The Necessity of Obstacles, Part 2

Yesterday, I shared a major obstacle that I faced in my career. At the time, I thought it was insurmountable. I couldn’t see a way out. But then, amazingly, everything turned, and the situation worked to my advantage.

a man getting his hand on the rock above to scale the mountain

So often, this has been my experience. I could share with you one story after another. You probably could, too. The problem is that we forget that obstacles are a necessary part of achieving our vision.

In my experience, vision consists of five components:

  1. Visualization—an internal, visual representation of a different future.
  2. Articulation—a verbal expression of that future for the purpose of enrolling yourself and others in it.
  3. Implementation—the active execution of the steps necessary to move you toward your envisioned future.
  4. Opposition—active resistance to your envisioned future.
  5. Realization—the attainment of the vision, which often exceeds what you originally envisioned.

This pattern is repeated over and over again in life. It is also the a pattern set forth in Scripture. (I don’t have time to cover it in this post, but if you want extra credit, you can study it on your own. Consider how this plays out in the lives of Moses, David, Daniel, Nehemiah, or even Jesus Himself.)

The main point I want to focus on is the fourth: Every vision ultimately encounters opposition. If it doesn’t, it probably means the vision isn’t big enough.

We could debate all day whether God sends this opposition or merely allows it. (And some readers did in response to my first post.) This is important in an ultimate sense, of course, because we need to hold fast to two truths about God: He is both sovereign (see Isaiah 45:6–7) and yet not the author of evil (see James 1:13). This is a great mystery and jettisoning one truth for the sake of logical consistency inevitably leads to error.

Regardless, in a practical sense, we need to learn from the Patriarch Joseph’s example. Late in his life, when he finally confronted his brothers who had sold him into slavery, resulting in decades of personal suffering, he said to them:

Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis: 50:19–21 NKJV)

Joseph would never have fulfilled God’s purpose for his life without the tempering brought about by this suffering. Whether God sent it or merely allowed it is beside the point. The bottom line is that God used it to shape Joseph’s character and to put him in a place of enormous responsibility, so that God could achieve His purposes for His people Israel.

As the Apostle Paul affirmed:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV).

But in all of this, you and I have a choice. We can resent these obstacles and let them discourage us or we can embrace them and allow God to use them to shape us and accomplish His purposes through us.

The Apostles James talks about this exact thing when he says,

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” (James 1:2–4, J. B. Phillips translation)

Imagine what would happen if we followed James’ advice and welcomed the obstacles we encounter rather than resented them:

  • It would transform our relationship with God. We would see that God is for us not against us. He has a purpose in everything, including the trials and temptations we face. In fact, it is in the midst of these things that our faith grows and we have the opportunity to go deeper in our relationship with the Lord.
  • It would transform our trajectory at work. Obstacles are an opportunity to get ahead at work. Companies are looking for people with a positive, can-do attitude who don’t get discouraged or resentful in the face of adversity. As I noted in Part 1 of this post, obstacles are an opportunity for you to demonstrate leadership.
  • It would transform our role in our industry. Typically, we are not alone in the challenges we face. Our competitors face these challenges, too. But if we embrace them, while they resist them, it provides a competitive advantage than we can exploit for the good of our own organizations.
  • It would transform our leadership within our own family. The ability to embrace obstacles is a legacy for your family—particularly your children. How do you want your children to grow up? Do you want them to become discouraged and bitter when they face obstacles (as they inevitably will). Or do you want them to see these as necessary and helpful—something that God allows for their development and something they will need later to accomplish even greater things.
  • It would transform our impact on the world. Let’s face it: most people do resist and even resent obstacles. They get discouraged and want to quit. By embracing these same obstacles, we demonstrate that something else—or Someone else—is giving us perspective that enables us to get through the tough times. It provides inspiration to others.

In summary, the greatest obstacle you face could be your greatest opportunity. It really comes down to your response to it.

Question: what is your greatest obstacle right now. Rather than resisting and resenting it, what does it make possible?
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  • http://www.LiveIntentionally.org/ Paul Steinbrueck

    Michael, great post! I think how we view obstacles is one of the biggest factors in whether a person achieves their God-given dreams.

    This week my wife and I faced what looked like insurmountable obstacles that I thought were going to force us to cancel our upcoming trip to Kenya, but God proved that he is bigger than both obstacles. I'm grateful that God allowed the obstacles so he could give us the experience of watching Him overcome them. I blogged about it here.

    http://www.liveintentionally.org/2009/06/24/kenya

  • http://www.LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

    Michael, great post! I think how we view obstacles is one of the biggest factors in whether a person achieves their God-given dreams.

