Obstacles or Opportunities – Part 2
By Margaret D. Mitchell
I love what Pastor Jack Hayford says: “Unbelief looks at obstacles; faith looks at God” (The Hayford Bible Handbook).
Whatever we focus on grows (Pr 23:7).
One of the definitions of “obstacle” is “catch-22.”
We can either get caught up in a snare or caught up in the powerful Presence of God with the mind of Christ.
We are commanded to follow God’s lead. Yet, if we don’t know Him for ourselves, we won’t trust Him.
God has a glorious inheritance for us as we move from obsolete (legend) to overcomer.
We know there is freedom (opportunity) in the salvation God offers us for a life reconciled to Him. And we know God goes before us to make a way, even when life on earth seems impossible to us.
But do we believe Him at His Word?
Pastor Hayford wisely advises us to increase our “faith in God’s promises rather than look at the impossible circumstances.”
With this strategy, we grow in faith and shrink hindrances as we trust God.
But when we see more obstacles than opportunities, something’s wrong: Our focus and faith have shifted off of God and His grace and goodness.
We have come to trust something or someone else above God.
Perhaps even ourselves.
We know that God never disappoints, because His Word says so.
So, when we feel disappointed or frustrated, it’s an alert to us to shift our misplaced faith (and focus) back onto Him.
Even when we walk through wilderness seasons or when we feel hemmed in during times of endurance, we can still look up and seek and worship God. We can see above and beyond giants when we gain God’s perspective. We can receive power from on high and defeat them as we experience God’s magnificent Glory-Presence. We can stand in His truth, knowing He will watch over and fulfill His promises to us in His time and way.
Sovereign God is more powerful than any mere obstacle.
King David understood this. I believe his defeat of Goliath was an outward manifestation of David having overcome something within his own soul.
Since Jesus has bought back abundant life for us, we only need to believe Him at His Word, obey Him and receive from His heart and hand through His gift of grace.
Unlike man, He will not cheat us or trick us.
He will not be too hard on us.
With God, we will never come up short when we receive what He has for us.
But obstacles of the soul that we don’t overcome can limit God.
And they can take many forms.
For example, when we take our eyes off of The Spirit of Grace, a harsh attitude can easily gain ground into our soul—a legalistic one that fears and thinks and sees the worst in people and circumstances. A critical attitude that tears others down. This is condemnation of the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, working through a person. This type of behavior reveals insecurity (an open door) in the soul of that person, a hole in their soul where they’ve rejected God’s way and gave up their hope and confidence.
This type of behavior is a self-reliant attempt to cope in order to protect oneself and one’s worth by exalting oneself pridefully. It is a false shield that distrusts God and counters the armor of God. This false shield will eventually be shaken, because it’s an idol within an unbelieving heart (Is 2:18). The vain glory of un-resolve battling to rule the effects of a wounded soul held captive. The aging unrest, false responsibility and overwork of self-reliance above knowing God and trusting in His goodness.
This self-reliant behavior can be the result of a life hard lived that didn’t know a better way of the true power of God. It can even be blasphemous, where God’s truth was “traded for a lie” long ago (Ro 1:25).
Jeremiah 2:11 AMPC says "…My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit."
So, this type of behavior can be at the root of why people fail in life, because there is no life (or victory) in idolatry, including our way.
Proverbs 16:3 tells us, "Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed."
So, friends, isn’t it time to lay down every hopeless obstacle of idolatry? Every worthless focus that would try to exalt itself against God’s power and rob you of His abundance (2 Co 10:5)?
There’s no need to fear coming into port to make this exchange, because there’s no condemnation in Christ.
God is rich in mercy and full of grace.
James 1:5 TPT tells us, "…if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace."
We need to humble ourselves and yield our whole heart to The Lord and receive.
And if we desire to see a great yield of good fruit in our lives, then we have to yield to the Fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:23).
So, God’s parallel for the enemy’s catch-22 is Isaiah 22:22, which is to wholeheartedly believe and operate in the authority, power and privilege of our position in Christ, having been given full access, nothing withheld through Jesus. His Spirit living in us is our key to “revelation, treasures, favor and opportunity” (Is 22:22 TPT study note).
Yes, "…we still have the opportunity to enter into the faith-rest life and experience the fulfillment of the promise” (Hebrews 4:6 TPT)!
Matthew 22:2 AMPC says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his [daughter]."
It’s time to enter into God’s abundant life (Strong’s #2222).
So, pray with me, if you will…
Thank You for offering me abundant life. I repent of wrongdoing. I trade in my false shields for You as my protector. I invite Jesus into my whole heart, nothing withheld (Pr 30:5). I choose to lay down every false idol to You today and make You the center of my life. Help me to receive Your healing power—bind every wound and heal every injury. Show me a better way, Lord. Enable me to receive Your freedom of deliverance from every catch-22 snare. Help me to receive healthy boundaries and truth in my life as I choose to trust You totally (Pr 16:3). Help me to know You more. I ask You to release Your wisdom, revelation and favor to me, as You know all things (1 Jn 2:20). Help me to receive Your best legacy (inheritance) and destiny (pre-determined plan) for my life. Thank You, Lord, for making all things new. Thank You for the invitation to Your banquet. I receive it.
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.