Getting Beyond The Wall

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Marathon runners call it “hitting the wall,” writers call it “writers block,” but call it what you will, it’s a mental block that leads you to stop what you are doing as if there is a literal obstacle in your way. It should be recognized that it could be other physical or mental influences that cause you to hit the wall, but going through the mental block and getting back in the race of life is always pretty much the same.

Before we look at some practical steps on getting beyond “the wall,” the place where you feel you cannot proceed any further, let’s take a peek at what Jesus had to say about such an occasion.

Luke 17:5–10 (ESV) — 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

You will notice the apostles recognized a need for increased faith in life. Who doesn’t? The Bible is clear that faith is a gift from God, without faith it’s impossible to please God, everything that we do or offer to God must be by faith otherwise it’s rejected. Our faith grows through difficulty, and our faith will get us past any obstacle life puts into our pathway, including those “mental blocks.”

Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) — 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:4 (ESV) — 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
1 Peter 1:6–7 (ESV) — 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

So please notice Luke 17:5&6 above. Jesus responds with some serious motivation to go along with the disciples’ request. They requested He grant them more faith, probably as a “poof more faith” type of an act. Instead, He is going to give them a simple principle He taught that faith grows in faithfulness in verses 7-10. In order to get them to listen, He gives them additional motivation that includes getting beyond any and every obstacle that would stop them in the way in verse 6.
And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Jesus is certainly not advocating changing the physical world around the apostles. He is saying that anything that pops up that appears to be an obstacle to hinder their progress can be overcome by faith. Hold on to that thought as we look at Jesus’ principle for increasing faith as He next gives an illustration of a servant coming in from the field. The master of the servant does not set the servant down and serve him, rather the servant serves and realizes after he has served he has done that which he’s supposed to do, “serve.” The lesson then in increasing faith is to be faithful to God in the small things, the mundane things, the hard things, and all things. God is looking for faithfulness and as one is faithful one is growing in their faith and ready to face any obstacle, mental block, or wall that life can give.

Let’s return to the runner who hit the wall and the writer who is blocked. What is recommended? Going back to the basics. For the runner, it means forcing himself to put one foot in front of the other in a slow walk. Once momentum has begun, then it’s a matter of picking up the pace again. For the writer, it means taking time to review, maybe do a little research, but like the runner it means getting back in the swing of things a little at a time. Just like the words from Jesus regarding faith which grows through faithfulness, so getting past obstacles in life that stop you means you go back to some basics to get the momentum going. Faith is the key. If you have faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed, said Jesus, then you can keep going no matter what the obstacle.

Luke 16:10 (ESV) — 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

The question is whether you are being faithful in the little things. Jesus pointed out that faithfulness is the key to a growing faith that will overcome all obstacles and the principle is the same to be faithful even in the minutest principles in life because that will get you through times of hitting the wall or the stagnation of writer’s block.

Bob Brubaker

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