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Blessing Blockers-April 1, 2024

Here's a lesson in moving mountains.

Monday Morning Devotion-April 1, 2024

Blessing Blockers

 *from March 20, 2017

"If you tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done."

                                                                                          Matthew 21:21

         My friend Ron Wallace refers to the mountain Jesus is talking about in this manner:

In his book 'Encouraging Words in a Discouraging World" Pastor Ron calls these mountains "blessing blockers."  

            On Facebook Wallace wrote:  "If Jesus tells you how to move a mountain it means the mountain can be removed.  Jesus said, 'Say' to the mountain.  He didn't say for you to tell Him to speak to the mountain."

            The same morning that I read Ron's post I read these words by Mark Batterson.  "Maybe we need to quit playing defense and start playing offense.  Maybe we need to quit letting our circumstances get between us and God and let God get between us and our circumstances.  Maybe we need to stop talking to God about our problem and start talking to our problem about God."

            I thought, "Wow, that is a double whammy from God."  I remembered the many times that I had prayed to God about a situation, especially in my writing, when I felt blocked and then I still felt blocked.  God didn't magically and miraculously just move that mountainous obstruction out of the way so I could proceed and write a Bestseller or an Academy Award winning screenplay.  In fact, I couldn't even finish the project I was working on.

            Here, in one morning session with two different devotional writers, I was being shown by God what the problem was.  I was praying and expecting God to act.  I wanted him to clear the way, to throw the mountain that was blocking the way, into the sea so my work could be blessed.

            Now what suddenly came clearly through was that I needed to stop "talking to God about the problem and start talking to the problem about God."  In other words, I had only partly done the right thing.  For God to move that mountain I needed to start attacking the problem differently, but with the assurance that God had my back.  That He was supporting me, but I had to do the work that would enable us, jointly, to succeed.

            Thomas Edison once said:  "The reason people don't recognize opportunity when it knocks is because it comes wearing overalls and disguised as hard work."  God had, in the first place, given me ideas.  He had not rejected the plans that I had.  I felt certain that I did have his endorsement.  But I had to do the work.  Breaking through the roadblocks was not easy but it couldn't happen with the manuscripts sitting dormant in my computer.

            Maybe you can think of instances in your life where you are frustrated.  You have prayed and you seem to be no farther along than you were before.  Whose fault is that?  Is it God's?

            Maybe you need to try a new approach, change your strategy, do more research, just get into action instead of commiserating about a lack of movement or how high that mountain is.  That's the way you start moving that mountain.

            Granted the mountain might not immediately slide into the sea leaving you a clear path to success.  It may take a while, but if the thing you are pursuing is in God's, will those baby steps can eventually become giant steps.

            Remember what Astronaut Neil Armstrong said as he became the first man in history to set foot on the moon:  "This is one small step for man.  One giant leap for mankind."  Look for where to step.  Confront that problem with the assurance that your God, is bigger than any problem man can face, even the unheard-of feat of going to the moon and back.

            I'm sure my friend Ron Wallace, who has become a dynamic and popular preacher, saw many mountains moved in his life.  He came to Florida State University from Macon, GA, on a football scholarship.  Even as a young man, a hard-hitting, lightning-quick defensive end, he had his priorities straight.  He wanted to become a preacher and even though football might not be the most direct route to success in that field, he used it as a stepping-stone.

            He played for the legendary coach Bill Peterson, who is credited with laying the foundation, back in the 60's, for today's highly successful football program at FSU.   Pete was a great coach but he sometimes mixed up his words and phrases when making a point.

            In my book, "You Can't Become a Football Overnight," there is a story about how Coach Pete, had a good idea but communicated it, uh…differently.  Bill Peterson was a man of faith who had his team pray before a game.

            This one particular time, before they took the field, he said "Ok men, take a knee.  Wallace you lead us in a few words of silent prayer."  I'm not sure how Ron handled that, but I believe the Lord moved some mountains for him and the team that day.

            Wallace further states:  "Mountains in your life are meant to be removed because they are blocking a blessing.  Jesus would never give you words of faith if there was nothing on the other side of the mountain. So, speak to it today and receive the blessing that's on the other side."

            Don't worry about whether you will be equal to the task.  Pray, then attack that problem and feel the wind at your back moving you forward.  Maybe it will come in gusts instead of one steady, hurricane-like gale. 

            Just remember, the Bible tells us,  “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose."    (Philippians 4:13 & Romans 8:28)

            Blessing Blockers beware; Our Sovereign God is coming through.

Prayer:  Lord thank you for showing us how to move mountains.  Amen!


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