Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.
As Ezra began to rebuild the temple, he found the dangers that many face when growth begins to happen. Many have fallen for growth’s stumbling-blocks that stop growth. You can always be assured that Satan will do everything in his power to stop any growth that happens. He does not want to see God’s work prosper, and He will try to stop it from within and from without. As God’s servant, you must beware of the growth stumbling-blocks that will hamper or stop what God is doing through you. Let me point out three stumbling-blocks that you must avoid.
First, comparison with others is a stumbling-block that will hinder or stop your growth. In Ezra 3:12, the older generation compared the foundation that was laid to what they remembered when they were young. Be careful not to compare what God is doing now with another work or another generation. Each work of God is a work of God that should be enjoyed. The fact that God is working is what should cause you to rejoice. Never compare God’s work that is going on to another work or generation. You will never compare to other works. If you are doing better than other works, you may not be doing to what you should be doing; therefore, to compare to other works is to keep you from what you should be doing. To compare to other works that seem greater than yours can lead to discouragement. We often compare ourselves to finished works, but your work is not a finished work; therefore, comparing a finished work to a growing work is not a fair comparison. Never let yourself compare what you are doing with another.
Second, grumblers and negative people are stumbling-blocks to growth. These men who compared the foundation were negative people. Negativity destroys growth and potential. My friend, you will always find something you need to improve on, but you must not grumble or complain about what is happening. Furthermore, don’t be negative about areas you see improvement is needed. Find the positive in all that you do; that will help you to keep a good spirit about the growth that God is giving you.
Third, compromise is a stumbling-block to growth. You can be assured that once you start growing that Satan will offer you more growth through compromise. Ezra had barely laid the foundation, and the compromisers came and asked to build with him. You will always find that compromisers will say that they serve God as you do; it is only semantics that makes us different. Let me be clear about the semantics excuse; to say that it is only semantics should be the red light that flashes to you that compromise is around the corner. Compromise always says it will give you more growth with less effort, but it always kills growth and pulls God’s blessings away. Compromise must never be accepted. If you move once, you will move again, and once you move, you kill what God’s power can do through you if you will just do it the right way.
Let me encourage you to watch out for the stumbling-blocks of growth. Just keep doing what you are supposed to do and growth’s stumbling-blocks won't stop you.