Useful Obstacles

I don’t like things that slow me down – cars, lines, crowds, etc.  So when things get in my way, I instinctually lock into the persist & overcome mindset.  For example, when a car in front of me drives slowly, I look for ways to get around the car. Sometimes, this backfires because my speeding up can position me to get a traffic ticket, which is worse than having to drive slower. 

With this thinking, we would be wise to not entirely dismiss things that are obstacles. We see this principle in the Bible in relation to Joseph getting thrown into a pit & prison. Clearly, these challenges weren’t pleasant & I’d wager that Joseph was looking for a shortcut or way to circumvent these obstacles. In hindsight, however, the obstacles & hindrances were very useful to his end destination. And there’s a good chance that the same could be true for us. The obstacles in our lives become instruments in God’s hands 🙂

The Right No

We learn to say “no” at an early age often pigeonholed as the “terrible two’s”. While learning to say “no” is an important stage in our development, I think what’s even more important is the proper wisdom & discernment to use this word.

For example, saying an internal “no” to replying with a snarky comment to a rude flight attendant is good wisdom. Or saying no to the couch as an alternative to getting some daily exercise is also sound wisdom.
On the flip side, let’s make sure that our instinctive answer to anything the Holy Spirit ask of us is resoundingly YES!!

Divine Direction

How does God direct us? What are some practical tips to help us follow God? I’ve been doing some digging into Paul’s life (in Acts & his epistles), listening, watching his life & thinking. Here are some helpful pointers to recognizing God’s direction in our lives:

  • The Bible: this has to be ground zero & final authority. Anything that disagrees with God’s Word isn’t God’s direction, full stop. 
  • Circumstances: in Acts 16:6ff Paul is experiencing many closed doors, despite his continuous effort;  
  • Divine Input: in Acts 16:9, he has a vision & sets off on a new trajectory with phenomenal results;
  • Desire: in Rom 15:23, Paul tells the Roman church that he’s wanted to minister to them for many years. Consider that when we ask God to give us desires that complement God’s purpose & will, this seriously happens 🙂

Let’s be sure to let God shape our desires & direct our steps & have an awesome weekend!