pursue. Pursue means to go after something. After some months of trying to find how to press in, it is apparent there was too much emphasis on the action (Press) and not on the goal (in). The pressing is not something you seek, but something you do! If we get such a hunger and desire for the goal in our soul that we must have it, pressing will be the obvious result. This pressing will not be prevented or stopped by seeing the obstacles. What is our goal? Do you desire to be the man you think you should be, or the soldier He has called you to be?
As you read through verses 8 through 11 in Philippians 3 you see many goals for Paul; the knowledge of Christ Jesus, winning and being found in Christ, the righteousness of God, the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of Christ’s suffering, being made conformable to his death, and attaining the resurrection. But in verse 14, Paul (and God by inspiring His servant to write it) sums it all up into … the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. His mark or goal was the prize of the high calling. What is a high calling?
The word “calling” is translated from the Greek word klesis, number 2821 in the Strong’s. It simply means an invitation (figuratively). We are invited to accomplish the will of God, and be part of His plan. Can you receive this as your goal? Or will you be hindered by complacency, or by the obstacles? Paul exhorted Timothy to reach beyond the obstacles to the calling;
II Timothy 1:8 - 11 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Timothy is reminded of his obstacles, and told not to be hindered by them; not being ashamed of the testimony of Jesus; or being ashamed of Paul, His prisoner; not being stopped by the afflictions but a partaker of them, in the power of God. Timothy is also told that when we are saved we are called; and that calling is according to God’s purpose and grace, not anything of our works. It was always there for us from the beginning, and is now shown by Jesus and the victories He provided. It is by these things that Paul notes that he was appointed, or called … a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. In noting these things Paul exhorts Timothy to seek the holy calling. Do you have fleshly goals in life? wealth, fame, a vehicle, a house, a boat, or sports? Even food can become a goal to be sought. Any other goal we have can compete with or hinder our seeking the spiritual goal.
As you begin to press in examine yourself and see if there are hindrances holding you back. Seek God for His high and holy calling to be present in you, and then press in to receive it. If we are sidetracked, refuse the call, or are complacent God will provide another means of completing His plan, and we risk an eternity in hell. We must press toward the high calling to receive it.
Smith Wigglesworth said we will not receive anything if we seek it on earth, we must pray into the heavens. To press in, to find our full calling, and to see and receive what God has for us, we must seek the presence of God. If we seek Him with all our heart, He will be found of us;
Jeremiah 29:11 – 14 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
While these verses were given to Jeremiah regarding the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, we know from I Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened to them were for … ensamples: and they are written for our admonition. What are you captive to? What or where has it driven you to? The return path is simple and easy; search for His presence … with all your heart … and He will be found of you. He will bring you back to the place where you were carried away captive. How often are we as the seed that fell among thorns (Matthew 13:22), and … the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word ... and prevent us from seeking with all our heart? Give up these things, and seek Him further and He will begin to establish your path and walk: Press in, and find the presence and power of Almighty God.