Have you ever planned a trip or summer vacation? In days gone by you would get a map from a service station or perhaps invest in a Rand McNally book of maps.
You would carefully plan your journey. . .plotting the number of hours involved. . .what cities you want to spend the night in along the way. . .which hotel you would call for reservations. . .what tourist sights you will visit. . .and some would even calculate the number of bathroom breaks or rest stops on the journey.
Ah. . .days gone by.
Regardless of how carefully you planned. . .it was highly probably you would encounter roadblocks, detours, potholes, sinkholes, obstacles, changing terrain and even hitchhikers on your journey.
As you travel the highway of life on your journey to the debt free lifestyle. . .you will no doubt encounter. . . roadblocks, detours, potholes, sinkholes, obstacles, changing terrain and even hitchhikers.
Dr. Morris Cerullo said years ago that all truth is parallel. A vacation trip is a lot like planning your way out of debt.
Here are seven hazards you might find along your way to financial freedom.
According to dictionary.com the word roadblock is defined as:
“an obstruction placed across a road, for halting or hindering traffic; an obstruction on a road, as a fallen tree or a pile of fallen rocks; a hastily built barricade erected across a road to hold up the advance of an enemy and an action, condition, etc., that obstructs progress toward an objective.”
The last definition says “an action, condition that obstructs progress toward an objective.”
What roadblocks have you hit that’s obstructing your progress toward the debt free lifestyle?
Maybe the roadblock is your own creation. Or a condition thrust upon you by a change in your work environment, family status or income.
It’s important for you to identify what condition or circumstance is hindering your progress.
It’s equally important not to complain about the condition but rather do something to change or eliminate its existence and thus its negative influence on your future.
Take a moment to write down what obstacles you’re facing. Once the list is complete, lay your hands on it and pray the following prayer.
“Heavenly Father, I’m headed where your word says I can go. . .toward success, prosperity and the good life. My journey has been hindered. I have listed what I believe to be the problems. In the name of Jesus, I’m asking for you to stir specific solutions in my spirit so the roadblocks can be removed and my journey completed. Thank you, Lord, for your direction and the unction of the Holy Spirit.”
Proverbs 16:3 in the New Living Translation says:
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
# 2 Detours
Dictionary.com defines detour as:
“a roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed; an indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.”
Unfortunately, many people lose their way on the road to success when things don’t go exactly as they thought they would go or planned for them to go.
Are you facing circumstances today. . .that you never dreamed of six months, a year or two-three years ago?
Here are my recommendations on what to do. . .when you hit an unexpected and uncharted detour on your journey to the debt free lifestyle and the good life.
Hebrews 4:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
Second, laugh at the devil.
Proverbs 15:13 in the Message says:
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.”
Jeremiah 30:18 in the Message Bible says:
“Thanksgivings will pour out of the windows; laughter will spill through the doors. Things will get better and better. Depression days are over.”
Third, seek wisdom.
Proverbs 2:2-5 in The Living Bible says:
“Every young man who listens to me and obeys my instructions will be given wisdom and good sense. Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.”
Fourth, reach out to those in your circle of friends.
1 Corinthians 12:26 Amplified Bible says:
“And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.”
Fifth, don’t be afraid of the unknown.
Only in facing our fears can we find a solution.
2 Corinthians 7:5 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“After we came to Macedonia, we didn't have any chance to rest. We were faced with all kinds of problems. We were troubled by enemies and troubled by fears.”
You are not the only one who has trouble or fears … but the Lord is the only way through … back in Paul’s time and still today!
# 3 Potholes
Dictionary.com defines pothole as:
“a deep hole; pit; a hole formed in pavement, as by excessive use or by extremes of weather.”
Let’s talk about potholes in the natural.
Over time the asphalt on our highways breaks down due to excessive weight and begins to crack. When the asphalt cracks it allows water to seep in and when that water freezes it will expand creating larger cracks. After these cracks are repeatedly run over by cars. . .you’ve got a pothole.
Some of the most damaging potholes we face in life. . .are the hurts inflicted by loved ones or close friends over a period of time and under unfavorable conditions.
Sometimes. . .even when things seem good. . .potholes can appear out of nowhere because the cracking was not obvious to the natural eye at first.
There are at least two warning signs about cracks appearing in a marriage. . .increased tension and fighting about everything. . .especially, money. . .as well as increased distance and detachment from each other.
If a car or truck runs over a pothole. . .you can knock the wheels out of balance and the car out of alignment. . .causing the tires to wear out quicker and needing replacement.
In a marriage. . .if the cracks. . .the potholes aren’t dealt with they can cause a marriage to be thrown out of balance and the oneness of the husband and wife out of alignment causing martial despair and damage.
Don’t ignore the warning signs in a marriage. . .or for that matter. . .on the job or they can cause expensive problems and I don’t just mean monetary expenses.
