Obstacles and Hindrances

Galatians 5:7-9

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

HINDER, HINDERING – verb

  • To make slow or difficult, the progress of…
  • To hold back, to delay, impede,
  • To prevent, to block
  • To interfere with the activity or progress
  • To make forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering or fettering, to prevent, to block, to obstruct passage or progress
  • To interfere with something in motion or in progress by the intentional placing of obstacles in the way

OBSTACLE – Noun

  • To stand in front of something that impedes progress or achievement

OBSTACLE COURSE – Noun

  • Hurdles, ditches, fences, walls, and much more that must be negotiated

You fell by the way, you missed the mark, you failed, you slipped, you sinned!

Galatians 5:7 – You ran well.  Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 – This persuasion does not come from Him who called you.

  • Make no mistake about it, our environment, upbringing, and situations all affect our lives, but bottom line we are held responsible by God for our own lives and the way we conduct our life.
  • Sin and your desire to give in to its temptation is the hindrance or obstacle.  It is not about your upbringing, your circumstances of life, your past failures, your friends, and parents, or anything else in life.  You sinned, you failed.  Face it, it is your fault. 
  • Your biggest challenge in life is taking responsibility for your own failures, your mistakes, your lack of accomplishment, your problems, and your sin. 
  • Sin is a failure, a hindrance, an obstacle to your living a life wholly pleasing to God; but it is your sin that caused the failure, hindrance, obstacle.  It is not my sin, not someone else’s sin that caused the problems in your life; it is yours and yours alone.       
  • II Samuel 11 & 12 tells the story of David and Uriah.  Uriah was a hindrance to David hiding his sin.  His sin was disobedience to God’s law.  In the story Nathan stated to David, “You are the man!”  II Samuel 12:7.
  • Joshua 7:20 tells the story of Achan.   Achan’s sin was a hindrance to Israel winning the battle of Ai.  It ultimately proved to be a hindrance to Achan’s family living.  Sin steals, kills, destroys and can be avoided.  God said that He would give us a way of escape.  Achan confessed the truth but it was too late.  Coveting and then stealing, but above all disobedience was his sin.  All he did was take a wedge of gold, 200 shekels of silver and a Babylonian garment.  Then he hid them. Talk about irrational thinking, this was the number one on the hit parade of that day.   Where in the camp of Israel did he think he was going to spend the gold and silver or wear the garment from Babylon?  Sometimes the gains or habits of sin cannot be displayed openly or they will become a dead give away as to who you really are.

DO NOT LET AN OBSTACLE INTERFERE WITH SERVING JESUS.  YOUR ETERNAL LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT

  • A box, table, or anything in front of the door or window could prove to be an obstacle or hindrance in the event of your needing to get out of your house because of a fire.  That obstacle or hindrance was a FIRE HAZARD.  You may have walked around that hindrance, looked at it and perhaps even intended to do something about that hindrance.  However it did not seem to be a pressing issue at that moment.
  • Sin left unattended in your life even if you have the best intentions in the world to rid your life of that sin is a hindrance.  You may wonder about that sin, toy with that sin, play with that sin, indulge in that sin, and agonize over that sin, even loose sleep over that sin.  BUT WATCH OUT….IT COULD BE A FIRE HAZARD.
  • Move it out of your life, get it out of the way, confess it to Jesus, repent.  It is a FIRE HAZARD.

Matthew 18:8-9 – If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.  It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you.      

Did Jesus really mean to tell us that we are to actually physically mutilate our own body?  No.  He was trying to emphasize the terribleness of hell.  The unspeakable horror to mutilate our body by cutting off a limb or plucking out an eye only emphasizes the dread of that terrible, terrible place called hell.

 Secondly, to mutilate our body is a thought that is absolutely foreign to our thinking.  It is barbaric and that is exactly what He was trying to tell us.  Sin in your life is barbaric, alien and it is like a foreign body or a terrible infection in your eye or elsewhere in your body.  Verse 9 in our text states “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”   That foreign body or infection must be dealt with or it will eventually become so severe that it will cause greater harm to the body.  Infection left untreated will spread throughout the entire body, ending eventually in physical death.  Sin left untreated will infect your entire life and must be dealt with now (stat) or the prognosis will cause ultimate death.    

Spiritual death will follow if we allow sin in our life untreated.  God’s Word says, “Behold NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW  is the day of salvation!”  2 Corinthians 6:2

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