On The Journey – Obstacles

Our Fusion Wednesdays are beginning the year with a look at the Journey ahead.  As 2017 has now ended and 2018 is at the beginning , we find a place in time that we have memories, good or bad, in the rear view mirror and a new horizon ahead.  At this place, we carry hopes and dreams of making things better and growing along the way.   However, what we don’t commonly encounter in our hopes and dreams of new resolutions and new beginnings is the truth of life.  No matter what we wish to become, there will be OBSTACLES ahead.

No one likes to think about OBSTACLES on the journey of life.  In fact, how we react to them may indicate what type of person we are.

That might be why this video seems to be very engaging .

Watch this “Digital Exclusive” as an unexpected man tackles great obstacles on the American Ninja Warrior Show.

Why does this video seem to be so engaging?  What are we hoping as a six minute and thirty second video captures us?

I was first amazed, then I wanted to see the 81 year old character WIN!  Yet, my thoughts about the man brought disbelief as well.  The truth is, it was all a show, and there is another reveal clip on YouTube.

What about you?  How do you react to OBSTACLES that come your way in life?

A man that had many OBSTACLES brought upon him, as he boldly preached the Gospel and fervently served the Lord, brings it into perspective for our daily lives in Christ.

Read Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Paul looks at his life, OBSTACLES and all, and lays the past aside, with a diligence to PRESS ON and STRAIN FORWARD.

Much like at true old man might have taken the Ninja Warrior course, Paul strains with all he has, and in the OBSTACLE, he keeps his focus on true hope, true resolution, and ultimate RESURRECTION!

When we look at the horizon, and press on toward the goal of the upward call of Christ Jesus, we find that in the face of OBSTACLES we have a power to move forward on the journey of our faith.  The hidden secret is that it is usually the OBSTACLES we face, head on, that move us to growth.  It is also in the time we tackle the OBSTACLES that we see the death of ourselves and the RESURRECTION POWER of JESUS CHRIST.

What are your hopes and dreams for the NEW YEAR?  What OBSTACLES do you need RESURRECTION POWER to overcome?

Love – John 15:13

Of all the ways we can choose to show someone love, laying down your life for them is by far the greatest. But what does this look like on a regular basis? Well, have you ever stuck up for someone who was being bullied? Have you ever shared something with a friend that you could’ve enjoyed for yourself? While this isn’t exactly giving up your life for a friend, it is following Jesus’ example of showing love through laying down your comfort and rights. What are some ways you can lay down your life for someone else this week? Ask God to help you take your eyes off of your own comforts and rights and instead place them on those of others.

Love – Romans 12:9

The Christmas season is all about celebrating what is good. God sent His good and perfect son in the ultimate display of love for us. And in doing so, He showed us that while love can be a feeling, it’s also an action. Instead of just telling us He hates evil, God sent His son to defeat it. Instead of just saying we are to cling to good, God sent His son for us to cling to. God shows us the very idea of love is a call to action: to love others out of the love He has shown us. Take some time to thank God for loving us both in words and in action.

Love – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Have you ever built a sandcastle only to have waves destroy it seconds later? Or worked on an essay only to have your computer freeze without saving it? When you work hard for something that doesn’t last, it can be frustrating and defeating. Here, Paul reminds us that while there are things we work for that aren’t promised to last, faith, hope and love are eternal. When we put our energy towards building these things, our efforts won’t be wasted. This week, place this verse somewhere you will see it as a reminder to focus your energy on things that are eternal.

Love – 1 John 3:18

We have all likely either witnessed or experienced flattery—the kind of praise that’s not given with honest intentions. This kind of talk is the very opposite of love. It’s not real or honestly motivated. When you are tempted to use quick words in an attempt to lift up yourself instead of honest actions intended to lift up someone else, what can you do to pause and evaluate your motives? Ask God to help show you how to replace self-centered talk with others-centered action this week.

Peace – Philippians 4:7

Have you ever had to stand guard? It may have been when you babysat a neighbor or even when someone asked you to hold their phone. Standing guard is serious business. It means you promise to protect that treasured person or possession. Paul writes that in the same way, God promises to guard our hearts and minds in Jesus. We are His treasured possessions, and He wants to protect us with all He has. This week, try to memorize this verse so that you can remember God’s promises of protection and peace.

Peace – 1 Peter 3:11

God could’ve done all kinds of things to help turn our hearts from evil and back towards good. He could’ve taken any path to seek peace and pursue a relationship with us. But God chose to turn our hearts to good and bring us peace by entering in to a relationship with us. Through Jesus, God made a way for us to be as close to Him as possible. When you think about seeking peace with others this Christmas season, do any relationships come to mind? This week, choose peace and reach out to anyone who comes to mind. Remind them that you care for them and are praying for peace in your relationship.