Avoiding the physical potholes you find along our highways is easy. . .particularly, if you drive on that road frequently.
Here’s what I know. . .when you put God in charge. . .when you look to Him to bring the change needed in your life and that of those you love. . .everything will be all right.
Luke 3:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth.”
Your loving Heavenly Father can smooth out all the potholes that have been trying to throw your life out of spiritual and financial balance.
# 4 Sinkholes
A sinkhole is defined as:
“a hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage. Also called sink. a depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.”
Our spiritual life can be eroded away like a sinkhole. If we don’t base our lifestyle on God’s Word and His instructions. . .then our lives are like the “depressed area in which waste and drainage collects.”
Matthew 7:24-27 in The Living Bible says:
“All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock.
“But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on sand. For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”
Here are seven things that will cause spiritual sinkholes to develop in your life.
2. Wrong Relationships.
3. Sinful thought life
4. Inconsistent prayer and Bible reading
5. Ignoring His instructions
6. Being stuck in your comfort zone
7. Failing to give tithes and offerings
Sinkholes don’t develop suddenly. . .there has been a period of spiritual erosion.
Don’t focus on how bad things are. . .that’s what the creator of spiritual sinkholes desires. Instead, put on your spiritual armour. . .it’s the best way to prevent falling into an otherwise deceptive and devastating sinkhole.
Here’s the scriptural protection against sinkholes and it’s found in Ephesians 6:10-18 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.
18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”
# 5 Obstacles
In Dictionary.com the word obstacles is defined as:
“something that obstructs or hinders progress.”
Would you like to know the number one thing that hinders the progress on your journey to the debt free lifestyle?
It’s not. . .the devil. . .a lack of sleep. . .a unsatisfying job. . .your spouse, children, family or friends. . .it’s not even a lack of money. . .it’s YOU.
This is the time to be honest. . .no excuses. . .self-justification or rationalization. . .just the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. . .so help you God. . .who knows all the truth about each of us anyway.
Romans 7:18-20 in the Amplified Bible says:
“18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]
19 For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [[a]fixed and operating in my soul].”
How do we overcome this failing in our human nature?
Romans 7:24-25 in the New Living Translation says:
“So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done[a] by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”
So the question is. . .how do we remove obstacles that hinder our journey to the good life?
Romans 12:1-2 in the Message Bible says:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
How do you avoid obstacles. . .by allowing God to bring the best out of you. . .by allowing Him to transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
# 6 Changing terrain
The Random House Dictionary defines terrain as:
“a tract of land, especially as considered with reference to its natural features, military advantages”
A couple of nights ago, my fine wife Bev and I, were watching “Bad weather caught on camera.” A number of these clips showed the terrain changing instantly because of flash floods, mudslides, avalanches, water spouts turning into a tornado.
I hate to be the one to break it to you. . .but there are some crazy people in the world.
One of the clips showed a guy standing on a balcony overlooking the ocean as a huge water spout formed and came ashore. Despite pleadings from his wife. . .he stood on what I believe to be a fifth story balcony taking video of the event. . .the force of the spout sucked him off the balcony. . .and he was blessed by God that he was deposited in the hotel swimming pool many floor beneath.
In all these clips the terrain changed!
On your journey to success. . .you’re going to find that things. . .people. . .events change.
What you thought would happen. . .what others told you would happen. . .doesn’t.
It’s important each of us understand that things and circumstances change. . .even when we’ve been promised they wouldn’t.
Everything around you may change. . .for better or worse. . .but there is one thing. . .One who never changes.
Hebrews 13:8 in the English Standard Version says:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Things change. . .but God. . .and His promises to you. . .never do.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 in the New Living Translation says:
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
The greatest change each of us will ever experience is the change that happens in us as we allow God to transform. . .change us. . .into a new person by changing the way we think.
# 7 Hitchhikers
Don’t pick’em up. . .leave’em alone.
First, tagalongs. These are people who aren’t going anywhere in their lives because they don’t have a clue who they are in Christ and why they’re here on planet earth.
Tagalongs are more than happy to travel with you…because you’re paying all the bills.
My advice … leave them standing by the side of the road.
Second, dream thieves. These are the folks…who don’t really believe you’ll be able to do the things the Word of God says you can do. They’ve never had a dream so they wouldn’t know what to do. . .if one came straight at them.
On your journey to success you don’t need to be traveling with those who don’t believe and never intend to.
Third, chatterboxes. From the moment they get in your car…all these folks do is talk…they have an opinion about everything and everybody. Yet, these folks are always negative.
What kind of folks are you picking up on your journey to success?
Are they positive or negative? Are they pessimistic or optimistic? Are they dream makers or dream thieves?
Proverbs 13:20 in The Living Bible says:
“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”
I Corinthians 15:33 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”
You can make it! The Word of God says so … so keep an eye out for the hazards and you’ll find your success.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS