Remember the day you gave your heart to the Lord? No one ever forgets that day and the days and weeks that followed. You were off and running and your heart and spirit were full of joy… that unspeakable joy. But, what happened? How did that journey that began so strongly lose its momentum?
Gal 5:7-8 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
Somewhere along the way, someone or something hindered you, raised up a roadblock. Hinder in the Greek is enkopto; to be tedious, to detain or impede someone by breaking up the road or placing an obstacle sharply in the path. I am fairly confident that everyone reading this can recall the first roadblock the enemy put in their path to slow them down or stop them if possible. That is what Paul is asking the Galatians… who brok up the road along which you were making such good progress?
We’ve all come around the curve on a road to find someone standing there with a stop sign and the road full of equipment of all kinds. It’s bad enough when someone is there waving the flag of warning, but what about those times when it’s totally unexpected and you come upon a natural roadblock, like a landslide covering the road. But what if that roadblock was deliberately set to trap you for some nefarious reason? That is what Paul is referring to, what he is asking them, because he knew too well the dangers we face in our Christian walk. He was particulary referring to the false teachers (Judaizers) that were trying to undermine his message; the true gospel. He might well have been asking that question of the church today. A church that is being assulted by roadblocks in the form of liberalism, legalism, fanaticism, formalism, riualism or any number of other corrupting false influences.
So what are we to do when that roadblock shows up?
First and foremost, we need to anticipate those roadblocks at every turn. And to help us, we have The Spiritual Flagman, the Holy Spirit, to warn us long before we hit that curve in the road. And He will not only warn us ahead of time, He will show us the path that will take us right around over or through the roadblock, if we are obedient.
Eph 4:13-15 … till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ
You know that I have been focused on Rom 8:29 for some time, and the reason behind that focus is the message that we are to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. And what Paul wrote to the Ephesian church clearly sets out the urgency behind the message he delivered to the Romans. We are to be focused on and obedient to the Word and The Spirit, who are both focused on our transformation into spiritual maturity. And that means alerting and steering us clear of all the enemy’s roadblocks, the roadblocks that toss us to and fro and carry us about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of crafty, deceitful men. They are the roadblocks the enemy sets in our path which, if we are not constantly looking for The Flagman, will take us by surprise by their sublty.
But we also must be mindful of that fact that, in most cases, once we have been alerted to the danger, it may well take some hard work, some major road repair, on our part to clear the path ahead. And that is a key part of what the process of “transformation” is all about. Many of the roadblocks we face have been placed in our path by the enemy after we have given him our permission. Yes, there are those the Lord puts there to get our attention, but most of them are the result of our failure to listen to the voice of His Spirit and be obedient to His Word. And He is the only One who can lead us back onto “our” path of transformation.
One day we will walk on the golden path, but until then we must stay alert for the roadblocks that lie just around the corner. We can’t fall asleep at the switch as it is just as dangerous as falling asleep at the wheel. Trust me, I have sped around the corner and right into a roadblock far too many times and each time it has take a lot of work to get me out of the mess and back on track. I suspect you’ve been there as well.