through His Word
Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life
A New Blog Series on the Gospel of Mark
by Katy Kauffman
Have you ever encountered an obstacle in your path so massive, it seemed like a giant sequoia tree? In Yosemite National Park, a giant sequoia stood for about 2,100 years. Then something as simple as snow, and a tunnel, brought it down.
In 1881, two men carved a tunnel into a tree named “Wawona,” a giant sequoia standing about 230 feet tall. Meant to be a tourist attraction, the twenty-six foot tunnel was wide enough to drive through, and it inspired tourists, including President Theodore Roosevelt, to stop and take a picture with the legendary tree. But the tunnel weakened the tree, and in 1969, snow sitting on the tree’s crown made it collapse. The ancient giant fell.
Several years ago, a giant hindered me in my walk with God, and I felt like it would never fall. It began as a “tree” of my own making. Selfishness, self-reliance, and impatience formed its “rings.” It grew taller and stronger, reinforced with negative reactions to spiritual attacks from the enemy. I desperately wanted to carve a tunnel through this hindrance that blocked me from drawing closer to God. I chipped away at the bark, but the giant obstacle still stood in my way.
Some obstacles in the Christian life seem as unyielding and immovable as an ancient tree. The root system seems to invade every part of life, twisting its way into our minds, hearts, and relationships. We push, we pull, we hack at the tree. But it doesn’t budge. It doesn’t diminish. The “bark” seems three feet thick, and we don’t have the strength to cut a tunnel through it.
Enter Jesus. No giant is too massive that He can’t cut it down. No “tree” is too tall or wide that He can’t collapse it.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus is the Hero who enables us to overcome the obstacles of the Christian life. We see in the passages and principles of Mark how Jesus helps us to overcome fear, unbelief, hardness of heart, selfishness, and more. We learn from His words and actions why no obstacle has to stand in the way of our relationship with God and keep us from peace, freedom, wholeness, usefulness, and victory. In this new blog series, guest bloggers and I will explore passages from Mark and show how to overcome the obstacles we face.
Jesus is perfectly qualified to overcome the obstacles that hinder our lives. Mark Chapter 1 gives us ten reasons why. Which one of these do you love the most about Jesus?
- Jesus faced Satan’s temptations and won (v.12-13).
- Jesus preaches the life-changing message of the kingdom of God (v.14-15).
- Jesus trains His followers to be fishers of men (v.16-20).
- Jesus’ words have power to impact us and change our lives (v.21-22).
- Jesus has power over Satan and his kingdom (v.23-28).
- Jesus heals us of whatever keeps us from serving Him (v.29-31).
- No disease or demon is too strong for Jesus (v.32-34).
- Jesus keeps God as His first priority (v.35).
- Jesus faithfully carries out God’s will (v.36-39).
- Jesus compassionately frees us from sin and those things that keep us isolated from others (v.40-45).
Jesus can make every giant fall. His wisdom, power, and love rescue us from our spiritual enemies and enable us to overcome seemingly impenetrable obstacles. Join us in looking at how faith in Jesus enables us to overcome life’s obstacles. He doesn’t just chip away at a giant—He can blast a hole through it.
Which of Jesus’ character qualities would bring down a “tree” that’s standing in your path today? Share in the comments below why you think Jesus is the perfect person to handle life’s challenges and enable us to overcome the obstacles we face. He can make your giant fall.
© Copyright 2018 by Katy Kauffman
obstacles, challenges, faith, Jesus, Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life, Mark, Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies
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