“Obstacles In Your Way?”

Posted: September 15, 2017 in Christian Life, Decision Making, Discernment

Do you have a “bucket list” of things you’d like to do in life? Perhaps, in the pursuit of your dreams or goals, you’ve come across some obstacles that you didn’t anticipate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your dreams and give up on them, especially if they are ones that God has given to you that are in keeping with His Word and His will for your life (See Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19). One song writer put it this way: “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? / Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?” Then you should realize this – “God specializes in things thought impossible / He does the things others cannot do.” Oscar C Eliason

Examples. God brought the plagues on the Egyptians who had enslaved the Jews for several hundred years in Egypt. He opened up the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry ground and then closed it on the Egyptians who pursued them so they drowned. He fed over 2 million Jews in the wilderness for 40 years. He caused the Jordan River to back up so they could cross over into the Promised Land. He brought down the fortified walls of Jericho. The list could go on and on. (See Acts 7, Hebrews 11) This same God can help us, as Christians, in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:8).

No Secret. Stewart Hamblin wrote, “It is no secret what God can do / What He’s done for others He’ll do for you / With arms wide open, he’ll pardon you / It is no secret what God can do.” This pardon and judicial forgiveness is granted to all those who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Family forgiveness is granted to Christians who confess (specifically name) their sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16).

Clarification. Just because a person receives forgiveness and a pardon from God doesn’t mean that this Christian won’t have to suffer the consequences of his/her violation of man’s laws or nature’s laws. Christians are told to submit to the laws of the land in which they live. The only exception occurs when man’s laws violate God’s laws. Christians may have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Example: When the disciples were told not to preach in Jesus’ name, they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28, 29). For violating man’s laws that were contrary to God’s laws (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20), they were beaten, but they were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake” (Acts 5:33, 40, 41). What would you do if you were threatened like they were?

Our God. The Apostle Paul committed his readers to “… [God] who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Wisdom. As Christians, we have access to the wisdom that comes from God (James 1:5; 3:17). The wisdom of this world, that was designed by the devil, may seem like the right thing to do at the moment, but the end of it could be death (Proverbs 14:12). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36), The devil and demons have their own kind of wisdom that is very appealing to the natural, unsaved man (James 3:14-16). He wants us humans to walk independently of God and make decisions without taking Him into our plans (James 4:13-17). Have you been doing this? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Attention. Sometimes God uses adverse circumstances to get our attention off of the passing things of this world and onto Him and into His Word.  It is “alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul [emotions] and spirit [that belongs to the mind], and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Hebrews 4:12). An idol is anything that comes between us and God. Yes, even Christians can succumb to the temptation to be idolatrous (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 5:19). Are you guilty of this? How much of your time each day is devoted to worshiping and adoring God for who and what He is? How many of God’s attributes can you name? We’re told to “pray (i.e. worship God) without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; See John 4:24; Revelation 4:10, 11; 5:12). No, you don’t have to shut your eyes or raise your hands to do this. Most of us can think on several levels while we’re driving or engaged in other activities.

Priorities. There isn’t anything wrong with our having a “bucket list” of things we’d like to do in this life unless it’s contrary to the revealed will and Word of God or if we want to leave God out of our plans. But our will, as Christians, should always be in submission to God’s will for our lives. As another song writer put it, “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way. / My Lord shall choose for me, ‘Tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go or stay.” Now if you think of yourself as the “Captain of your ship” and the “Master of your own fate,” you’re not going to find these words palatable to your taste. You are thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Romans 12:3). Consider this – “…what do you have that you didn’t receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; See Proverbs 6:17; 8:13). The attitude of pride led to Lucifer’s fall, and if it’s retained, it will lead to your fall too (Isaiah 14:9-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19).

Fools. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). But by merely looking around at nature we intuitively can come to the realization that there must be a God who is all powerful (Romans 1:18; See Revelation 1:8). But those who deny this truth are often allowed to go on in their ignorance and rebellion against God and end up in a degenerate condition (Romans 1:18-32). “They love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). “…the natural [unsaved] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Choices. Every day we make choices about many things. The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).  Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our primary objective in life should be to make God known to those whom we encounter I life. Are you doing this?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Also, please share the information with others who might benefit from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We are also on www.youtube.com. Enter: Kelsey Pietsch

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf  

We recommend the Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

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