Have you ever been involved with a project for the Lord as a group or individually and were not able to complete the project because of obstacles?
How about on the job? You worked hard all year and you were expecting a nice raise or a desired promotion only to have a “but” obstacle come at you – “you did a great job this year “but!” Or have you noticed that any time you try to do God’s work obstacles happen stopping you dead in your track?
The children of Israel had a similar obstacle challenge them. In the book of Ezra, chapters 1 thru 6, they were given permission by Cyrus king of Persia to restore the Temple at Jerusalem, and all articles of the Temple that were taken away were to be returned to the temple. Many Jews returned to Jerusalem for the restoration of the Temple and the Bible reads “they all worked as one to restore the Temple.”
As they worked restoring the Temple, their adversaries began creating obstacles by writing letters of false accusations and lies against them – obstacles which made them cease from restoring the Temple. Has this ever happened to you—people lie on you or falsely accuse you?
As God’s children we will always encounter obstacles when we are busy doing His work or being obedient to His Word. These obstacles are from satan, they come subtly but quickly! He will use your enemies, family, friends, co-workers, or employer to destroy your efforts. Satan creates these obstacles and distractions to defeat us so we can blame God for our problems. But, remember, they are only obstacles and God can remove and destroy any obstacle, “what Satan meant for bad, God can turn into good.”
The children of Israel soon discovered God’s favor in their life through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. God sent these prophets to speak words of encouragement to them and to tell them to “rise up” and continue restoring the Temple for the “eye of their God was upon them.” What wonderful words – to know that the “eye of God is watching over you.” As you continue to read Ezra you will see the power of God in action. God turned what seemed like a big obstacle to the children of Israel into a wonderful and prosperous blessing! God can do the same for our lives!
The same power demonstrated by God to help the children of Israel is available to us today. God will never leave us without help. When obstacles come, God will send messengers our way to encourage us. These messengers may be in the form of a Pastor, Christian friend, or as we read the Bible God will speak to us through His Word. These messages come from God to instruct us on:
Discouragement: Discouragement will come, but don’t let it stop you, give the situation to God. He instructs us to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
God doesn’t want you to be worried and become burdened; He is there to help you! Let go and let God!
Prayer: Pray for your enemy or those creating obstacles in your life. Prayer mixed with faith will move mountains and stop your enemies. (“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” Matthew 5:45) God will be the avenger against your enemies.
Belief: Believe in your heart that God is able to do the impossible. (“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27)
Attitude: Do not complain about the situation, sometimes God will allow obstacles to come our way to test our faith. Everything we do, we should do as unto the Lord, so whether on the job, at home, at school, at church, or out and about, perform as if you are doing it for the Lord. Finally, demonstrate a positive attitude knowing that God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Friends “rise up” and continue your work, for 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” What a reassuring statement! God says if your heart is right, He is on the job day and night working out that situation for you, looking for ways to prosper you, ready to defend you, ready to protect you, ready to take care of you, etc.
With God on your side, what more do you need, whom should you fear? Live your life for God, knowing that He has already worked out every obstacle even before it has occurred. God loves you very much and wants nothing but the best for you and your family, for He says: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Glory in God’s love knowing that He’s going to work out the situation for you – KNOWING NOTHING WILL SEPARATE YOU FROM THE LOVE OF GOD!
God has a plan and purpose for your life and His protection is upon you to finish what He has begun in you. So, who will you believe?
S.N.A.C.K. on the Word
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