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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Obstacles to Obedience"

Date published: 09/09/2017
Acts 5:29 “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’” (NIV)  

    We end our series on evangelism and discipleship with obstacles to obeying. Seldom are obstacles out of your control, but rather they are a matter of your will. Many obstacles of the will come from your sin nature such as lifestyle, un-forgiveness, lack of time, and indifference to people of ethnicity, economic class, mental capacity, and appearance. These are obstacles that point to a need for more of Jesus in your heart. A heart that does not love unconditionally across all groups of people is a heart that needs more of Jesus. Let this be a sign directing you into a deeper quest for intimacy and relationship with Jesus. Another group of obstacles requires you to respond by obeying God rather than man and the ways of the world. Let’s look at some of these obstacles: 

Embarrassment or fear of what people may think. Matthew 10:32 warns that relationship with Jesus comes before your standing with people: "Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven.” (NIV) 

Fear of losing the material possessions of this world through the possible economic loss of identifying with or proclaiming Jesus. John 18:36 instructs you to choose whose kingdom you live in: “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. . . My kingdom is from another place.’” (NIV) 

Feelings of inadequacy thwart your desire and responsibility for accepting what Jesus has given you to do. 1 Peter 3:15 challenges you to take responsibility: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (NIV) 

Inside you harbor negative feelings for people who are different from you and who you unintentionally or intentionally avoid. 1 Corinthian 9:19-23 trains you to adapt to whoever you are with: “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law, so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (NIV) 

You do not disciple or witness because you have few opportunities. Much to the contrary! Get involved in ministry, so that your light can shine before others as Matthew 5:16 teaches: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV) 

You are unsure of what to say. Allow God to provide the words as Matthew 10:19-20 encourages: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (NIV) 

   Let fear, intimidation, inadequacy, and loss be your foundation stones for witnessing and discipling. Be a Mark 5:36 Christian who says, “Don't be afraid; just believe.” (NIV) Your inadequacy is God’s opportunity to do great things through you

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (NIV)

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You and “Knowing God’s Will.”


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