    This week my wife and I faced what looked like insurmountable obstacles that I thought were going to force us to cancel our upcoming trip to Kenya, but God proved that he is bigger than both obstacles. I'm grateful that God allowed the obstacles so he could give us the experience of watching Him overcome them. I blogged about it here.

    http://www.liveintentionally.org/2009/06/24/kenya

  • Pingback: The Necessity of Obstacles, Part 1 | Michael Hyatt()

  • http://blog.greggstutts.com/ Gregg Stutts

    Mike,
    Thank you for two great posts. It really is a daily decision to remember that God is always about growing our faith, conforming us to His image, deepening our relationship with Him and advancing His kingdom. Obstacles and difficulties are His tools for accomplishing these purposes.

    I continually need to be reminded of what you've shared.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Me, too, Greg. When I write, I'm mostly preaching to myself. ;-)

  • http://blog.greggstutts.com/ Gregg Stutts

    Mike,
    Thank you for two great posts. It really is a daily decision to remember that God is always about growing our faith, conforming us to His image, deepening our relationship with Him and advancing His kingdom. Obstacles and difficulties are His tools for accomplishing these purposes.

    I continually need to be reminded of what you've shared.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Me, too, Greg. When I write, I'm mostly preaching to myself. ;-)

  • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/danieldecker.html Daniel Decker

    When I think of obstacles I remind myself of people who overcame as fuel to do the same.

    1. Lucille Ball’s (I Love Lucy) career didn’t start off so well. She was once dismissed from drama school for being too quiet and shy.

    2. Clint Eastwood was once told by a Universal Pictures executive that his future wasn’t very promising. The man said, “You have a chip on your tooth, your Adam’s apple sticks out too far, and you talk too slow.”

    3. Albert Einstein did poorly in elementary school, and he failed his first college entrance exam at Zurich Polytechnic. But he became one of the greatest scientists in the history of the world.

    4. Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

    What if they let their negative experiences, their obstacles stop them from pushing on? Many of their great contributions and successes would be lost.

    Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes. I just pray each day for the courage to overcome the obstacles and the wisdom to know the difference between an obstacle and a change in directive from God.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Those are GREAT examples. Thanks for sharing them.

  • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/danieldecker.html Daniel Decker

    When I think of obstacles I remind myself of people who overcame as fuel to do the same.

    1. Lucille Ball’s (I Love Lucy) career didn’t start off so well. She was once dismissed from drama school for being too quiet and shy.

    2. Clint Eastwood was once told by a Universal Pictures executive that his future wasn’t very promising. The man said, “You have a chip on your tooth, your Adam’s apple sticks out too far, and you talk too slow.”

    3. Albert Einstein did poorly in elementary school, and he failed his first college entrance exam at Zurich Polytechnic. But he became one of the greatest scientists in the history of the world.

    4. Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

    What if they let their negative experiences, their obstacles stop them from pushing on? Many of their great contributions and successes would be lost.

    Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes. I just pray each day for the courage to overcome the obstacles and the wisdom to know the difference between an obstacle and a change in directive from God.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Those are GREAT examples. Thanks for sharing them.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/221a0fbb57cc8223aed8e967ad78cd06?s=80 Mandy Singleton

    As usual, wonderful and very thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing it with us! I definitely see how God uses obstacles in our lives but one thought I had is how do you distinguish between an obstacle and God "closing a door?" Doesn't Got put obstacles in our way sometimes not for us to conquer but to show us that He wants us to go another way? I think about the OT how God allowed His people to become very uncomfortable before He lead them somewhere else as a way to prepare them to leave. Those obstacles weren't meant to be "conquered," they were meant to direct. Love to hear your thoughts on that. Really enjoying your blog!

    • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/danieldecker.html Daniel Decker

      I agree Mandy. Wisdom and discernment are key.

    • http://www.LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

      Mandy, great question! That was exactly the question my wife and I were asking ourselves and I blogged about in the article I mentioned earlier.

      Prayer and listening to God are a huge part in discerning the answer. Another big part is following scripture and not compromising morally/ethically. If you have to lie, cheat, or break a commitment, that's not the direction God is leading.

