Tag Archive: obstacles


So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. – (1 Corinthians 9:26, NLT)

So I run like someone who has a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something, not just the air. – (1 Corinthians 9:26, ERV)

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. – (1 Corinthians 9:26, MSG)

 

Why a verse about running? Running is in the forefront of my mind. Tomorrow I leave to head north for my fourth Ragnar Relay. Ragnar is a twelve-person, 200 mile relay, that begins early Friday morning, and ends sometime on Saturday afternoon as the final team crosses the finish line. Hundreds of teams participate, and there is an incredibly supportive and festive atmosphere throughout the entire event. Each member runs three separate legs, varying in length, depending on experience, preference and physical condition. As a repeat Ragnarian and an avid fitness fanatic, I will be running leg eleven, which is one of the longest and most grueling legs, for which I earn a bonus medal. The thing I love about running is that it is a reminder of our spiritual life. If we are consistent in our training, (time in the word, time on the road/gym) we are prepared for obstacles that come our way. Though the uphills and battles may be unpleasant, when we are trained, we are able to fight through them and dig deep and lean into Him. May we ever run our race with purpose, every step we take. Each moment matters, as He has a plan and a purpose for all of His created.

 

Each one of us called,Run With Purpose

With purpose to run;

Towards the call given,

’til our days are done.

We’re meant to stay sharp,

To train, be alert;

Ever at ready,

To do the Lord’s work.

May we choose be fit,

Trained up in His word;

With strength and resolve,

To do as we’ve heard.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of running. Thank You for the parallels that You show me as I go. Thank You that training is essential in all things, and that is our reminder of how critical it is to spend time with You. Forgive us for attempting to run without purpose, or going out without being equipped with the time we need with You. Teach us to invest our time where it matters most, so that our hearts, minds and bodies are best prepared for whatever You ask of us. Show us how to love others well, so that they may see and know Your heart for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the strength that You give our bodies, and give You praise for the great things that You will do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take. – (Psalm 18:32, ERV)

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. – (Psalm 18:32, NIV)

 

Any strength that we have to stay the course that we are called to cover, comes from Christ alone. On our own, we become distracted, deflated and defeated when opposition comes our way. With Christ, we are equipped and empowered to overcome any obstacle that arises before us, as He either removes the barriers or shows us how to navigate in spite of them. The Lord goes before us and walks beside us, to strengthen and protect every heart that is pursuing to follow the path He has placed before us. May we choose to trust He who is our Source of all security and strength, as we continue walking in the direction He has called us, knowing that He will keep our way secure.

 

Encircled in strength,I Will Go

He makes my path straight;

As I trust the Lord,

In faith, for Him wait.

For the Lord alone,

Provides what I need;

To stay true the course,

He’s called me to be.

Help me ever trust,

In You, God alone;

My strength and my peace,

Come as You are known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the One who gives us strength and keeps our way secure. Thank You that as we place our trust in You, You lead us, guide us and provide what we need to follow the course to which we are called. Forgive us for not moving the direction that You call us to move, or for not seeking Your heart for where we are meant to go. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would desire with all that we are, to know Your way and move according to Your will. Show us how to love all whom we encounter in a way that demonstrates Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for strength and direction, as You alone are our Source and security forever. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. – (Psalm 56:3, NLT)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. – (Psalm 56:3, NIV)

 

Both versions of this verse are a great reminder of how we are meant to respond to fear. One is an action statement for the right now, and the other is anticipating an action plan for whatever lies ahead. In each circumstance, our response ought to be to trust the Lord, as He is our help and our hope for today, tomorrow and forever. Despite the faithfulness God has shown before, in our frail humanity, we often lose sight of how great our God is, and focus instead on how overwhelming the obstacle in our path. This is the place where we must slow down, breathe deeply, and remember Who is far greater than anything that lies before us. When the rubber meets the road and fear stares us directly in the face, this, this is the space where we have to choose whether or not we will trust. God is patient, and it seems that even when I choose panic over trust, He waits lovingly until I come to the place where I am ready to turn to Him, and walks beside me and guides me to lead me from a place of fear to one of resolve. God is good and worthy of all of our trust. May we place our trust in Him when we feel fear fighting for a foothold.

