“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
Hiding our obstacles drains our energy for life and keeps us from reaching our God-given potential.
Obstacles are not unique to just a few of us, we all struggle with various types. Unfortunately, we sometimes choose to hold on to these barriers rather than take the necessary steps to dismantle them.
Obstacles can be physical barriers, like circumstances or people that hinder us from pursuing a positive path in life. But, we can also have personal obstacles, internal ones, that wreak havoc on our lives and relationships. Internal Obstacles are negative attitudes, emotions, or habits. And much like our external obstacles, our internal ones hinder us from going where we need to go, doing what we need to do, and keep us from reaching our God-given potential.
I’ve found the first critical step in overcoming our obstacles is simply to admit we have them. When we take an honest, objective look at ourselves, our circumstances, relationships, behaviors, and habits, we can more clearly see the obstacles that are hindering our goals, damaging our relationships, and keeping us from living the life God desires us to live.
I love Pastor Peter Scazzero’s honest assessment of our need to get below the surface of our obstacles in order to fully experience God’s power.
“It wasn’t until the pain exposed how much was hiding under my surface of being a ‘good Christian’ that it hit me: whole layers of my emotional life had lain buried, untouched by God’s transforming power.”
Peter Scazzero — Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
I personally spent years hiding guilt, shame, insecurity, fear, and sin before God brought me to a place where the pain of staying the same became greater than the pain of changing. Thankfully, I was forced to expose my brokenness and Obstacles, so I could begin to break them down and heal. God’s Word also reminds us that keeping silent about our struggles causes us to waste away and drains our vitality for life.
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Psalm 32:3-5 (NLT)
This is an important reality to remember when contemplating our obstacles. When left unexposed and untreated, our obstacles will continue to manifest themselves in destructive attitudes and behaviors, that we, in turn, pay the price through the breakdown of our physical and emotional health.
Admit your Obstacles today and begin the process of breaking them down.
- Spend ten to fifteen minutes talking to God about the obstacles in your life and journal the things He brings to mind.
- Talk with a trusted loved one or friend. Admit your obstacles to them and ask them to pray for you as you begin to journey through the process of dismantling them.
- If needed, seek counsel from your spiritual mentor or a Family Christian therapist. Don’t wait — reach out today and get help.
- Write down these scriptures on notecards and commit them to memory:
- Isaiah 57:14
- Job 5:8-9
- 1 John 1:9
What obstacles are you ready to overcome?