      Mostly though I think God calls us to continue on in spite of the obstacles until He takes away all God-honoring options. Most of the time people people give up when there are still options on the table but those options are difficult or uncomfortable. IMO, that's not a "closed door" just a narrow gate.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree with Daniel and Paul. Discerning the difference requires dependence on God, which is a great thing. I don't think we can figure this out on our own.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        No, but we can ask God for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. And, we can be certain that God's love is absolute–it's perfect, complete, and real.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/221a0fbb57cc8223aed8e967ad78cd06?s=80 Mandy Singleton

    As usual, wonderful and very thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing it with us! I definitely see how God uses obstacles in our lives but one thought I had is how do you distinguish between an obstacle and God "closing a door?" Doesn't Got put obstacles in our way sometimes not for us to conquer but to show us that He wants us to go another way? I think about the OT how God allowed His people to become very uncomfortable before He lead them somewhere else as a way to prepare them to leave. Those obstacles weren't meant to be "conquered," they were meant to direct. Love to hear your thoughts on that. Really enjoying your blog!

    • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/danieldecker.html Daniel Decker

      I agree Mandy. Wisdom and discernment are key.

    • http://www.LiveIntentionally.org/ Paul Steinbrueck

      Mandy, great question! That was exactly the question my wife and I were asking ourselves and I blogged about in the article I mentioned earlier.

      Prayer and listening to God are a huge part in discerning the answer. Another big part is following scripture and not compromising morally/ethically. If you have to lie, cheat, or break a commitment, that's not the direction God is leading.

      Mostly though I think God calls us to continue on in spite of the obstacles until He takes away all God-honoring options. Most of the time people people give up when there are still options on the table but those options are difficult or uncomfortable. IMO, that's not a "closed door" just a narrow gate.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree with Daniel and Paul. Discerning the difference requires dependence on God, which is a great thing. I don't think we can figure this out on our own.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        No, but we can ask God for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. And, we can be certain that God's love is absolute–it's perfect, complete, and real.

  • http://www.tradingfathers.com/ Karen Rabbitt

    A succinct discourse on God's mysterious plans and purposes. Even Jesus "learned obedience by the things he suffered." (Heb 5:8)

  • http://www.tradingfathers.com Karen Rabbitt

    A succinct discourse on God’s mysterious plans and purposes. Even Jesus “learned obedience by the things he suffered.” (Heb 5:8)

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mr. Hyatt, I was WOW'd by yesterday's post. You've outdone it today. Thank you for one of the finest inspirational and most biblically sound messages I've seen in the blogsphere.

    I'm presently overcoming personal struggles which go back thirty years because of facing that opposition, instead of dodging it in the interest of "harmony within the body." It's taking a lot out of me. It's rewarding me with far greater spiritual victory.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mr. Hyatt, I was WOW'd by yesterday's post. You've outdone it today. Thank you for one of the finest inspirational and most biblically sound messages I've seen in the blogsphere.

    I'm presently overcoming personal struggles which go back thirty years because of facing that opposition, instead of dodging it in the interest of "harmony within the body." It's taking a lot out of me. It's rewarding me with far greater spiritual victory.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/KarlaAkins KarlaAkins

    As a Mom to twin boys with autism and another son with a mental disability, obstacles are the stuff of life for us. But the success are so much sweeter because of them! I remember when one of the twins said two words in succession the first time. Their speech teacher gave them an award at the school awards ceremony for that. And we were as proud of that little certificate as if it were a Harvard law degree.

    One of my favorite songs is by Nancy Honeytree, and I sing it to myself when I'm feeling discouraged about an obstacle:
    "I'm gonna believe, that You are up to something good,
    When I can't understand the things that happen in my life,
    I'm gonna believe that You are up to something good."

    And He IS. All we have to do is trust Him, even when it doesn't make sense.

    My husband is a pastor, and many years ago he was "released" from a ministry under very unhappy and unfair circumstances. We had only been there for two years, and I was so weary from raising little boys with autism and the thought of having to move again, and settling into a new community with new doctors and resources was overwhelming to me. I remember standing on my back deck with angry tears streaming down my face and crying out to God:
    "I'm going to trust you with my life, Lord, even when it doesn't make sense. I'm going to trust you."
    I didn't feel that prayer or even believe it, but I knew I had to speak it because I was feeling so helpless and overwhelmed. The mountain seemed far too high to climb.
    I have never been disappointed when I have trusted God with my life. He does know what He's doing. He sees the big picture, and we only see such a small portion. He can be trusted. He's God. What makes me ever think I might have a better idea of what's best for my life than the One Who created that life?

