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“If we didn’t have obstacles to overcome and never faced impossible situations, we wouldn’t see the greatness of God’s power.”

Joel Osteen

Obstacles. We all have them from time to time. Some are large to hurdle, while others help redirect our paths for the better. One of the biggest obstacles John and I have faced happened several years ago when John’s patient load began to decline. Initially we sought the Lord to see if we had sinned and if this was the Father’s love shown through discipline. If it was, we wanted to repent. After no affirmative response, we assumed it must be the enemy. We spiritually fought the battle through praising God and with prayer. We also tried to come up with other solutions to increase the number of John’s patients. But nothing seemed to work.

We had heard there might be a position for John in Wichita. A few days prior to John’s first set of interviews there, the Lord opened my eyes, much like He did with Balaam in Numbers 22:31. “Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.” I saw a vision of God’s hands on John’s and my backs, pushing us out of Omaha and sending us to Wichita. After I understood the reason behind the obstacle, I stopped interceding for more patients and began to pray John would be hired in Wichita. In dealing with obstacles, I’ve learned:

  1. Not all obstacles are from the enemy. Ask God who is initiating the obstacle.

  2. Seek to understand God’s purpose for allowing the obstacle and to see it from His point of view. If it’s a form of God’s discipline, then humbly repent and seek His forgiveness.

  3. Even if the obstacle is from the enemy, ask God what He wants to transform within you as a result and what character trait of God He is highlighting for you to see.

  4. Obstacles can be a form of God’s mercy, protection, and redirection for your life. (Sometimes obstacles are from the Lord. He opposes us because the way we’re heading is reckless-like with Balaam.) Just this morning I prayed, “Lord, protect me from myself!”

  5. If the obstacle is from God, the best thing to do is to surrender and not fight against it. Submit to His will and ways.

  6. Sometimes God allows obstacles “so that the works of God might be displayed”       (John 9:3).

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

Zig Ziglar

Relevant Reflection:

How can these truths help you with the current obstacle you’re facing?

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