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Faith Roadblocks



Detours are frustrating.


Suddenly, you have to add extra travel time to your trip home because of an altered route. These conditions can result from construction, accidents, and even slow-moving vehicles.


Growing up on a farm, almost anytime that I drove a tractor down a busy road I would hold up a line of traffic. The reactions of drivers varied, but some of them as you can imagine, could be crass. Cars laid down their horns or passengers shouted out vulgar words the entire duration of the long awaited pass.


Roadblocks can invoke anger and unusual behaviour, but they should propel us to alternative action. Jesus demonstrated this.


After modelling his ministry to the twelve disciples, Jesus finally sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits (Mark 6:7). Later, the disciples reconvened with Jesus to report all they had done and taught, but where they met was busy and filled with travellers, so Jesus led them to a solitary place (Mark 6:30-31).


At this point, the disciples were elated. They had just preached and cast out demons for the first time, the novelty of these events was fresh. Yet, the disciples were also exhausted. Jesus specifically wanted to withdraw them from the crowd to eat and rest.


As the group proceeded to leave by boat, a crowd noticed Jesus and waved him down. Our Lord had compassion on them, he halted the trip and began to teach.

Along the way, the disciples pointed out to their teacher where there was a remote place for them to occupy, and they suggested he send the people to the local villages (Mark 6:34-35).


After all, the purpose of their voyage was for them to escape and isolate. The disciples soon learned that Jesus had other ideas. The people were hungry and so he performed one of his greatest miracles; with just five loaves of bread and two fish Jesus fed 5000 people.


Had Jesus not been leading this expedition, it's doubtful the disciples would have engaged with the crowd of people. The roadblocks in front of them appeared insurmountable and unreasonable to bypass.


These are the same kinds of roadblocks that you face when you try to take another step of faith:


Climactic experiences from the past


You can likely identify with the disciples' emotions. God moves in your life powerfully; you're thankful, and even ecstatic that you would be used the way that you were. Although, if you're not careful you become content in living vicariously through these events. You buy into the idea that you've already fulfilled your duty. You even have that one compelling story to back it up. Your friends have probably heard it because you love to re-share.


If there is any story I like to tell from my high school days, it's guiding our senior basketball team to the Central Ontario championships. Despite losing to Belleville's Nicholson, it was the first time that Adam Scott CVI made it to the Senior finals in 16 years. I scored three three-pointers and led our team in scoring for the final game.


Throughout Jesus' life on earth, he consistently went from one place to the next. Others react to him driving out demons, healing the sick and leading people to his Father, but he faithfully moved forward. Have you noticed that not once did he ever tell anyone of a past miracle? He gave instructions how to live and foretold of his death and resurrection, but never described what he just encountered.


You must first get settled


The disciples excitement on the boat trip was met with feelings of exhaustion. They were hungry and likely sleep deprived (a recipe that most of us don't like to mess with). While Jesus pushed his disciples past their fatigue, he also had to push them past their objective to reach a solitary place.


When you move to a new town, start a new job, or endure a busy time with family, the excuse to first deal with an area of your life before you get involved can be one that you hold onto. Some reasons are completely valid, but the danger is closing off opportunities to serve and seek God throughout. "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17).


The Christian life was never intended to be compartmentalized, but too often it takes this form.


The disciples had a route to follow, but Jesus showed them that sometimes there are things worthwhile to stop at on the way to the destination.


Jesus exemplified that these roadblocks could be overcome. At the point of elation and exhaustion, the only way for you and I to overcome is that the Holy Spirit empowers us.

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© 2019 by David Mann Media

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