    I think these past two posts on this blog is some of the best writing I've read here so far. Thanks for the wisdom and guidance!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/KarlaAkins KarlaAkins

    As a Mom to twin boys with autism and another son with a mental disability, obstacles are the stuff of life for us. But the success are so much sweeter because of them! I remember when one of the twins said two words in succession the first time. Their speech teacher gave them an award at the school awards ceremony for that. And we were as proud of that little certificate as if it were a Harvard law degree.

    One of my favorite songs is by Nancy Honeytree, and I sing it to myself when I'm feeling discouraged about an obstacle:
    "I'm gonna believe, that You are up to something good,
    When I can't understand the things that happen in my life,
    I'm gonna believe that You are up to something good."

    And He IS. All we have to do is trust Him, even when it doesn't make sense.

    My husband is a pastor, and many years ago he was "released" from a ministry under very unhappy and unfair circumstances. We had only been there for two years, and I was so weary from raising little boys with autism and the thought of having to move again, and settling into a new community with new doctors and resources was overwhelming to me. I remember standing on my back deck with angry tears streaming down my face and crying out to God:
    "I'm going to trust you with my life, Lord, even when it doesn't make sense. I'm going to trust you."
    I didn't feel that prayer or even believe it, but I knew I had to speak it because I was feeling so helpless and overwhelmed. The mountain seemed far too high to climb.
    I have never been disappointed when I have trusted God with my life. He does know what He's doing. He sees the big picture, and we only see such a small portion. He can be trusted. He's God. What makes me ever think I might have a better idea of what's best for my life than the One Who created that life?

    I think these past two posts on this blog is some of the best writing I've read here so far. Thanks for the wisdom and guidance!

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ LynnRush

    Wow. Great post. Nice follow up to part one. And the verses fit so well. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    I love the idea that you said, "Every vision ultimately encounters opposition. If it doesn’t, it probably means the vision isn’t big enough." Spot on.

    Have a great Friday!

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ LynnRush

    Wow. Great post. Nice follow up to part one. And the verses fit so well. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

    I love the idea that you said, "Every vision ultimately encounters opposition. If it doesn’t, it probably means the vision isn’t big enough." Spot on.

    Have a great Friday!

  • http://www.homesanctuary.com/ Rachel Anne Ridge

    "The ability to embrace obstacles is a legacy for your family—particularly your children. How do you want your children to grow up?"

    This observation struck a chord with me.

    An obstacle-filled road as entrepreneurs has often meant feast or famine for our family. But, amazingly, our grown and almost-grown children have become resourceful, glass-half-full, resilient and confident people as a result of dealing with real-life issues and tough decisions. My husband and I have often observed that we might not have had the discipline to limit their material "blessings" without outside help from our own economic struggles. The painful situations we've faced simply pale when I see their faith and depth of character. I can't help but think that when we were looking for the blessings and trappings of success, God gave us the blessings and gift of obstacles. I just probably missed it at the time. :)

  • http://www.homesanctuary.com Rachel Anne Ridge

    "The ability to embrace obstacles is a legacy for your family—particularly your children. How do you want your children to grow up?"

    This observation struck a chord with me.

    An obstacle-filled road as entrepreneurs has often meant feast or famine for our family. But, amazingly, our grown and almost-grown children have become resourceful, glass-half-full, resilient and confident people as a result of dealing with real-life issues and tough decisions. My husband and I have often observed that we might not have had the discipline to limit their material "blessings" without outside help from our own economic struggles. The painful situations we've faced simply pale when I see their faith and depth of character. I can't help but think that when we were looking for the blessings and trappings of success, God gave us the blessings and gift of obstacles. I just probably missed it at the time. :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I'm glad you wrote of Isaiah 45:7–in the KJV, part of the verse reads, "I (God)…create evil." When I first realized what it said, I confronted God on how He could be good and create evil at the same time.Here's what I learned:

    God is love and love does seek its own way. At one point before the creation of our world, only God existed and there was only one way, His way. He created an alternative to Himself–evil, darkness, death, etc. He accomplished this by withdrawing from a "place." Where He exists is the "Secret Place of the Most High" and where He is absent is the "Wrath of God." Deuteronomy 30:15-20 tells of the choice we have.

