If you saw these many, many signs saying “road closed” what would your first thought be? “How can I get around this?” “I should go through it anyways and press on through?” or “Maybe I should turn around and go somewhere else?” I have come to realize over the years that God does put roadblocks in our way. I believe it is for our own protection. Sometimes we insist on doing things that we think are best for us, but they really are not. God can see what is beyond that “road closed” sign. He can see the pain, misery, and destruction that is beyond that “Road Closed” sign. Now I imagine that there is a reason this road above has so many “road closed” signs. The person who put them up wants to help prevent injury to any person who wants to go through, such as: the road is washed out; a bridge is gone; a cavernous hole that would swallow you up; or even worse maybe a lion that has gotten loose and would devour you! 1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith”.
I was reading in Acts recently and came across this scripture in Acts 16 “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” You cannot tell from the text how they were prompted by the Holy Spirit to not go into Bithynia. It could have been armed men, an inward prompting, a vision, or other external circumstances. We don’t know, but Jesus knew why He didn’t want them to go there. So in obedience, they turned around and went elsewhere. It doesn’t say what injury was prevented (at least that I could read), but they trusted God and His plan in their lives. Due to their obedience to the Lord they were led to Macedonia where many came to know Jesus!
Another great example of God putting roadblocks in someone’s path is the story of Balaam and his donkey in Numbers 22. I absolutely love this story because Balaam doesn’t even seem surprised that his donkey speaks to him! An angel of the Lord stood in Balaam’s way three times. Each time the donkey would attempt to go a different direction. The donkey crushed Balaam’s foot, and then the donkey just flat-out laid down on the ground. Each time Balaam beat the donkey trying to get her to go where the Lord had already told him NOT to go. The donkey saw the Angel of the Lord; Balaam did not (yet). Then the Lord opens the donkey’s mouth and the donkey speaks to Balaam in Num 22:28. Finally, the Lord opens Balaam’s eyes in v. 31 “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he (Balaam) bowed low and fell facedown.”
Num. 22:32 “The angel of the Lord asked him “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.” Balaam then goes on to repent and do what the Lord told him to do, not what men wanted him to do, and the Lord spared his life.
My point in writing this is that God sees what is ahead in our lives. He knows whether or not it will bring death and destruction to us, or whether it will be life giving. He could be preventing us from doing something because He knows that we will be engaging in sin that is displeasing to Him. He could know that there will be utter sorrow should we choose to go through that roadblock He has placed in our path.
Unfortunately, if we persist in going past God’s “roadblock” sign God may allow us to go and reap the consequences of our choice. Just like a parent with a child who insists on putting their hand on the hot fire. We put screens around the fireplace, blockades around the fireplace, tell the child “you will get burned and hurt very bad if you touch that fire”. Some children don’t learn unless they touch that hot fireplace. For me, it was a hot burner. My Mom had told me MANY times to not touch the hot burner. It was only when I put my finger onto that hot burner, and burned my finger that I learned that I should trust what my Mom was telling me. A big, old blister formed and it was very painful. A lesson I would never forget. Unfortunately, I was one of those children who had to learn the hard way and test things out for myself, and pay the consequences later.
Those of us who are saved by Christ Jesus, He calls us His children. Sometimes He just simply has to stand back and let us reap our own consequences. He has provided instruction in His word so we know what direction He wants us to go, and what sins He does not want us to engage in. These are our Words of warning like when we warn our children about not touching the fire.
It’s tax season and we owed several thousands of dollars in sales tax (which we haven’t had in previous years), and if I didn’t pay it that would have been about $3, 000 dollars in our pocket. I don’t know about you, but I could always use an extra $3,000! So I prayed and talked to the Lord about it, all the while knowing that it would be stealing if we kept the money. Honestly, I KNEW in my heart it was wrong, and knew it would be stealing, but I wanted to keep that money. That night I had a dream (3 separate times) that I was in a burning house and I was the one setting the fire, and fire was all around me! I got up that next morning, and promptly wrote out that check (gladly) to the State and mailed it off. I already KNEW my answer because the Holy Spirit had already prompted me it was wrong! I was tempted, but I was not tempted beyond what I could bear (1 Cor. 10:13). I also did not sin because I did not follow through with what I had been tempted to do. I praise God that He gave me the strength to NOT keep that money because HE knew what would happen should I have chosen to willfully sin.
I tell you this story not to puff myself up, but to boast in the Lord and His mercy on me! Even though He knew that I knew what I would be doing was wrong, He STILL chose to warn me in a dream (3 times in one night) that I was going to get burned and I was the one setting the fire! Praise Him for that! Even if I wouldn’t have had that dream, I still would not have kept the money, and knew I was not going to. I just wanted to.
If you are reading this and God has put a roadblock in your way, please listen to Him. If you have pressed on past that roadblock and you are on your way to doing something you KNOW you shouldn’t, please stop right now, repent and turn back! I plead with you. Isa. 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Has God put a roadblock in your path? Did you press on through? Or did you stop when He told you to stop?