Obstacles or Opportunities – Part 2

I love what Pastor Jack Hayford says: “Unbelief looks at obstacles; faith looks at God” (The Hayford Bible Handbook). 

Whatever we focus on grows (Pr 23:7). 

One of the definitions of “obstacle” is “catch-22.”

We can either get caught up in a snare or caught up in the powerful Presence of God with the mind of Christ.

We are commanded to follow God’s lead. Yet, if we don’t know Him for ourselves, we won’t trust Him.

God has a glorious inheritance for us as we move from obsolete (legend) to overcomer.

We know there is freedom (opportunity) in the salvation God offers us for a life reconciled to Him. And we know God goes before us to make a way, even when life on earth seems impossible to us

But do we believe Him at His Word?

Pastor Hayford wisely advises us to increase our “faith in God’s promises rather than look at the impossible circumstances.”

With this strategy, we grow in faith and shrink hindrances as we trust God. 

But when we see more obstacles than opportunities, something’s wrong: Our focus and faith have shifted off of God and His grace and goodness. 

We have come to trust something or someone else above God. 

Perhaps even ourselves. 

We know that God never disappoints, because His Word says so (1 Pe 2:6). 

So, when we feel disappointed or frustrated, it’s an alert to us to shift our misplaced faith (and focus) back onto Him.

Even when we walk through wilderness seasons or when we feel hemmed in during times of endurance, we can still look up and seek and worship God. We can see above and beyond giants when we gain God’s perspective. We can receive power from on high and defeat them as we experience God’s magnificent Glory-Presence. We can stand in His truth, knowing He will watch over and fulfill His promises to us in His time and way.

Sovereign God is more powerful than any mere obstacle. 

King David understood this. I believe his defeat of Goliath was an outward manifestation of David having overcome something within his own soul.

Since Jesus has bought back abundant life for us, we only need to believe Him at His Word, obey Him and receive from His heart and hand through His gift of grace.

Unlike man, He will not cheat us or trick us. 

He will not be too hard on us.

With God, we will never come up short when we receive what He has for us.

But obstacles of the soul that we don’t overcome can limit God.

And they can take many forms.

For example, when we take our eyes off of The Spirit of Grace, a harsh attitude can easily gain ground into our soul—a legalistic one that fears and thinks and sees the worst in people and circumstances. A critical attitude that tears others down. This is condemnation of the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, working through a person. This type of behavior reveals insecurity (an open door) in the soul of that person, a hole in their soul where they’ve rejected God’s way and gave up their hope and confidence. 

This type of behavior is a self-reliant attempt to cope in order to protect oneself and one’s worth by exalting oneself pridefully. It is a false shield that distrusts God and counters the armor of God. This false shield will eventually be shaken, because it’s an idol within an unbelieving heart (Is 2:18). The vain glory of un-resolve battling to rule the effects of a wounded soul held captive. The aging unrest, false responsibility and overwork of self-reliance above knowing God and trusting in His goodness. 

1 Corinthians 8:4 AMPC reveals that “…an idol is nothing (has no real existence) and that there is no God but one. [Deut. 6:4.]”

This self-reliant behavior can be the result of a life hard lived that didn’t know a better way of the true power of God. It can even be blasphemous, where God’s truth was “traded for a lie” long ago (Ro 1:25).

Jeremiah 2:11 AMPC says “…My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit.” 

So, this type of behavior can be at the root of why people fail in life, because there is no life (or victory) in idolatry, including our way.

Proverbs 16:3 tells us, “Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed.”

So, friends, isn’t it time to lay down every hopeless obstacle of idolatry? Every worthless focus that would try to exalt itself against God’s power and rob you of His abundance (2 Co 10:5)?

There’s no need to fear coming into port to make this exchange, because there’s no condemnation in Christ.

God is rich in mercy and full of grace.

James 1:5 TPT tells us, “…if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.”

We need to humble ourselves and yield our whole heart to The Lord and receive.

And if we desire to see a great yield of good fruit in our lives, then we have to yield to the Fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:23).

So, God’s parallel for the enemy’s catch-22 is Isaiah 22:22, which is to wholeheartedly believe and operate in the authority, power and privilege of our position in Christ, having been given full access, nothing withheld through Jesus. His Spirit living in us is our key to “revelation, treasures, favor and opportunity” (Is 22:22 TPT study note).

Yes, “…we still have the opportunity to enter into the faith-rest life and experience the fulfillment of the promise” (Hebrews 4:6 TPT)!

Matthew 22:2 AMPC says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his [daughter].” 

It’s time to enter into God’s abundant life (Strong’s #2222). 

