How to Overcome Obstacles

Joshua: Gaining Ground, Part 7

Every person faces difficulties and obstacles in life.  You’re most certainly facing some right now.  This message looks at how we can overcome every obstacle.


Joshua: Gaining Ground 

Part 7 How to Overcome Obstacles Joshua 3 & 4

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – May 29th, 2016


  • “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably does not lead anywhere” – Frank Clark
  • The Landmines Standing Between You and Your Goal


Setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step… and it’s at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.


It’s important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a large amount of landmines that are attached to that goal. These land-mines show up in our lives as a set of obstacles, challenges and problems that we must surpass in order to get to our end destination, which is our goal. In fact, unless we successfully maneuver through these land-mines and overcome them, we will fail to learn the valuable lessons that are required to help us achieve — and keep — our goal when we get to that end destination.


Have you ever heard of multi-million-dollar lottery winners who are far worse off today than they were before they won the lotto? They lost their money because they didn’t go through the struggles, obstacles, challenges and problems that self-made millionaires face, and as a result they weren’t able to hold onto their goal when it was clearly within their grasp.


Personal Obstacles

Here is a list of personal obstacles that could be preventing you from moving forward in your life:


  • Lack of pain
  • Lack of discipline
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of inspiration
  • Lack of desire
  • Lack of skill
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of failure
  • Feeling unworthy
  • Procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • Disorganization
  • Pessimistic thoughts
  • Too many time constraints
  • Too much complacency
  • Too much blaming of self and others
  • Too many excuses
  • Too much complaining


Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin making better and far more effective decisions.


Social Obstacles

Social obstacles are related to people who either do no cooperate with you, sabotage you, or are simply incompetent and unable to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them.


When it comes to social obstacles, it’s important to do a little forward planning, to make sure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully — ensuring that that the communication doesn’t break down at any stage. It also helps to develop good strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most.


Environmental Obstacles

Environmental obstacles are often unexpected conditions, occurrences and circumstances that you have very little control over.


Because these events and circumstances are unexpected, we are often ill-prepared and unable to deal with them effectively. However, if we do a little research and use some forward planning we may be able to predict and oftentimes influence these occurrences by setting into place contingency plans. To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law:


When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that lie on the journey ahead.


  • These are the obstacles that you will need to overcome. And we are looking to Joshua  as to how we can do this.


Follow the ark


Josh 3:2b

As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it.


  • Ask God for help
    • You can’t do it on your own / 12 step programs


Heb 4:16 ESV

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


  • Look to godly people for direction
    • You need wisdom and counsel


Prov 15:22 ESV

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.


  • Follow what God would have you do


Ex 33:15-16 ESV

“If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”


  • Being with God is better than being anywhere else


Step into the river  


Josh 3:13

And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan,


  • The waters will not part until you step in (at the river was at flood stage)
    • Image being on the of priests
  • Many people don’t step in because of fear –
    • you have to step into the situation – you cannot ignore it in hopes that it will go away


the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”


  • There will be no change unless you engage


Create a monument 


Josh 4:5-7

And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”


  • Examples of monuments
  • Share your stories and make monuments of your own


Forge fiercely forward

  • Forge – long obedience in the same direction
  • Fiercely – not passively but aggressively
  • Forward – move yourself forward – noting that all forward motion is not in a straight line



  • Invite God into your situation
  • Step into what is keeping you back
  • Share you story
  • And don’t give up!