 

When I feel afraid,Be strong and courageous

The Lord’s ever near;

If I choose to trust,

He will always hear.

Whatever we face,

God is so much more;

His presence provides,

Love, strength, hope and more.

He goes before us,

And He stands beside;

There’s nothing we face,

That He can’t supply.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we are afraid, we can place our trust in You. Thank You that You are worthy of all of our trust, as You alone supply the strength, courage and grace that we need to overcome every obstacle that lies before us. Forgive us for our fearfulness that keeps us from moving forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in faith, believing that You are who You say You are and that You will do what You say You will do. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps alleviate fears and gives strength and courage to persevere in the face of adversity. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You when we are afraid. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – (Isaiah 55:9, NLT)

 

It is really easy to look at what is, and predict what should be. Based on what is seen, all indicators seem to point in a particular direction. However, that is not necessarily the case in God’s economy. His plans are far greater than ours, and the road to arrive at His next destination for us, is nearly never the one we planned to take. There are twists and turns, bumps and obstacles, yet incredible views along the way. What we learn as we journey according to His plan, grows our faith and refines our character. Each new leg that we travel, there is a learning curve for trust in Him. The beauty in being His children is that He is for us, and we know that our final destination is glorious beyond our comprehension. As we go, we need to trust that God has us in His hands, and that His ways are higher than ours. May we move forward in confidence, trusting that the Lord is for us regardless of what we see.

 

No matter what comes,Sense in Storms

We need never fear;

God’s ways are higher,

And He remains near.

Despite what we see,

God is in control;

He knows where we’ve been,

And where we’re to go.

So trust in the Lord,

And all of His ways;

For He lifts us up,

Stays present, always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts, higher than ours. Thank You that You hold us in the palm of Your hands. Forgive us for our lack of faith when what we see is so unsettled. Teach us to trust You in spite of what lies before us, and help us hold fast to the unwavering truth of who You are, and how You love. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we may provide stability and truth in unsettled and shaky surroundings. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your ways and Your thoughts, as they are far higher than ours. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on a firm footing. – (Psalm 143:10, NLT)

Teach me to do what pleases You, because You are my God. Guide me by Your good Spirit into good land. – (Psalm 143:10, CEB)

 

We need to be taught in order to know the way in which we are meant to go. To learn, we must seek. God is gracious, as He is ever available and waiting to teach us what we need to know. As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His will for us individually and corporately. May we choose to seek the Lord with our whole heart, so that we might know what is pleasing unto Him, and which direction we are meant to go. Lead us Lord, on the path of light and life.

 

For as we seek God,Refreshment Through Repentance

His will is made known;

He’s quick to teach us,

Firm footing is shown.

The Lord lights the way,

That we’re meant to go;

Led by His Spirit,

Obstacles made low.

He opens a path,

For our feet to tread;

As long as we seek,

By Him we’ll be led.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You teach us Your will and that You claim us as Your own. Thank You that You lead us by Your Spirit and show us where we are meant to go, if we seek You to lead us. Forgive us for not seeking. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your will and Your way in all things and at all times. Show us the path that keeps us in step with Your plan for us. Empower us to love others well, just as You so generously and graciously love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and Your will for our lives, so that we might do what pleases You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

We had a worship night for women last night at my church. Our women’s pastor brought a simple, yet profound word, as she conveyed real examples from her own life to share what the Lord had placed upon her heart for us. The following is what I gleaned from our time together.

Fear and obstacles that stand before us, are the two greatest factors that hold us back from the fullness of all that God has for us. Typically, we are held back in one of two ways. We either refuse to even get out of the boat, despite seeing Jesus walking toward us upon the water through the wind and waves, or we get out of the boat, begin walking, and then suddenly see the wind and waves surrounding us and begin to sink. Either way, we miss out on the miracles our Maker has for us, as we are called to weather the storms, not simply wait for them to pass.

