When my friend Larry isn’t running his business, he can often be found riding his bicycle. We’re talking serious biking here, not just the little leisurely around-the-block stuff. He and his friends have covered a lot of America on their bicycles, conquering all kinds of challenges. Like big hills, you know. Now, any of us who has ever ridden a bike, we know it’s the hills that bite your leg muscles. As you’re riding, you see this mountain looming in front of you. OK, it’s a hill, but your mind is thinking “mountain.” At least mine is. My friend told me a fundamental “big hill” principle that he’s discovered and that he passes on to other bikers. He said, “The longer you look, the bigger it gets!” That’s true.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Inflated Obstacles.”
You might be facing one of life’s big hills right now financially, medically, in your family, maybe in your ministry or your work. And right now you’ve stopped pedaling, you’re looking at how big that hill is, and the longer you look, the bigger it’s getting. And the weaker and more paralyzed you’re feeling.
That had to be how God’s ancient people felt when they looked at the challenges of the land that God had promised them: walled cities, barbarian armies, intimidating giants, and a big piece of occupied ground. God knows how we feel when we’re staring at those big hills. In our word for today from the Word of God, Deuteronomy 7, beginning in verse 17, God says: “You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?’ Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.”
OK, first, you have to remember who’s going to conquer that hill. It’s not going to be you, so your limitations are not an issue here. It’s going to be “the Lord your God.” I love that phrase. “The Lord,” the One who created and controls like two trillion galaxies! Then, “your God.” Yep! The Lord who rules the galaxies is my God. He is so big and He’s so close!
Secondly, as you’re staring at that hill you’ve got in front of you, remember how God is going to help you conquer that challenge… “little by little.” He’s not going to do it all at once. He’s asking you to take it in bite-size chunks. My bicycling friend says that rather than looking at the top of the hill, he looks at the short distances in front of him. He said that’s how you conquer your hill. Jesus asks us to take up our cross, not all at once, but “daily” (Luke 9:23). Your job is to do today faithfully and positively.
The size of life’s hills often keeps us from facing what we need to be dealing with: issues in our family, issues in our marriage, our spending, the care of our body, that habit, or even something Jesus has been asking you to do for Him. And the longer you look at the hill, the bigger it gets. But the longer you look at the God you belong to, the bigger He gets. You’ve been looking at the wrong thing, fixated on the problem, or the challenge, or the people, and you’re missing the awesome size of your God!
Let today be day one of you tackling that hill. Just look at the short distance immediately in front of you – this one day. And open yourself up to the strength of God that we only experience when we know we can’t do it. Look at the size of your Lord, not the size of your hill! Today’s looming challenge is going to be tomorrow’s amazing conquest!