    When we thoroughly understand the whole story the Bible tells and the power of God's absolute love expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, watch out world!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I'm glad you wrote of Isaiah 45:7–in the KJV, part of the verse reads, "I (God)…create evil." When I first realized what it said, I confronted God on how He could be good and create evil at the same time.Here's what I learned:

    God is love and love does seek its own way. At one point before the creation of our world, only God existed and there was only one way, His way. He created an alternative to Himself–evil, darkness, death, etc. He accomplished this by withdrawing from a "place." Where He exists is the "Secret Place of the Most High" and where He is absent is the "Wrath of God." Deuteronomy 30:15-20 tells of the choice we have.

    When we thoroughly understand the whole story the Bible tells and the power of God's absolute love expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, watch out world!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I'm glad you wrote of Isaiah 45:7–in the KJV, part of the verse reads, "I (God)…create evil." When I first realized what it said, I confronted God on how He could be good and create evil at the same time.Here's what I learned (in a very brief outline):

    God is love and love does seek its own way. At one point before the creation of our world, only God existed and there was only one way, His way. He created an alternative to Himself–evil, darkness, death, etc. He accomplished this by withdrawing from a "place." Where He exists is the "Secret Place of the Most High" and where He is absent is the "Wrath of God." Deuteronomy 30:15-20 tells of the choice we have.

    When we thoroughly understand the whole story the Bible tells and the power of God's absolute love expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, watch out world!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    I'm glad you wrote of Isaiah 45:7–in the KJV, part of the verse reads, "I (God)…create evil." When I first realized what it said, I confronted God on how He could be good and create evil at the same time.Here's what I learned (in a very brief outline):

    God is love and love does seek its own way. At one point before the creation of our world, only God existed and there was only one way, His way. He created an alternative to Himself–evil, darkness, death, etc. He accomplished this by withdrawing from a "place." Where He exists is the "Secret Place of the Most High" and where He is absent is the "Wrath of God." Deuteronomy 30:15-20 tells of the choice we have.

    When we thoroughly understand the whole story the Bible tells and the power of God's absolute love expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, watch out world!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/BrianBaute BrianBaute

    University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido said much the same thing after his team lost in the national championship game to LSU the other night, even referencing the great success many of the players on one of his former 2nd-place teams and the valuable role that failure/obstacle played in their future success: http://www.brianbaute.com/?p=1085.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/BrianBaute BrianBaute

    University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido said much the same thing after his team lost in the national championship game to LSU the other night, even referencing the great success many of the players on one of his former 2nd-place teams and the valuable role that failure/obstacle played in their future success: <a href="http://www.brianbaute.com/?p=1085.” target=”_blank”>http://www.brianbaute.com/?p=1085.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ilroyalfan ilroyalfan

    This was a great two part column; I enjoyed it immensely. God has been gently chiding me for a mistake I have been making in my career for some time, and asking me to trust Him with the money I would lose if I am honest. Reading your column and then going back over some passages in the Bible has helped me to make the right decision. It is wonderful to me the media that God uses to His purpose.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ilroyalfan ilroyalfan

    This was a great two part column; I enjoyed it immensely. God has been gently chiding me for a mistake I have been making in my career for some time, and asking me to trust Him with the money I would lose if I am honest. Reading your column and then going back over some passages in the Bible has helped me to make the right decision. It is wonderful to me the media that God uses to His purpose.

  • http://www.ecoquestintl.com/jimhandi Jim Oberschmidt

    You have a great perspective on obstacles, I look on back on my own, and find my greatest difficulty was enrolling others, including Tammy in my vision, in the face of the obstacles we both could see. I currently working towards my vision for 12/20/2009 and even a change of employment this month has brought an added financial blessing. God is good! I am thankful for your reminders, and l@@k forward to your posts, Mike. peace be with you

  • http://www.ecoquestintl.com/jimhandi Jim Oberschmidt

    You have a great perspective on obstacles, I look on back on my own, and find my greatest difficulty was enrolling others, including Tammy in my vision, in the face of the obstacles we both could see. I currently working towards my vision for 12/20/2009 and even a change of employment this month has brought an added financial blessing. God is good! I am thankful for your reminders, and l@@k forward to your posts, Mike. peace be with you

  • Gary

    Mike,

    Great post man!! Thank you for taking the time to write this post! I was actually in the middle of facing a big obstacle in my life right now. I prayed last night for a vision on how to cope with my obstacle, and the very next day, He provided me an answer (through you).