 

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. – (James 1:2, NLT)

 

As we continue to keep walking toward our Savior, despite the wind and the waves – our fears and the obstacles before us – we allow Him opportunity to move mightily in us and through us, and discover joys we would have never known on the journey, because of His great faithfulness to us.

So how the heck do we do this? The words Pastor Wendy heard were simple, yet so significant. Live Life. Live. Continue pressing in and pressing on, in spite of the fears and the obstacles. Do not limit the Lord, nor make Him too small. He can do exceedingly more than we could hope or imagine, and the joy that awaits us is unfathomable. Our charge is to be available and to move forward in all that He calls us into. We are not meant to be stuck in the boat in fear, nor sinking in the waves as terror overtakes us. May we look to the Lord and consider all trials opportunities for His joy, as He will do abundantly more in us and through us as we choose to keep pressing forward.

 

We must make the choice,

To embrace with joy;

All that comes our way,

Choose faith to employ.

From inside the boat,

We never will know;

How great His power,

Nor give room to grow.

Despite what we face,

The waves and the wind;

The Lord is right there,

To lift us again.

He walks right beside,

Each step of our way;

Provides what we need,

Enough for each day.

The challenging part,

Is we’ll never know;

All that lies ahead,

If we will not go.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You take our fears and trials and use them as opportunities to grow us and give us greater joy as You demonstrate Your love and care for us as we choose to keep walking forward in spite of what lies before us. Forgive us for allowing fears or obstacles to paralyze us where we are, and keep us from allowing You access to all. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would consider even the trials opportunities for great joy, as You give grace and strength that we have not known before. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they see You through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize trials and obstacles as opportunities for great joy because of who You are. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. – Galatians 5:25

 

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. – (John 10:28, NLT)

 

To be His sheep requires an intentional choice to seek to follow Christ. When we make the decision to live for the Lord, rather than for ourselves, we listen for His instructions so that we might do His will and walk in His way. God sees and knows each heart that earnestly seeks Him. He is present to help all who long to follow where He is leading. We may stumble and fall along the way, but He is present to pick us up, dust us off, and continue to lead us the way we are meant to go.

Not one of us will get it right 100% of the time. However, we cannot allow fear of failure to paralyze us from forward momentum. His grace is sufficient, and He will meet us as we move, gently adjusting our sails if we get off course. Sometimes He allows obstacles to be placed in our path, so that we might take pause and reroute, according to His plan, not our own. May we each be sensitive to hear His voice, and intentional to follow wherever He leads.

 

The Lord is present,Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

May we hear His voice;

It’s through our seeking,

Intentional choice.

Each one of us known,

With freedom to choose;

To listen and learn,

His path to pursue.

Lord, help us follow,

With all that we are;

Lead us and guide us,

As You’ve done thus far.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You and we are known by You. Thank You that we can hear Your voice as You speak to us through Your word, through people, and in the stillness of our own hearts. Forgive us for not following as You are leading. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would obey immediately, all that You are asking. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, shall come to know Your voice. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen and follow after You with all that we are. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. – (Joshua 1:9, MSG)

 

This is one of my favorite verses, as it is a great reminder to continue to press in and move forward, even if things do not appear to be part of “a path made plain” before me. So often when we are moving in the direction to which we are called, obstacles and opposition come against us. Things that challenge our strength and our courage come at us, causing us to become discouraged and question the direction we are headed. It is essential that we know and trust His will for our lives, and operate in His strength and courage, no matter what comes our way. When trials come, we must choose to trust. As opposition operates against us, we must push back to overcome. Discouragement and fear are not from God, so it is good to remember that those things are not ours to keep. God gives us strength and courage, hope and love – the things we need to keep marching forward in the direction to which we have been called. May we rise up and release fear and discouragement, and lay hold of the strength and courage that God is granting us for every step of every day.

