The Great Obstacle and Greater Remedy

The greatest obstacle between me and the life I seek is myself.  This morning I was reminded of this, and the remedy.

“Surrender don’t come natural to me. I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want, than to take what You give that I need. And I’ve beat my head against so many walls…now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees. And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn. And Your grace rings out so deep, it makes my resistance seem so thin. You have been King of my glory, won’t You be my Prince of Peace?” (From the song “Hold Me Jesus” by Rich Mullins)

     “The trouble is not with [God’s] law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 
     And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
     I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:14-25)


Crisis of Faith

When God invites you to join Him in His work, He presents a God-sized assignment He wants to accomplish.  It will be obvious you can’t do it on your own.  If God doesn’t help, you will fail.  This is the crisis point at which many people decide not to follow what they sense God is leading them to do.  Then they wonder why they do not experience God’s presence, power, and activity the way some Christians do.

The word “crisis” comes from a Greek word that means “decision.” The same word is often translated “judgment.” We aren’t talking about a calamity in your life such as an accident or death.  This crisis is not a disaster or a bad thing.  It is a turning point or a fork in the road that calls for a decision.  You must decide what you believe about God.  How you respond when you reach this turning point will determine whether or not you proceed with God in something only He can do or whether you continue on your own way and miss what God has purposed for your life.  This is not a one-time experience.  How you live your life daily is a testimony of what you believe about God.
All through scripture when God revealed Himself, His purposes, and His ways, the response required faith.  Read what God says about faith:
  • Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. (Heb.11:1)
  • For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor.5:7)
  • [Jesus said,] The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
  • For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt.17:20)
  • [Paul said,] My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5)
  • If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all. (Isa. 7:9)
Faith is confidence that what God promised will come to pass. Sight is the opposite of faith. If you can see clearly how something can be accomplished, faith is more than likely not required…  Christians (as well as everyone else) have a natural tendency to try building a life in which faith is unnecessary.  We establish a comfort zone where everything is in our control, but this is not pleasing to God.  God will allow things into our lives that drive us to utter dependence upon Him.  Then we see His power and His glory. 
Jesus said if His followers have faith in God, they will do even greater things than He He has done.  Our faith in the Lord must be based on God’s power, not on human wisdom…  On their own, the disciples could not feed the multitudes, heal the sick, or raise the dead.  But God could and did do these very things through them.  When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something only He can do.  What you believe about Him will determine your response… We face the same crisis of belief the people in the Bible experienced. When God speaks, what He asks of us requires faith. Our major hindrance to obedience is our self-centeredness. We think we have to accomplish the assignment in our own power and with our current resources.  We think, “I can’t do that. That’s not possible.” In other words, we lack faith.  We forget that when God speaks, He always reveals what He is going to do-not what He wants us to do for Him. We join with Him so He works through us.
Excerpts from “Experiencing God”, by Henry Blackaby