Tag Archives: challenges

How to Overcome Obstacles

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
                                                                                                Colossians 1:10-12

Obstacles.

For as long as I can remember, encountering obstacles would make me crumple up in despair. Without attempting to overcome the blockade, I would remain trapped back where my dream originally began.

Not very productive, I know. 

So yesterday, while strolling along the Chattachoochee river and sipping on Haitian coffee, I wasn’t at all surprised when the Lord began to speak to me about this specific issue – my inability to consistently overcome obstacles. Instead of shying away from this holy and paternal insight on my life, I chose to meet Him with enthusiasm and wonder. I wanted to discover how this behavior could be overcome. No longer did I want to regret my yet unrealized dreams.

And this is where it all begins, beloved. With the desire to change.

What is an obstacle?

According to Websters, obstacles are defined as something that impedes (delays) progress or achievement; a barrier, a hindrance, or a blocking.

Even this definition alone makes me annoyed.

But, I challenge you to take a look at what some of our world’s greatest leaders have said concerning this issue of overcoming obstacles.

 “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
 
“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B.C. Forbes
 
“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

These leaders were great because they did great things. And they did great things because they simply overcame their obstacles. I want to do this, too.

How about you?

I want to be great through Christ. I want to own a successful company. I want to publish books. I want to speak more languages. I want to impact nations for Christ. I want to be a submissive wife. I  want to earn my PhD. I want a Bed ‘n’ Breakfast on a farm to host missionaries.  I want to learn to sail. I want an incredible marriage. I want to touch thousands upon thousands of lives (through His grace).

Deep within my core, I know these dreams will require much more than just a vision and good intentions to be realized. I will have to mature in overcoming obstacles in order to experience a life of greatness. And so will you, my friend.

What unrealized dreams do you have waiting at the doorstep of your heart?

Here are three ideas the Lord spoke into my mind yesterday afternoon:

1. Set your eyes on the goal, but don’t overlook the journey. I am a visionary, which means I naturally focus most of my attention on the expected outcome (the goal). Because so much detail and planning goes into the actual vision of the end result, I become incredibly distraught when things don’t go according to plan. Which leads me to the next point…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

2. Remain flexible and seek alternate solutions. This statement is synonymous with two simple but important words: “problem-solver.” And this is not my forte. The idea of picking myself up (with the aid of Christ), contemplating a myriad of alternate solutions, and failing countless times before encountering success seems noble (yet daunting). But it’d be much easier to just cry and postpone the goal till a more “fit season,” delaying the gratification for another time. Many refer to this more candidly as “procrastination.” However, through the strength of Jesus Christ, we can persevere. The notion is simple: Don’t give up until you find the best solution to meet your goal.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11

3. Expect obstacles before reaching the goal. If we ever set out to change our reality by pursuing a dream or a goal, we must expect obstacles. Along with accepting that our plans may need to adapt along the way. Once we confront the obstacle, slow down, and begin problem-solving, then we can then truly determine if the goal is worth the pursuit. This often fuels a deeper sense of enjoyment and fulfillment once we finally obtain the goal or dream. All great things come at a great cost.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

May we press on to reach the goals which are set out before us and may the God Eternal receive all the glory! Know someone who would be encouraged by this article? Please pass it along using any of our social outlets listed below. Thank you for choosing HIs Daily Dose today!

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The Value of Wise Counsel

Wise counsel is a topic that stirs up a deep and vibrant passion within me. Because wisdom equips us to reject mediocrity while cultivating quality in our lives, I am convinced that Godly wisdom is the greatest indicator of how well one’s life will be lived.

Of course, this implies that one has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ invites us to accept a new life in Him, and the wisdom found in God’s word is what teaches us how to live out this new life.

Wisdom found in God’s word invites us into God’s way of thinking. 

Let’s see what the Word has to say about wisdom:

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and discipline (implying we must seek it in order to gain it); for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion (good judgement) to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning (implying humility is wisdom, since one who is wise continues to be teachable), and let the discerning get guidance —for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

I’m not sure about you, but I want everything that wisdom has to offer: the discipline to do what needs to be done to reach my goals, the ability to understand words of insight, and the discernment to know what is right and wrong in this whirlwind of chaos called life. And I want to avoid senseless mistakes.

How is wise counsel related to wisdom? Wisdom comes from the Lord. Counsel is advice given to one person by another. Therefore, wise counsel is the advice or insight given to another person that is based on God’s truth. In order to be wise, counsel cannot be based on the limited understanding that man possesses. Instead, it must come from an infallible God who knows and understands all things. If the advice you’re receiving does not align with Scripture, then I would strongly encourage you to reevaluate your sources of insight.

