The other day I had the most vivid dream. I’m not much of a dreamer, but for some reason, this dream was so vivid and clear. I could remember the details and emotions elicited by the dream like I was there experiencing it first hand. From past posts I’ve shared, I like to run. In this dream, I had trained and prepared for a race.
I remember being in a car driving to the race, trying to get there, but something was always getting in the way–traffic, crowds, roadblocks. I remember feeling anxious thinking I wasn’t going to make the start of the race. Then the race started and I wasn’t at the start line. The crowds of runners passed by me. Feelings of disappointment and failure rummaged through my heart as I watched the runners pass me. I had prepared and trained for a race I could only watch and not participate in. Every which way I turned, every time I tried, something got in my way to prevent me from getting to the start line.
After I awoke from my dream, I felt like I failed (nice way to start the day). I felt the devastation of not completing the race, thinking what does all this mean? I spent time in prayer asking God the meaning of the dream and heard his gentle response. He asked me a very simple question, “Are you going to continue to focus on your stumbling blocks or allow me to take care of them?” “Focus on my purpose for you, I will take care of your stumbling blocks.”
God was right. At the time of this dream, I was a hot mess. I was in an ugly rut of taking matters into my own hands, trying to handle things my way, amplifying the stumbling blocks that laid before me. God was trying to show me, my struggles, my inadequacies, my unbelief will always keep me away from His purpose for me. Focusing on my struggles making them bigger than God will always take me out of the race, not allowing me to participate and worse yet not finish.When we live in God's purpose for us, it doesn't matter what struggles or obstacles lie in front of us, if it is His will, He will move them. Click To Tweet
At the time of my dream, I was studying the book of Nehemiah. If you haven’t read Nehemiah, it is such a wonderful reminder of what God can do when we discover and live in His purpose. God chose Nehemiah to carry out what He had promised to Abraham. The Jewish people spent many years in exile and now it was time for God to come through with His promise for restoration of Jerusalem, their holy city.
Nehemiah’s heart was broken when he received news his people (The Jews) were in great trouble and the wall of Jerusalem was broken down. Once Nehemiah heard of the turmoil, his burning desire to help his people became the sole purpose of his existence. Two qualities I admire most in Nehemiah were his wise, decisive leadership skills to lead people in the hard work of completing the wall and his prayerful heart.
Before taking on this task of rebuilding this massive wall, Nehemiah devoted four whole months in prayer, praying and fasting before taking action! Once the four months was over, it only took 52 days to rebuild the wall! What is so amazing about this task, about 60 years prior Jerusalem’s wall was destroyed and rebuilt which took 20 years to rebuild!
What was the difference?
In both occurrences of the wall, there were obstacles, inward and outward oppression getting in the way of God’s purpose of rebuilding the wall.
Nehemiah 6:9 'For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.' But now, O God, strengthen my hands.'Click To Tweet
Neh. 2:10- There were enemies getting in the way of rebuilding the wall
Neh. 4:10-11 There was doubt, discouragement, laziness, and fear
Neh. 5:1-5- The Jews and their families were being exploited as slaves
Neh. 6:1-8- There was an evil conspiracy plotted against Nehemiah to lure him away from the wall
Neh. 6:10-14- Lying prophets tryied to tempt Nehemiah to sin
Nehemiah was successfully able to complete the task of finishing the wall because He stayed in prayer and focused on God’s purpose, not the obstacles.
Our obstacles will always prevent us from finishing the race. Satan will throw obstacles in our path to prevent us from living in God’s purpose for us, to keep us from His plan because He knows God’s ways are greater and better than anything we could ever imagine.When our focus is on what God is able to do, God will move our obstacles out of the way.Click To Tweet
We have a choice– Focus on our problems or Focus on God’s purpose.
Nehemiah never lost sight of completing the wall WITH God not FOR God. He stayed in prayer and asked for God’s wisdom never faltering from His purpose. Our struggles, our unbelief, our doubts, our past, and insecurities will always keep us away from God’s purpose. We can choose to amplify our struggles or allow it to be God’s platform for what he’s able to do.
What is your focus?
Do obstacles get in the way of God’s purpose for you?
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