Roadblocks and detours

In the state where I live, we have a running joke: “there are only two seasons here: winter and construction.” It’s a never-ending cycle. The ice melt leaves our roads with potholes the size of bull elephants, and the summer-long road repairs are eventually in vain as the winter snow appears a few months later. And when you think the construction can’t get worse, you encounter your greatest challenge yet: roadblocks.

As I’ve encountered roadblocks these past few weeks while driving, I can’t help but think of another type of roadblock we all experience in life. This is going to be deep for a minute, so I’m asking that you stick with me.

We’re going to talk about Satan.

If I’m honest, I believe that the modern church and Christian society tend to sweep the topics of Satan and hell under the rug. And why not? It’s definitely not a “feel good” message, right?

But if we have a relationship with Christ, we must acknowledge that we have an enemy in Satan. He is doing everything within his power to keep us from living our lives for Christ. Sometimes, this involves his tempting of us to sin. Other times, Satan strives to prevent us from completing the tasks that God has given us.

Simply put, Satan sets up roadblocks. These roadblocks can be anything. It can be literal, physical obstacles we encounter. It can be unexpected challenges that arise, making us question whether we can move further with God’s task. It can be an emotional or mental roadblock, where thoughts of doubt and spirits of fear disable us.

The past couple weeks have been a struggle for me, and the roadblocks have been great. Between managing the marketing for a community event at my church, assisting in leading a small group for secondary school girls, writing this blog, and working for a missions organization, I noticed that I have encountered great emotional roadblocks. I was feeling discouraged, and I didn’t know why.

After spending time in prayer, I realized how active the enemy has been in his attempts to hinder my service for God. Maybe Satan didn’t physically stop me, but he was trying to get to me in whatever way he could.

Sometimes Satan’s roadblocks discourage us so much that we become stuck. Yet, there is a way out.

Although we have an enemy that will present us with roadblocks, we have a Father that will help us find a detour. 

We were never promised that we wouldn’t encounter challenges in this life. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

However, God promises us that He will never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Not only this, but that He will equip us for our tasks (Ephesians 6:10-18). If we trust in Him and believe in His Word, we will see that He provides a detour around these roadblocks of discouragement.

And if we are faithfully following what God has called us to do, who can stop us? As Job says in Job 42:2, I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Whenever you recognize a roadblock, do not give up! Trust in God to help you find detours around these discouragements. Spend time in prayer, sharing your praises and concerns with God. Read the Bible, storing God’s promises in your heart. Talk it out, discussing your struggles with friends and family who will encourage you.

No one will make it through life without encountering at least one of Satan’s roadblocks. Yet, we have the assurance that we will not be alone during these times. God will help us overcome these challenges, so that in all that we do, we may bring glory and honor to Him.

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