I have been asked by some readers to make some comments of most “common obstacles to people and cities”. I think those are two separate questions actually that require two different responses, though over lapping, of course. Therefore, I am going to give a stab at the first part of the question as it pertains to Most Common Obstacles to Individuals.
Wow – where do I begin with this! Yikes, I could write a book on this subject! But I am going to keep this brief and only hit a few of the major issues that confront us in our growth and maturation process in God.
NOT LIVING FROM THE HEART
Honestly speaking, most people do not really live from the heart. They tend of live from the soulish arena of life – knowledge, stored emotions and memories, projecting their future from their past, facts and information etc. They have half-baked hearts and over active souls. This is why every year I take a time to ask the Holy Spirit to soften my heart…
Perhaps this is why the writer of Proverbs says, “Lean not on your own understanding (soulish interpretation), but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path (steps, direction etc.)”. This is also why Jesus answered His disciples that the greatest commandment dealt with the HEART first: LOVE the Lord You God with ALL your HEART (then comes the soul and strength) and loving others from the HEART.
So, in all reality – it is a LOVE WAR of the HEART. Winners with God are HEART people FIRST – successful people in the world might be strong in the soul and mind but really miss out of what really matters.
So, live each day from the HEART – Learn to Love!
NEXT, FORGIVE AS A LIFESTYLE!
More heart stuff. Yep! The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him for many times do they have to forgive their brother. Note: they did not pose the question about their enemies; it was their brother (those closest to you). Jesus said something like – until it is done and over with (7 times 70).
The lack of forgiveness keeps us in bondage. We are the ones who are kept in jail. We are the ones that end up with locked up emotions. Where unforgiveness is present, it breeds an offspring of many other alien forces – judgments, strong opinions, criticism, negativity, even certain illnesses.
But forgiveness does not start when you feel like it. In fact, if you wait till they deserve it or you feel like it – it will never happen. It begins with an act of the will, surrendering the people and circumstances to the Lord and asking Him to cleanse you and heal your own broken heart, mind and emotions. I also recommend pronouncing a blessing for others as well. Greater is the power of the blessing than the power of the curse. (See my book Deliverance from Darkness for a whole chapter on that subject.)
So the opposite of this is be Blessed to Be a BLESSING instead!
DON’T LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER!
Many years ago, when I was more of a singer than a preacher, I used to sing John Denver’s song; Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy! I really did – that a few other good ones like Bridge Over Troubled Waters and many others. I loved it. But there is a principle here.
Jesus said that if you looked over your shoulder, you were not fit for the Kingdom. I think we all need to take our rear view mirrors off our lives for a while. Regret has historically been one of my worst enemies. Living with the “if only’s” hanging around my head. If only I had done this. If only I had done this better. If I could only relive my yesterday. No – stop it! (Wow! I got a little intense on that point.)
Stop living life from the rear view mirror! Jesus said to look straight ahead!
The best has not passed you by! I make myself say out loud, “THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” So I am working on this one a lot myself these days. Sonshine on my shoulders really does make me happy.
Remember, yesterday’s dream about your tomorrow is your today’s opportunity. Live today as it counts. Be present tense. Find God in the little things. Don’t look over your shoulder. SMILE at the future.
Okay – there are a lot more keys like worship, community, giving and others. But these three for now – rose to the surface as I sat down to write and muse about what really matters. Live from the Heart; Forgive as a Lifestyle and Do Not Look Over Your Shoulder! Hope this helped some!
Speaking Words of Wisdom!
James W. Goll