    Thank you again!!

  • Gary

    Mike,

    Great post man!! Thank you for taking the time to write this post! I was actually in the middle of facing a big obstacle in my life right now. I prayed last night for a vision on how to cope with my obstacle, and the very next day, He provided me an answer (through you).

    Thank you again!!

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.com/ Tiffany Stuart

    Hi Michael,

    I agree with the pattern and reasons for our obstacles. I even feel led to reread the story of Joseph recently. I am in a transition period, giants on every side. I hear all kinds of doubts.

    Not qualified. No special training, just desire. No money. Missing some necessary tools. Maybe it's not God's dream but yours. Let it go. Who says you have an eye to see?

    Bottom line is it's a test of my faith. Will I trust God to equip me as He has in the past? Or will I cower and give up? I'm praying to fight through the voices and rest in the One True Voice. My Lord and savior, Jesus. For He is calling me to walk forward. He continues to say, "come, follow me."

    Oh how I love and hate the journey of change. It's both exhilarating and terrifying. Good thing God is with me. Even if I fail, I am never abandoned or shunned for my willingness to try. And in failure, I learn something. If God grants me favor, I pray I will turn my thanks back to Him– always.

    Thanks as always for challenging us.

    Tiffany

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.com Tiffany Stuart

    Hi Michael,

    I agree with the pattern and reasons for our obstacles. I even feel led to reread the story of Joseph recently. I am in a transition period, giants on every side. I hear all kinds of doubts.

    Not qualified. No special training, just desire. No money. Missing some necessary tools. Maybe it's not God's dream but yours. Let it go. Who says you have an eye to see?

    Bottom line is it's a test of my faith. Will I trust God to equip me as He has in the past? Or will I cower and give up? I'm praying to fight through the voices and rest in the One True Voice. My Lord and savior, Jesus. For He is calling me to walk forward. He continues to say, "come, follow me."

    Oh how I love and hate the journey of change. It's both exhilarating and terrifying. Good thing God is with me. Even if I fail, I am never abandoned or shunned for my willingness to try. And in failure, I learn something. If God grants me favor, I pray I will turn my thanks back to Him– always.

    Thanks as always for challenging us.

    Tiffany

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/totai totai

    Thanks again Mike. This reminded me of a quote from a book I'm currently reading called "Mending the Soul" by Steven R. Tracy – "After enduring incredible suffering, Paul declared that through all of the abuse, Christ was sweeter and stronger in his life (2 Corinthians 4:8-18; 12:10). God always desires to heal our brokenness and to use it as the very nutrient to draw us into a deeper experience of joyful intimacy with him and to give us an opportunity for more fruitful ministry to others who are also broken (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:4-6)."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/totai totai

    Thanks again Mike. This reminded me of a quote from a book I'm currently reading called "Mending the Soul" by Steven R. Tracy – "After enduring incredible suffering, Paul declared that through all of the abuse, Christ was sweeter and stronger in his life (2 Corinthians 4:8-18; 12:10). God always desires to heal our brokenness and to use it as the very nutrient to draw us into a deeper experience of joyful intimacy with him and to give us an opportunity for more fruitful ministry to others who are also broken (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:4-6)."

  • http://www.www.twitter.com/marcmillan Marc Millan

    Michael, thanks for such an encouraging blog post. No doubt obstacles have their "purpose" but it's never to surpass the REAL "purpose" God has planned for us on Earth.

  • http://www.www.twitter.com/marcmillan Marc Millan

    Michael, thanks for such an encouraging blog post. No doubt obstacles have their "purpose" but it's never to surpass the REAL "purpose" God has planned for us on Earth.

  • Amy Potts

    A woman on a game show was asked, "what is larger and elephant or the moon?" Without much hesitation, she said……the elephant. I lost it. But sometimes the "obstacle" nearest to us seems larger than life, unless we are to step back to look at it in perspective of the bigger picture. My biggest obstacle might be small in comparison to another, but it isn't less important to God. Your blog made me think and I'm glad. Thanks Mr. H.

  • Calin Valean

    Great post, my question is what to do when you have a certain vision and your closest family does not support it? What to do if you know deep down inside that you have the experience, will, right reasons and ability to make it (after you have failed before) and still the closest persons around you are pushing you to take the easy the most common way?

    I also did not get the practical difference in actions between embracing a challenge and resist to it? Could you please be more specific?

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