 

Be of great courage,

have strength in the Lord;Bold in Battle

for He’ll be with us,

each step we afford.

We’ve nothing to fear,

with God on our side;

for He’s far greater,

let our hearts abide.

Be not discouraged,

when challenges come;

for our God’s with us,

Great Conquering One.

There’s no depth nor height,

to where we can go;

where God’s not with us,

and His strength shall show.

Be strong and be brave,

do not be afraid;

God will be with you,

each step of each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You, in Your great love for us, command us to be strong and courageous – not in our own strength, but in Yours. Thank You that we do not need to be afraid nor discouraged when trials or troubles come, for You remain present with us, no matter what surrounds us. Forgive us for our fearfulness and discouragement that leads us to want to give up or causes us to question the very things that You have called us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would stand in the strength and courage that You provide, no matter what we see or feel around us. Show us how to love others with strength and courage too, so that they may see Your presence in us, and desire the same for themselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we go forth in Your strength and courage to do and become all that You are calling us into. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. – (Psalm 145:18)

God promises to be present when we call on His Name. He is near, when we feel fear. As we pray and trust in He who made our hearts and hands, He is faithful to come close and make His presence known. Our job is to trust God, more than that which we are facing. As we do, we become acutely aware of how great God is, and how His presence can shrink the appearance of the obstacles before us. Far greater is He who is in us, than that which is in the world. May we choose to call on Christ in truth and in trust, and be still long enough to become aware of how close He comes in our every moment of need.

In truth we must call,

image by Avi Duckor-Jones

image by Avi Duckor-Jones

on the Name of God;

for He shall be near,

on each path we trod.

We must trust in Him,

and look to His face;

to become aware,

of His present place.

For each time we ask,

He makes Himself known;

helps us know He’s near,

as His love is shown.

Whatever we face,

shan’t even compare;

to the Lord’s goodness,

once we are aware.

Present in moments,

of fear and despair;

He’s strength and He’s hope,

when we’re unaware.

Let us each rise up,

and call on His Name;

for we can all trust,

promises proclaimed.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we call on You in truth, You are near. Thank You that Your presence is enough to strengthen, sustain, encourage, enlighten, and supply all that we need to navigate through any storm. Thank You that You first loved us, so that we may come to know You. Forgive us for failing to call on You in times of need and in times of thanksgiving. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would call on You in truth and in trust in all things and at all times. Lead us to love in such a way, that Your light and hope is clearly expressed to those who don’t yet know You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we call on You in truth and are aware of how very near You are. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Everything He does is good and fair. All His commands can be trusted. – (Psalm 111:7, ERV)

Though we often do not understand the direction that the Lord leads us, His purposes are good and His ways can be trusted. What may seem to be terrible turmoil, often turns out to be a space of refining, where wrong thinking is removed and our hearts are made right before Him. In our space of uncertainty, we learn that in Him, we can truly trust. His ways are good and just, and He is for us, despite how things appear. May we recognize the truth that the Lord is good and fair in all of His ways, and the His commands can be trusted, no matter how things around us appear.

Our hope is not held,

image from quotespictures.com

image from quotespictures.com

in that which is seen;

but rather in Christ,

and what that shall mean.

For the Lord is good,

and His ways are just;

His commands are truth,

we can always trust.

He will only lead,

where He will go too;

His presence remains,

to help get us through.

Sometimes things are tough,

and we wonder why;

we must trust and know,

on Whom we rely.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and fair, and that all Your commands can be trusted. Thank You that You are for us and not against us, no matter how things appear. Thank You that even when things seem upside down and sideways, You are present, and often are using our circumstances to refine us and teach us to trust You more. Forgive us for fleeing difficultly, or loathing that which is a struggle. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace our obstacles, knowing that You are beside us, and will see us through – granting us all that is needed to overcome. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they might see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize that You are good and fair in all of Your ways, and that Your commands can be trusted, always. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

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