More Than Conquerors

Thursday, October 06, 2016

"'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:31, 37)
The railway rattled with the sound of the coal train as it approached, the train's whistle cutting through the silence of the mountains. The steam engine appeared, rushing by on the train tracks. Grey clouds of steam billowed from its stack and dissipated into the blue sky overhead. Without a hesitation, the train thundered across the wooden trestle, carrying it across the deep canyon where beneath the tracks a dusky haze of shadows resided. Onward it traveled through a tunnel in the green hills before its path. Full steam ahead. Nothing stood in its way.
Be like this little steam engine. I was praying about what I should share this week, and that's what God put on my heart. Be like this little steam engine.
In our walk as children of God, we do great things for the Lord and will do great things for Him in the future. The Holy Spirit continues to fan the flame of passions and motivation in our hearts like coal into our furnace, and we continue racing along the path He has for us. 
Sometimes, that path isn't an easy terrain though. What is our reaction when that path doesn't look as clear as we thought it would? 
Let's look at the life of one of my favorite individuals in the Bible- Paul. Paul is a model for our Christian lives, and fourteen books of the New Testament were penned by his hand. But Paul went through an unbelievable amount of hardship and obstacles in his Christian walk and in his ministry. His life was a journey of persecution, shipwreck, and imprisonment for the sake of sharing the Gospel with others and submitting to the call of God on his life. 
There were countless times in Paul's life when he could've become discouraged by obstacles, when he could've said, "Well, I guess it wasn't God's will then," and when he could've turned around and gone home. But he didn't. Because he understood the mission that he was on, and he would allow nothing to get in its way.
We oftentimes start off strong in the direction of where God is leading us, but all too often does that enthusiasm flag when we encounter our first obstacle or opposition. We lose heart when it shows itself to be a more difficult path than we had anticipated. We sometimes interpret obstacles as a sign from God to abandon our mission, when really, it might not be God at all. We forget at times that, yes, God closes doors as a means of guiding us in His will, but also, the enemy slams doors closed as a means of thwarting our steps in the Lord's will.
How can we tell the difference? By prayer. Seeking the Lord and asking the Holy Spirit for discernment. By counsel. Talking it out with godly mentors and role models who have been in our place before. And by reevaluation. Was this mission something that God actually called us to do or was it something that we thought a profitable idea and decided on our own to do? Is it driven by the fire of a vision or promise that God put in our hearts or is it driven by our emotions? Is it our ultimate desire for it that it will bring glory to God or is it the way that it will magnify our name and our reputation?
When the Lord sets your feet on a path following in His will, don't be afraid. Don't be discouraged. Don't slow down and hesitate. And don't allow the Enemy to deter you from that path the Lord placed you on. Maybe figuratively, you'll have to cross over dark canyons. Maybe you'll have to face mountains in your tracks. Don't worry about them. If God has chosen that path for your feet, He has also provided the trestle across the valley and the tunnel through the mountain. No obstacle or opposition you will encounter can surprise God. He has seen it all and He knows what's up ahead. So take heart, be brave, and walk by faith. Sing His praises in the shadows and the struggles because He is with you, and in Him, you have already overcome. 
"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:4-6)
Heavenly Father, thank you that You lead us and that You have a path set for our steps. Thank you that Your Word is the lamp for our feet and the light for our path (Psalm 119:105) Thank you that You guide us and direct us as we seek Your will for our lives. Give us discernment, God, when we face obstacles and opposition in that path and equip us with strength and courage to press onward, knowing that You are our Guide and that You never leave us or forsake us. Make us brave women in You. Amen.
When you encounter obstacles in your walk with the Lord, what is your first reaction? Do you lean more toward assuming obstacles are God's hand of guidance or do you lean more toward seeing hindrances as a work of the Enemy? We need to be balanced between the two perspectives and slow down to seek the Lord's discernment in these situations. What are some ways that can help you remember to seek God's counsel before either turning around or rushing ahead, and where are some areas in which God's called you forth that maybe you've turned away in discouragement and you need the Lord to resurrect in your life?
Written by: Julia Glover

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