Roadblocks

Perhaps you’ve experienced it, waking from a particularly vivid dream still harboring the emotions you felt the night before. It happened to me this morning. This time though, I wonder if the dream were part of what I call Jesus Meddling — a term I use to describe his work in my life.

In the dream I was at a cabin of some sort, and we (though I don’t know who exactly were the “we” of the dream) were trying to barricade the cabin from some outside evil. It was dark out, with a full moon. I felt the fear and helplessness of the situation. At some point, I went down into the basement of this house and discovered two windows, both wide open, the moonlight streaming in. And I knew.

There was no use barricading the house from evil. The evil was already inside.

I’ve spent the last few days contemplating a quote from evangelist Charles Finney that I first heard during our weekend church service. I’ll paraphrase for you: God WANTS to answer your prayer. But sometimes, he waits for you to remove the roadblocks.

Roadblocks? I think Finney meant that some of our own sinful behavior and attitudes and wants and cravings and ego can keep us from answered prayer. In fact, were God to grant the desires of our hearts, He would betray His nature, which is to do that which is best for us. I’ve been thinking a lot about that.

This week, while I ran, I asked God about the roadblocks in my life. I asked him to make me aware of the things that block my prayers. I can’t remove a roadblock I don’t know about. It has changed my prayers these past days. Instead of asking for things, I’m asking about roadblocks.

My dream reminds me of something Jesus said over and over: Evil is inside of you. Don’t focus so much on what comes in from the outside, as you focus on what goes OUT from the INSIDE. He said it like this:

17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

Roadblocks. Anything come to mind for you? Care to share?

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