In week three, of my Bible study Breaking Free by Beth Moore, we talked about obstacles.
John 10:10 NKJV
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
This verse in John was not in the Bible study anywhere this week, but as I began thinking and praying about how I would present week three to you, this verse came to my mind.
The Lord wants us to live our lives abundantly. I in no way shape or form do I believe that that means financial wealth. I believe 100% that the Lord is saying that he wants us to live abundantly in Him.
We cannot live abundantly in Christ if we have obstacles in our way. Obstacles of unbelief, of pride, obstacles of idolatry, prayerlessness or legalism.
That is what week three is about. The obstacles that stand in our way, that keep us from living life abundantly in Christ.
Isaiah 57:14 NIV
14 And it will be said:
“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
Today as I write this, I look out my front window to snow. Where I live we don’t get a lot of snow. If we do it doesn’t stick around very long.
Looking at the snow, I am reminded of obstacles that are disguised as beauty. The enemy is really good at making things look beautiful. In reality they’re just an obstacle.
Like the beautiful snow coming down in my front yard. It is an obstacle. It keeps people from leaving their homes. It strikes fear into people that are not used to driving in the snow. And for my mama’s heart, it makes me uneasy when my family has to leave for the day in the snow. As beautiful as it is, it is an obstacle for those who have to go out.
Working through this study, I see that not all of these obstacles listed do I have an issue with. I don’t have an issue with unbelief.
As you may remember, in week two, I talked about unbelief. It’s not that I don’t believe in God, I struggle believing God. Really what I struggle with is trust.
Idolatry is an area that I need to put some thought and prayer into. When I think of idols I think of statues that a person worships. I don’t have those. But the definition of Idolatry is:
1 worship of idols.
3 idolization, fetishization, fetishism, idol worship, adulation, adoration, reverence, veneration, glorification, lionization, hero-worshiping “the prophets railed against idolatry”
◦extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.”we must not allow our idolatry of art to obscure issues of political significance”
◦ idolization, fetishization, fetishism, idol worship, adulation, adoration, reverence, veneration, glorification, lionization, hero-worshiping “the prophets railed against idolatry”
That’s more than just idolizing an image. Idolatry is an issue of the heart. What is it that I love and admire more than the Lord? What is it that keeps my attention from the Lord? That is an idol.
I can tell you, that I am a selfish person. I struggle with the trust of money. I trust myself and money more than I should. That is idol worship at its finest really. I Worship myself. Just saying that out loud causes a sting in my heart, but it’s not secret to me or the Lord.
Obviously I have an obstacle of not only trust issues, but pride in myself. Then we can tack on prayerlessness to that list of obstacles in my life. I feel as though my prayer life may be lacking a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I pray everyday and several times a day.
There’s a quote from day four of this weeks study, she says,
“Satan knows prayerless lives are powerless lives while prayerful lives are powerful lives”.
How true is that.
When it comes to prayer, I am not a wordy person. When I pray I get straight to the point. And it almost never occurs to me, to look scripture up and write a prayer from Scripture.
I feel as though as a parent and a spouse I have done my family an injustice by not praying the Word over them. If I could go back 20 years and start all over I would change that.
Luckily though, we have the grace and mercy of the Lord. I can start today and not look back in shame.
If we are to stand firm then against the enemy, then we must put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us exactly what it is and why we need it.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
The final obstacle of the week surprised me at first. I have a simple faith. I believe in God, I’ve put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I’ve been baptized and I try to live my life in obedience to his word. Obviously I have some obstacles, but who doesn’t. LOL but legalism is not one of them for me.
I do not believe I have to be certain heritage, skin color, or be a doormat for my husband in order to be saved. I believe scripture calls Jeffrey and I to be a team. He is the captain and I am the co- captain, if you will.
I take Acts 16:31 literally;
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved you and your household.
I don’t believe there’s any more or any less to it. But back in the day the Pharisees and the Sadducees had the people all mixed up. They had them dependent on whether they honor the Sabbath or not, whether they were circumcised or not whether they were Jewish or not. Putting regulations on our relationship with Jesus does not give us Joy.
You can read about some of these accounts for yourself. Look up the following verses:
Acts 15:1-2, 6-11
We cannot live in the full presence of God when we are busy trying to meet up to someone’s standards and expectations or working our way to heaven. It is for by grace you have been saved through faith!
However, being obedient and honoring the sabbath isn’t wrong, but putting the sabbath above loving our neighbor or our enemy isn’t what the Lord meant. If we can help someone on the sabbath then we should do it in full confidence that the Lord is pleased.
To say this week was interesting and thought provoking would be an understatement.
I can see for sure where I need to work on some things . Prayer being the biggest, then trusting the Lord 100%. Sometimes taking that first step is hard, but with the Lord it’s well worth it.
I hope this week has given you something to think about. If you’re interested in working through this study as well you can find it on Amazon for about $15. (I am not an affiliate)
Also, please think of the homeless this week when you step outside in the cold. Imagine sleeping in a tent. Good grief! I don’t think so. If your heart is stirred, please go to the Revival of Grays Harbor website and donate through PayPal. If you don’t know what I’m taking about, you can read my last post on the homeless in Grays Harbor.
Thank you for allowing me to share with you today.