We all come across times in our lives where God feels far away. We wonder if He hears our prayers and sees our anguish as we struggle in our spiritual despair.
We know from the Word that God is always with us, and that he will never forsake us. With this truth, we have to step back and examine ourselves. What obstacles have we created that stand between us and the ever-present joy of the Lord?
For myself, and I’m sure many others, busyness can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. It’s hard sometimes during a full day of life’s responsibilities to find time to spend with God. Regardless of how busy we stay, we can’t allow our overloaded schedules to create a barrier that makes it difficult to sense God’s presence in our lives. It cannot only be during struggles that we call on God. He should be a constant in our lives that we willingly dedicate our time to!
Though we as Christians can be secure in our relationship with God because Jesus died for our sins, lingering sin can also become an obstacle and stand in the way of present fellowship with God. Job 28:28 NIV says “The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” The more we try to avoid and abstain from sin, the closer we bring ourselves to God, and the better understanding we have of his undeniable love for us.
If you look back throughout the Old Testament, you’ll see that one of the biggest downfalls of the Israelites was their adaptation of idolatry. By continuing to worship pagan Gods and idols, they not only angered God but distanced theirselves from Him. Today, idolatry is still very much alive, however it isn’t so much worshipping other holy entities, but it’s the material things we ‘worship’ or lean on for support rather than God.
In Matthew 19:16 we begin a story of Jesus, who urged a wealthy man to sell all he had and follow him. However in verse 22, we read that the man went away sad, because he had great wealth. Possessions and wealth can prevent us from pursuing Jesus. If we depend on material possessions, we are allowing ourselves to be spiritually hindered.
Matthew 6:21 NIV says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We seek to find security and satisfaction in temporary things. We say, “if only I had so much money or had this many things, I’d be set for life. I wouldn’t need anything else.” When in reality, these things are temptations that distract us from our relationship with God.
Now is the time for some self-reflection, so I’ll leave you with this. If someone asked you what thing you couldn’t live without, what would your answer be? Be truthful to yourself, truthful to the lord, and place your treasures in the kingdom of God.