What are sources of wise counsel in one’s life? The first source should always be the Wise Counselor. And I would encourage you to always go to Him first. Wise counsel can also come several different sources: the Word, your pastor, a mentor, your spouse, a close friend, a parent, or a therapist. Just make sure that whatever advice you receive is based on the Truth, because the Truth (not opinions) is what sets us free.

Let’s take a stroll through the Word to observe God’s take on this issue:

1. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs12:15

We need to be quick to seek insight from Godly counsel. It can save us from major heartache down the road.

2. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

Humility is a prerequisite for receiving insight from others. Pride tells us that we already know everything and don’t need to listen to anyone.

3. “He walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

If you want to be wise, find wise people and spend time with them. You will learn a ton!

4. “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Wisdom causes us to reevaluate how we spend our time, our money, our relationships, and our efforts.

5. “Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs15:22

If we lean on our own understanding and refuse to seek counsel when faced with a dilemma, then we often end up making poor choices, especially if we lack experience. There is power in humbling ourselves and seeking help.

6. “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs15:31

We are wise when we allow people to confront us with God-given truth, even if it hurts.

7. “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23

Wisdom must be in the heart (the wellspring of life) before it can be spoken through the mouth. We must pay attention to what people are advising us to do. And we need to carefully observe how they live their lives.

8. “The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

When used by the Lord, wise counsel has a way of exposing the deepest issues within us. I often refer to this as purging our souls.

9. “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

A wise person individual will heed to Godly counsel and seek the appropriate response in different situations. A foolish individual will continue doing what they’re doing and suffer the unnecessary consequences.

10. “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Trusting in ourselves alone is dangerous. We must seek His counsel and truth to direct our lives in order to dwell in safety.

May we all pursue lives of excellence with the aid of wisdom by seeking God first and being open to wise counsel from God-fearing advisers.

Application Questions

1. Who is the first person you often turn to when facing a significant decision? And is the counsel that you receive rooted in truth?

2. Can you think of two to five people in your life that can provide wise counsel? Who do you know that studies and applies God’s word in different areas of life (e.g. financial, marriage / relationships, parenting, therapy / counseling, ministerial / vocational decisions, and managing others)?

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox. Thank you!

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A Road Towards Dependency in Christ

I’m walking down a road of dependency. Or better yet, a road of learning to trust in the Lord. 

And as disciples of Christ, these paths are critical for our growth.

I have learned in order to possess the highest caliber of a relationship with Christ, we will often have to travel down some very uncertain roads. Yet, we will always have a companion. A Holy companion.  One who has gone before us and knows the path we’ve embarked on incredibly well.

This morning as I was sipping on my hot tea and talking to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gently appeared and began to speak through an old devotion of mine. This is how it read:

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey.”

“Hmm..that doesn’t seem fair”, I thought to myself.

Jesus and I talk everyday so in a bit of  frustration (and major lack of understanding on my part), I began to challenge this statement:

Lord, why wouldn’t you show me what’s on the road ahead? I just don’t understand that.

And the Holy Spirit began to speak on behalf of the Father:

Because I deeply love you. If you already know everything, why am I needed? Would you have real motivation to seek after Me if I divulged everything to you? Beloved, I know that in order for us to have the deepest relationship possible, I must keep some things thwarted from your understanding in order that you may seek Me. It keeps you dependent on Me and reiterates the truth that I am God and you are not. Dependency is wise and it is good. I am your companion, but I am also the One who directs your steps. The pathway isn’t unfamiliar to Me. Not only have I walked down the road before you, but I created it. I know it’s scenery and I know where it leads. You do not. This road is very unfamiliar to you but it is very familiar to Me. Trust in Me, beloved. Trust in Me.

His words pierced me straight to the core.

He then shared this scripture from Genesis 33:14 stating:

So let my Lord go on ahead of His servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves (crowd of moving people or animals) before me and that of the children, until I come to my Lord in Seir.”

This is what I gained from His word today:

  • He faithfully goes before us
  • He places the droves (circumstances) in our path
  • He sets the pace for the journey
  • And He waits for us at the place in which He is leading us

It is literally all in His control.

I can’t push the droves out of my way and force myself to arrive at the Seir in my life.  As much as I’d like to do this, I would rob myself of the real purpose behind this process, which is to learn to fully depend on Him.

I want to encourage you this morning, beloved.

If the Lord is leading you to a different place in your life whether it is a relationship, a job, a physical move to a new place, a ministerial calling, a place of serving, or a deeper place of healing in your life. Please submit to His pace and surrender your desire and need to control your life on this road of dependency. Allow this season to cultivate a deeper trust in Him as you grow and mature as His dearly beloved.

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10

This is where I am today. And it’s not easy, but it is worth it.

He is faithful beyond what we can understand as faithfulness. He is for YOU. Trust in Him.

I am praying for you today, my friends.

Take heart and enjoy this road towards a deeper dependency in Him.

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