So, pray with me, if you will…

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for offering me abundant life. I repent of wrongdoing. I trade in my false shields for You as my protector. I invite Jesus into my whole heart, nothing withheld (Pr 30:5). I choose to lay down every false idol to You today and make You the center of my life. Help me to receive Your healing power—bind every wound and heal every injury. Show me a better way, Lord. Enable me to receive Your freedom of deliverance from every catch-22 snare. Help me to receive healthy boundaries and truth in my life as I choose to trust You totally (Pr 16:3). Help me to know You more. I ask You to release Your wisdom, revelation and favor to me, as You know all things (1 Jn 2:20). Help me to receive Your best legacy (inheritance) and destiny (pre-determined plan) for my life. Thank You, Lord, for making all things new. Thank You for the invitation to Your banquet. I receive it.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name, 

Amen. 

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

How My Road Trip Revisits Led to Revival

I recently experienced a succession of revisits along a three-day road trip, where God had me cycle back to a string of places and events I had been to years earlier.

Amazingly, God met me at each revisit with a corresponding revelation.

He enabled me to re-experience each place and event in a new and better way, giving me pleasant memories over painful ones. Each shift built on the previous one(s), which culminated in a greater transition from my past for my future.

I felt like I was on a treasure hunt trail with God as He transformed me daily in bullet fashion.

What’s more, on the third day of my trip, my most direct route home was a stretch of highway that was new to me and is, quite literally, the road I believe God will also use to lead me deeper into a future He revealed to me over a decade ago.

Small and large, God is opening doors to better experiences for all of us who are willing to follow Him into multiplicity for Kingdom purposes.

These revisits are not the “go around the mountain” kind, like Joyce Meyer speaks of, that involves a timely cycle of trying to get it right. But the effortless “beauty for ashes” loop in Isaiah 61:3, where the Spirit of The Lord sets us on a progression of manifest redemption beyond ourselves:

“to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss instead of tears, and the mantle of joyous praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks of Righteousness, planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory” (TPT).

God is repositioning us for His ultimate fulfillment of restoration, rebuilding and renewal as in Isaiah 61:4.

But it begins with the revival of our heart—the release of the old and the embrace of the new. God is bringing a miraculous completion to the pain of past experiences to enable us to receive gain for His Kingdom purposes.

God can lead us to re-visit a string of places, events, situations and memories (even in dreams), then instantly pivot us in quick successions of manifest redemption—to awaken us and further position us into His plan.

These revisits are cycles of recreated experiences purposed to reset our present in peace over our past and free us to continue to head into the bigger blessings God has for us—near and far.

Revisits are set-up by God and are a kind of reunion, where we become more aligned with Christ in our soul through the release of Holy Spirit’s inner revelation as we walk through a better outward reality.

I liken revisits to a revolving glass door, where, in a pivotal moment, we enter into a threshold able to see where we’ve been and where we’re going—but moving swiftly with God’s help. Then we exit to a new place of satisfaction and fresh vision, not wanting to go back but being content with what’s before us.

God uses these revelatory revisits to revive us from death to life (Ps. 71:20).

Revisits may be necessary to adjust our inner and outer attitude so we can head in the right direction and grow in more light. In a revisit, we learn instantly and are gratefully made aware that God has perfected us in a way that only He can.

God uses revisits to deliver us into His abundance.

From darkness to light, His goodness will bring an uncommon finish of some former things in our lives to produce an uncommon future. In these revisits, God helps us align with His plan incrementally, so His multiplicity before us isn’t so overwhelming. In this way, God uses a progression of bulleted revisits as preparation for bigger revisits.

Revisits are one way God delivers, heals and strengthens us from regret to revival.

They are one way God miraculously redeems time by repositioning us for Kingdom purposes.

They are one way God reveals His final say: that life won’t end in our past; there’s more forward—much, much more.

Romans 8:28 TPT – “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”

God uses revisits to break us through into a new familiar, which is a kind of justice over a painful past, as much as it is a beautiful new beginning of resurrection life (Ps. 71:2).

God is streamlining our lives, making us more efficient for the journey forward.

Many of us are on the edge of our eleventh hour for greater manifest blessings, divine promises being fulfilled. If we are sensitive to follow The Lord, we will come out triumphant and receive nothing less than His very best.

Let’s stay on course.

“Stop dwelling on the past. Don’t even remember these former things. I am doing something brand new, something unheard of. Even now it sprouts and grows and matures. Don’t you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and open up flowing streams in the desert.” -Isaiah 43:18-19 TPT

“Even though you’ve let us sink down with trials and troubles, I know you will revive us again, lifting us up from the dust of death.” Psalms 71:20 TPT

“…When your miracle rescue comes to me, it will lift me to the highest place. All who seek you will see God do this for them, and they’ll overflow with gladness. Let this revive your hearts, all you lovers of God!” -Psalm 69:29, 32 TPT

“Now I can say to myself and to all, ‘Relax and rest, be confident and serene, for the Lord rewards fully those who simply trust in him.'” -Psalm 116:7 TPT

“No matter what, I’ll trust in you to help me. Nothing will stop me from praising you to magnify your glory!” -Psalm 71:14 TPT

This article graciously appeared online at Charisma Magazine and SpiritLed Woman Magazine on October 12, 2019 under the title “How God Can Use Revisits to Places You’ve Been to Revive Your Heart.”