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The Obstacle Is The Way

Obstacles Spiritual Growth Perseverance

Source: “The Obstacle Is the Way” by Mark Batterson, a video devotional as posted by Our Daily Bread on YouTube, retrieved 7/5/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-07-05

Scripture: James 1:2

Author: Mark Batterson


Pastor and author, Mark Batterson, shares a story of unbelievable odds and determination:

On January 19, 1844, a man named John C. Fremont attempted something that had never been done before: crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the dead of winter. Irving Stone describes it as "the longest seventy miles in the history of exploration." Those who tried to cross the mountains suffered snow blindness, hypothermia and near starvation. In the end, three men, Kit Carson, Broken Hand Fitzpatrick, and John C. Fremont made it over those mountains, and when they did, the last barrier to westward expansion was breached. The mountains were no longer impassable or impossible. I love the phrase that Irving Stone used to describe these men and this moment. It became the title of his book. He said, "The men matched the mountains." 


[Mark Batterson is an American pastor and author. Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.]


"Here's a thought," Batterson concludes, "the obstacle is not the enemy, the obstacle is the way!"

All of us face mountains, mountains of anxiety or addiction, mountains of depression or fear or shame. You can't let that mountain intimidate you. At some point, enough is enough. …

That mountain is going to make you a bigger person. You're going to have a testimony on the other side!

Indeed, the obstacle is not the enemy, The obstacle is the way!

The way to endurance! The way to spiritual growth and maturity! The way to completeness in Christ!

Be the man who matches the mountain. Conquer the obstacles to your own spiritual expansion. By the grace of God, the mountains you face are neither impassable nor impossible. They are the way!

"Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect [mature] and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Sacred Melons

Spiritual Growth Temptation Obstacles

Source: Info Barrel and FASCINATING FACTS by David Louis, p. 56.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-25

Scripture: John 15:1 ; John 15:5

Author: Illustration Exchange


In Japan, melons are considered luxurious, even sacred. While a common cantaloupe melon might set you back two or three dollars here in the states, it could easily run upwards of $15 dollars in Japan. Specialty melons sometimes sell for hundreds of dollars a piece. The gift of a meticulously cultivated melon is considered one of great generosity and respect.

Japanese “master” melon growers take tremendous pride in growing only the best melons. To ensure success, they “hand pollinate three flowers and let them get to about the size of a baseball, then select the best one and let only that one grow. The others are chopped up and added to the compost pile.” In this way, a single fruit receives all the nutrients originally meant for the entire plant. The result—a sublimely succulent, “best possible” melon. 


The master melon growers of Japan have learned the secret of growing the "best possible" melon--channeling all of the nutrients to just one selected fruit. They do this to produce something they prize, something they consider sacred.

Likewise, God knows the secret to helping you to become the "best possible" you. As the Master Grower, He seeks to remove everything from your life that might prevent you from receiving the fullest measure of His growth producing love.

Every call to repentance, every warning against sin, every word of caution concerning temptation are all set forth in the Bible to prevent anything from competing with your spiritual growth potential. Once these things are removed, chopped up and added to the compost pile, you are free to receive all the nutrients necessary for God to cultivate something He prizes, something sacred--the "best possible" you!

"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more . . . Yes, I (Jesus) am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:1-2, 5, NLT).

Merging Into Greatness

Obstacles Greatness Potential

Source: THE QUEST FOR CHARACTER by Charles Swindoll, p. 85

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-20

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:6

Author: Variously attributed to columnist Dear Abbey, auth


Some of the world’s greatest men and women have been saddled with disabilities and adversities but have managed to overcome them.

Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott.
Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan.
Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington.
Raise him in abject poverty, and you have an Abraham Lincoln.
Subject him to bitter religious prejudice, and you have a Benjamin Disraeli.
Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes a Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that the doctors say he will never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham, who set a world’s record in 1934 for running a mile in 4 minutes, 6.7 seconds.
Deafen a genius composer, and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven.
Have him or her born Black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have a Booker T. Washington, a Harriet Tubman, a Marian Anderson, or a George Washington Carver.
Make him the first child to survive in a poor Italian family of eighteen children, and you have an Enrico Caruso.
Have him born of parents who survived a Nazi concentration camp, paralyze him from the waist down when he is four, and you have an incomparable concert violinist, Itzhak Perlman.
Call him a slow learner, “retarded,” and write him off as ineducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.


Says pastor and author Chuck Swindoll of their efforts:

Some have merged into greatness despite adversity. They refuse to listen to their fears. Nothing anyone says or does holds them back. Disabilities and disappointments need not disqualify!

Dr. Charles R. Swindoll has served as pastor of some of our nation’s most prominent churches, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, and Bible teacher on the internationally syndicated radio program Insight for Living. He has written more than thirty best-selling books, including STRENGTHENING YOUR GRIP, LAUGH AGAIN, THE GRACE AWAKENING, and the million-selling GREAT LIVES FROM GOD'S WORD series.

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

A Donkey In The Well

Persistence Victory Obstacles

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-11-29

Author: unknown

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The Difference Between Impossible and Improbable

Obstacles Doubt God's Provision

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-24

Scripture: Matthew 19:26 ; Luke 1:37

Author: unknown

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Overcoming Physical Disability

Obstacles Success Grace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-21

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 ; Philippians 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

Obstacles Fear Goal Setting

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-06-05

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2

Author: Henry Ford

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The Frosty Creep of a Hardening Heart

Hardness of Heart Disobedience Unbelief

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-02-01

Scripture: Hebrews 3:15

Author: F. B. Meyer

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The Bible Message In 217 Words

God's Patience End Times Hardness of Heart

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-10-05

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:4

Author: Mitchell Dillon

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Real Success Is Always Attainable

Success Discouragement Submission

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-10-01

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:8

Author: Mother Teresa / Illustration Exchange

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