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Get those Roadblocks Out of the Way!

I recall many years ago as we journeyed to the Georgia coast that we came upon a barricade partially across the road.  In my mind it was questionable as to whether the road was still closed or not; there had been some flooding shortly before so I thought it had been closed at that time and had reopened.  Unsure what to do, I decided to move on down the road  and if it was found to be closed I would simply turn around.  We rode for several miles with no problem and the road was in good and passable condition.  That is, until I came upon blue lights in the highway.  It was then that the grumpiest local law enforcement officer that I had ever encountered stepped up to my window and started to angrily give me a lecture about the barricade on up the road and if I didn’t start paying attention I was going to get myself in a lot of trouble!  How do you respond to something like that?  All I could say was “Yes Sir”.

Roadblocks can be a terrible inconvenience.  I get reminded of that quite often when the train goes through our community and there seems to be no end to the dozens of train cars that slowly chug along the railway preventing traffic from proceeding ahead.

In the Old Testament, when the people of Israel were released from slavery in Egypt, they had the promise of God of a good land of their own that they would go in and possess.  A short time after they left Egypt, they had opportunity to fairly quickly move into what God promised them.  But before they went in to possess the land of promise, spies were sent in to check out what they would face.  After spending forty days going up and down the landscape, they found that it was indeed a good land that any nation would delight to call their own.  Yet rather than pressing ahead with confidence, they let roadblocks get in the way and prevent them from quickly going in and receiving what God had long before promised to them.  Rather than rallying the people together and moving forward, ten of the twelve spies who had investigated the land put doubt in the minds of the Israelites:  “And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.  They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size’” (Numbers 13:32, New International Version).

The things that prevented them from pressing into God’s goodness were not material in nature, but spiritual; they were not things made of wood, brick, and other materials but it had to do with their attitudes, their faith, and their determination.  And because they focused on obstacles rather than genuinely trusting God, they spent forty years moving around in the wilderness.

Roadblocks sometimes serve a good purpose; they keep us from going where we are not supposed to.  At other times, we invite obstacles to get in the way of our spiritual advancement.  What are some of those roadblocks?  Lack of confidence, failure to exercise faith, and being paralyzed by fear are great hindrances to what God wants to do in the lives of His people.

Whereas ten of the spies spread negativity and disbelief among the people, two of them—Joshua and Caleb–expressed a positive outlook.  Their counsel to the people was filled with confidence, faith and encouragement:  “Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up.  Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:9).

Don’t be blocked by disbelief.  As a child of God, remember that He is with you to protect you, to give you victory over obstacles, and to lead you into the good things that He has in store for you.