Obstructions of Growth
“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”
Anytime God is going to do a work in a church or the life of an individual, you will always find obstructions that will try to stop the work. You must remember that Satan is not happy when God’s work goes forward. He started his obstruction in the Garden of Eden by getting Adam and Eve to take of the forbidden fruit, and he continues today whenever God is doing a great work.
Ezra saw Satan’s work firsthand. When Ezra started rebuilding the temple, Satan wasted no time in trying to obstruct the finishing of the temple. When you look at the obstructions that Ezra faced, you will find that those same obstructions are what every church and believer will face when God is doing a great work in them. Let me share with you these obstructions so that you can beware of them.
The first obstruction is discouragement from within. When the foundation of the temple was laid, those who had seen the first temple wept because there was no comparison. You will find that there will be people who will never be happy with what God is doing. There are people who always declare that the what they saw in the past is better than today. You cannot allow these obstructions to discourage you. My friend, never let the discouraging voices of familiars cause you to doubt the work God is doing in your life. Satan’s goal is to get you to quit; don’t let him achieve his goal.
The second obstruction is attacks from without. As soon as the foundation was laid, Ezra saw the enemies from without begin to do what they could to stop the work. Don’t doubt me on this; Satan will send his servants to either get you to compromise or quit the work through force. You must always continue to do God’s work no matter what threats they send your way. The purpose of the threats that the world throws at you is to get you to second-guess what the LORD is doing. Never hesitate at the threats of the wicked for God is greater than any threat you face.
The third obstruction is deterrents from the authorities that be. You are going to find that there will be times in your life when the work is taken out of your hands because of an authority. The only thing you can do in times like these is to go to God in prayer and ask for His intervention. Remember Proverbs 21:1 which says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” God can change the authority’s heart, but you must be willing to pray. It doesn’t matter how wicked the authority is, God is capable of changing their heart for His work to go forward. It might be that God is trying to grow your faith in Him by getting you to spend time in prayer for His assistance to speak to the heart of the authority. Just because an authority obstructs the work of God doesn’t mean it can’t be done. God is greater than any authority and is capable of removing them if you are willing to pray for His help.
My friend, when you embark in the work of the LORD, you entered a battle that is greater than you imagined. You are going to face obstructions, but the LORD is greater than any obstruction you face. Whatever obstruction you are facing today can be removed if you choose by faith to keep your eyes on the LORD and trust Him for help to continue.