No obstacles


When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
(Acts 28:16 NASB)
After three days Paul called together those who were the leading men of the Jews, and when they came together, he began saying to them, “Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
(Acts 28:17 NASB)
When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
(Acts 28:23 NASB)
And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him,
(Acts 28:30 NASB)
preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
(Acts 28:31 NASB)



Paul had quite a journey to Rome. The boat trip which should have taken just a few days ended up taking months and months. However, Paul never allowed that to be an obstacle to what he believed God wanted him to do. Finally, after arriving in Rome he was allowed to be under house arrest in his own home. He wasted no time. After his incredible journey, on the third day after he arrived in Rome, he called together the leading Jews. He was ready to be at work and to fulfill the mission to which he believed God had called him. We see that during his entire time of house arrest he never allowed his circumstances to be an obstacle to preaching the good news about Jesus. Instead, he constantly looked for ways in which he could, day in and day out, tell people about what was most important to him.



I think about how often we find excuses or obstacles to preaching the good news. We are waiting until the circumstances are just right, or until we see a mighty movement of God, or some kind of miraculous act. Paul never, ever sat around and waited. Instead, Paul was constantly on the move, making the very most of every single circumstance to continue sharing about Christ. Nothing ever seemed to be an obstacle to him, instead, he seemed to turn every obstacle into an opportunity.
That is a great lesson for us today. Obstacles are actually opportunities! What would happen if God's children embraced life in this way? What if we could rejoice in every obstacle which is sent across our paths and then ask God to use us in spite of the obstacles, to make a difference in our world. I know that it's easy to get discouraged and to see the obstacles as more than we can overcome. Within our own power that would be true, but we serve a God who is greater. We serve the same God that Paul served -- a God who takes obstacles and uses them to his glory. The result is that they are not obstacles at all, but can be moments of the revelation of God's grace.



Lord, please help me to see the obstacles through your eyes! Amen.


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