Glorious opportunities in the new year – Part 2
• Persecutions: Adversaries of the faith oppose the spread of the gospel. But persecution did not remove a moment of success from the ministry of Paul. Persecution will arise, but cannot hinder God’s purpose for our lives.
• Pride: This obstacle comes from within, and makes you an obstacle to yourself. Pride can hinder the believer from receiving God’s blessings.
• People: Close associates who are hard and wicked can pose great obstacles to the purpose and will of God and thus weaken the believer.
• Principalities: When the Lord fulfills His promise of elevating the believer, principal men in the enemy’s camp will seek to fight him.
• Prophets: False prophets, who do not exalt Christ and emphasise repentance and salvation will seek to derail the believer from the path of truth.
• Prosperity: Trusting in prosperity can hinder the materially rich from receiving eternal life. Preachers who shy away from preaching the soul-saving truth, as well as the world who deifies the rich make it difficult for the rich to get saved.
• Pleasure: Lack of self-control can turn one’s heart from the Lord.
• Position: The positions that the Jewish rabbis held in the synagogue became a great obstacle that hindered them from salvation. But these obstacles cannot hinder the progress of a true believer who obeys the Lord.
Believers who are ready to pay the price of discipleship are those who will overcome obstacles. The Lord wants us to love and obey Him. “And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.” As we obey the Lord, He turns our obstacles into glorious opportunities.
Joseph wholeheartedly obeyed the Lord by living righteously and resisting the enticement to commit sin and was afterward greatly blessed by God. The believer avoids sin not for fear of men or church discipline, but because he seeks to obey the Lord. Caleb’s wholehearted obedience to the Lord brought divine approval and blessings. Though Ruth lost her husband, she followed and obeyed the Lord. Singles should learn to obey the Lord and be blessed like Ruth from whose lineage Christ came.
God delights in and looks for obedience in all His children. He requires obedience that is not superficial but from the heart. Our obedience must be, (1) unconditional, (2) uncommon and unconventional, (3) unconcealed and uncovered, (4) uncompromising, (5) uncontaminated, (6) uncomfortable and, (7) unchanging. As we obey the Lord, His blessings will not stop flowing in our lives.
Glorious opportunities always come the way of obedient believers who face obstacles in life. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive”. Joseph’s obedience turned his obstacles into glorious opportunities; the Lord blessed him tremendously. Ruth was also greatly blessed because of her sacrifice and faithfulness to the Lord. To those who would obey the Lord this New Year, He will surely grant open doors that no enemy or obstacle can shut.
Further Reading (King James Version): Zechariah 4:7; Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28; Genesis 41:14; 1 Samuel 2:8; Deuteronomy 6:23; Psalm 40:2; Ezekiel 36:24-27; 37:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Philippians 1:12-14; 2 Kings 5:1,8-14; 2 Samuel 3:39; 5:1-3,10,17-19; Micah 3:5-7; Mark 10:17,19-25; Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 1 Kings 11:1-4,9; John 12:42,43; Deuteronomy 30:6-8; Genesis 45:4,5,7; 39:7-9; Numbers 14:24, Joshua 14:6-12; Ruth 1:5,9-19; Exodus 23:22; 1 Samuel 15:22; Job 36:8-11; Isaiah 1:16-19; Romans 6:17; 1 Peter 1:14,22; Genesis 50:20; 49:22-24; Ruth 2:11,12; 3:10; 4:9-17; 1 Corinthians 2:9,10; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Revelation 3:8,9.
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