An Obstacle or a Helper?

Miriam Ferrando

It is common in the big cities, while one goes to work or returns home, to reach a traffic jam on the highways and avenues. In these situations one cannot go back, because there are vehicles behind. It is simply necessary to wait, even though one would wish the car had wings in order to overcome the obstacle and be able to continue on their way. If one cannot take another direction, the only thing that we have left to do is to wait.

These situations, lived day by day, made me think about what happens when we are an obstacle for the Lord's working. What does the Lord do when we are an obstacle in His way; in the fulfillment of God's purpose?

Ezekiel chapter 1, verses 9, 12, 17 and 20 indicate that the cherubs, just like "the wheels" turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. The principle that we can extract from this reading is that the Lord always goes forwards; He cannot wait, nor desist. What happens when God doesn't find the appropriate vessel? The judgment of God comes, which means that He seeks a different vessel.

Sisters, the Lord never strays. Perhaps taking a new direction, but always continuing forward. If we are nuisance, God continues in a new direction, but always advancing.

We are an obstacle when we look for "our own things" (Phil. 2:21). We are helpers when we take on God's thought.

As women, we often believe that our decisions and actions don't go beyond the limits of our house; that they are only in the area of domestic things and that they won't affect anybody apart from ourselves. But what we do or don't do can be an obstacle or a means for God's glory to be manifested. The consequences of one decision or another cannot only affect our family, but also the church.

Let us look in the Scriptures at how some women were "obstacles", or, "helpers", with regard to:

1. The usband

Jezebel (1 Kings 21, Revelation 2:18)

Here we see a clear example of a woman who took spiritual government, and "incited" her husband to do wrong (v. 25). She was an obstacle, and her actions had a serious consequence: she didn't have a descendant. She didn't come to know any more of Ahab or of his wife.

As wives we can interfere in our husband's service to the Lord, in the decisions that it is necessary to take regarding service regarding certain situations. Our comments are not confined to our own four walls, they have an eternal consequence.

Abigail (1 Samuel 25)

She was a helper of God's purpose. She saved the life of her husband and doesn't disobey him, even though he was unwise. And she stops her future husband from spilling blood. David blesses her, blessed her intelligence and her behavior (v. 32). Her decision had a consequence: she became queen.

2. The children

James and John's mother (Matthew 20:20)

Maternal love can hinder what the Lord wants done. It would seem unwise to say that the love of a mother for her children can be bad, but this is so when a natural element is introduced into the purpose of God. This brought consequences: the disciples got angry (v. 24). This intervention damaged the relationship between them: "the church was damaged".

How many times have we seen mothers in the church who fight and strive, openly or in camouflaged form, to give a privileged place to their children, or to defend them from discipline!

The mother of Moses (Exodus 2, Hebrews 11:23)

This mother on the other hand, helped the objective that God had, in her life and in her work. She didn't let them kill her son and gave him up, by faith, to the Lord (Who could be sure that he would survive?) She lost her son, because perhaps Moses never recognized her as his mother until he was fully grown. We don't know. But what we do know is that by an act of a mother's faith, Moses was the liberator of the Hebrew people, and the plan of God followed its course.

3. Tradition

Michal (2 Samuel 6:17)

She was king Saul's daughter. She was the king's daughter and king David's wife. Michal knew how a king should behave, what should be done and what should not. When she saw David dance in that way, she thought that that was not the appropriate behavior for a king. She had never seen anything like that done by a king before. Michal reacted ironically, clinging to her dignity, to what she had as her salvation chart. As a consequence of this act, she never had children. She didn't have any fruits.

Are we open to moving in the direction of God in His church or are we grasping onto tradition, to that which we did or saw in the past?

Mary (Matthew 12:47)

In this episode her son almost ignores her, and gives her only the same importance as all his brothers and sisters, and doesn't give her any privilege as his mother.

Mary didn't marry like all the women of her time; she confronted a very difficult social situation. Her son was not like others; he didn't live like others and he didn't die like others. Mary abandoned the normality of life so that the plan of God was completed. What's more, we can explain the consequences that He had for humanity considering the fact that there was a woman who helped the way of the Lord.

Sisters, I invite you to read Romans 14 several times. There was another great obstacle (v. 13) that consisted in those who "judged one another". We are urged not to destroy the work of God (v. 20) and to help the edification of His body. Being a helper in God's purpose, for example, would all be for nothing if we use that as measure for the other sisters and we judge them for not imitating our actions.

So then, we should be asking ourselves what our position before the Lord is: are we helpers or are we causing an obstacle?

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