Obstacles

Deuteronomy 1:25-28
And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.  Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.  Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

The people of Israel had seen two things at the border of the promised land.  First, they saw that the land was good and fruitful and would be a good place to dwell.  But before they could even get to the place of imagining themselves enjoying the abundance of that land, they saw the occupants of that land, the cities that were built, the stature of the people there, and then it didn’t seem like such a good place anymore.  Once they saw the obstacle, they couldn’t think of anything else.  They grew discouraged and rebelled because they focused on the problem, not the solution.

A lot of times, our focus will determine which direction we go.  When we focus on the obstacles in front of us, we’ll most often find ourselves turning back, running away, returning to what we know is safe and comfortable and easier than trying to move ahead.  But we can’t compare ourselves to the giants that block our path, because we will always come up short.  We can’t view every hardship as an insurmountable thing, because when we do that, we never grow, and we never get to see God work in amazing ways.

The main problem for Israel here was that they had forgotten or disregarded the fact that God was with them.  They had the wrong perspective on their situation.  They forgot that they hadn’t gotten to this place on their own and that they would not be moving forward on their own.  And the truth is, that is probably our problem a lot of times, as well.  Somehow we act as if God will abandon us partway through or that He expects us to go do these hard things in our own strength.  But really, He just wants us to trust Him and to show Him that we do.  He wants us to keep going forward and let Him take care of what He knows we can’t handle on our own.

The proof of God’s goodness and blessings is right in front of us.  It is all there waiting for us.  And we can either trust God and move toward it or fail to trust Him and forfeit it instead.  Let’s not view obstacles as impossible situations that we have to run away from, but allow God to work, to help us overcome, and to keep us moving forward into what He wants for us.  And when we keep our focus on Him, we won’t be able to do anything but trust in His greatness, His power, and His ability to fulfill all His promises to us.

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