Week 11 Recap: Days 61-66

Devotion by: Zac Collins

This past week started with a bang and ended with a bombshell. Jesus first told His disciples that the Son of Man will be killed but will rise again in three days. Then He closed the week by declaring to the religious leaders that he is “I Am.” We followed Jesus as He traveled to Capernaum, Galilee, and ultimately Jerusalem. On this journey, Scripture revealed to us six key obstacles that we must conqueror to truly live the life that God has for us.

Obstacle #1: Silence
Read Mark 9:30-32.

“They didn’t understand what He was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask Him what He meant.”

Have you ever been around someone who is way smarter than you, and while they’re talking you nod and smile, but you have no clue what the person is saying? Sometimes that’s how we talk with God. God says something, and we refuse to acknowledge that we don’t understand. We would rather appear to understand what God is saying than to ask for clarification.

Obstacle #2: Qualifying
Read Matthew 18:21-22.

In Matthew 18 Jesus is talking about forgiveness, and Peter asks, (and I’m paraphrasing), “What’s the quota on forgiveness? Seven times max?” When God speaks to us, we try to qualify his calling. We want details; God wants obedience.

Obstacle #3: Tempting
Read John 7:3-5.

“For even his brothers didn’t believe in Him.”

Sometimes faith doesn’t feel strong enough. We want something so badly, and we feebly attempt to play to God’s ego saying, “If you are so powerful, you will be able to give me what I want!” Our poor attempt at tempting God places the focus on our desires and off of God’s.

Obstacle #4: Fear
Read John 7:12-13.

The disciples lack the courage to speak up for Jesus. They were too afraid of what other people would think of them and of the trouble they would cause for themselves. Sometimes we have opportunities to be bold. God opens a door for us to walk through and experience an adventure unlike anything we could imagine, but we shrink back and hide in our comfort zone.

Obstacle #5: Scheming
Read John 8:3-6.

Is God fair? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I compare my situation with someone else’s situation. I try to trap God into doing for me what He did for them. I play little control games thinking I can catch God between a rock and a hard place. But, in the comparison game, there are no winners.

Obstacle #6: Disgust
Read John 8:39-59.

There is this argument between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus says “I AM” and the Pharisees lose their minds. It gets so heated that the Pharisees pick up stones to throw at Jesus. Have you ever been mad at God? Disgusted by something you feel like God allowed to happen? I don’t believe God is intimidated by you being mad or disgusted. The problem comes when our disgust blinds us to that fact that God never abandoned us.

How do we overcome these obstacles to faith: silence, qualifying, tempting, fear, scheming, and disgust? Tucked away in this week’s readings is the key to overcoming these obstacles.

The Key
Read Matthew 18:1-4.

Jesus says we are to become like “little children.” I am the father of a 7- and a 5-year-old. The one thing that is thriving inside all children is curiosity. If they do not understand something they poke, prod, seek, and sometimes destroy whatever is in their way to the answer. I believe curiosity is the one thing that will destroy the obstacles in your way today.

In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

If my daughter wants to know how something works, she will repeatedly ask questions until her brain is satisfied. When my son can’t read something he says, “What’s this say, Dad?” Confusion is not a wall for them. It is simply a door for which they have yet to find the key.

Will you be curious? Will you shatter the obstacle in front of you or will you grow silent, angry, and keep trying to control the situation? I pray that you will choose curiosity. Keep on Asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking.

Jessica Spivey