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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Obstacles to God's Glory

The very fact that you are reading this says something about you. You are seeking to know something of God. He has already sought you and you are very special to Him. You are now seeking Him. However, that changes everything in your relationship with Him. You have taken a step that has already produced some fruit of faith. God always prunes the tree that produces.

Sometimes people think that God's pruning means that He will promote some tragedy in their lives. They may even give a testimony of God's sustenance during a very difficult time. But God does not challenge us with difficult times so that He can watch us squirm. He purges us from the obstacles to His glory when we walk with Him. The degree of difficulty depends on the size of the limb that needs to be pruned.

For example, Abraham had waited for  a son who would be the child of his blessing. Isaac is born when Abraham and Sarah should not have been able to have children. The child became such a focus to Abraham that he became an obstacle between Abraham and God. God, therefore, told Abraham to sacrifice his son. The culmination of that command ended with God keeping Abraham from the sacrifice. Abraham had been purged of the obstacle between himself and God. He could now more fully give God glory.

Joseph was a braggart. He told his brothers and father that they would some day bow down to him. Yes, it was true but it did not need to be said in this way. He did it in such a way that it angered his brothers and astounded his father. Joseph was sold into slavery but slavery didn't remove his obstacle. He stopped to brag about his stature in the household and his virtue. He went to prison. He was forgotten in prison. Then, one day Pharoah called for Joseph because he heard that Joseph could interpret dreams. Joseph told Pharoah that the answer was not in him but God would give Pharoah an answer. He was purged from his obstacle.

Each person who has taken a step toward giving God glory has been challenged to remove the obstacles between God and himself which prevent that glory from fully shining through. You will see it in Moses, David, Elijah, Peter and Paul. Each of these people had flaws in their character. Some of them had several flaws which needed to be purged.

I know nothing about you who read this blog but I don't imagine that you are perfect. I imagine that you too have been or will be or are being purged from the obstacles that keep you from fully giving God glory. This is not the path of the timid believer. It is one of courage, determination and faith.

A journey requires that you arrive in another place. Many Christians talk of their Christian faith without ever being changed. They are in the same place ten, twenty and thirty years later. Their faith is the same and they do not give God glory even if they go to church and sing all the praise songs. It is merely lip service. The Christian life is intended to be a journey of your faith in which you come closer to God. This requires that  His glory is restored in you. This glory is a different place. Each day it is different. Each day is part of the journey.

So, if you are reading this blog, I suspect that God has already put some significant challenges to purge you from the obstacles to His glory. So, what is it that keeps His glory from shining through you? Let it go when it is challenged.

Believe me, God will be relentless in your restoration.

The journey is worth it.

John 15:2 (ESV)
2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

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