Are you closer to God today than you were a month ago? A year ago? Five years ago? Do you want a closer relationship with God and yet somehow things don’t seem to change? What’s the problem?
There are several barriers that can hinder your relationship with God.
Unconfessed Sin and an Unrepentant Heart
Disobedience is a major barrier because it creates distance in our relationship with God. It’s not that God has turned away from us, but rather that we have turned away from Him through our rebellion. You can’t have a closer relationship with God if you don’t respect His boundaries.
Jesus proclaimed, “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them.” (John 14:21, NLT).
Our obedience demonstrates our love for Jesus. As we respect God’s rules, He permits us to see more of Him and, as we do, our relationship can become more intimate.
“Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. (Interlude) Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (Psalm 32:1-5, NLT).
Are you refusing to abandon a sin because it is more valuable to you than having uninhibited fellowship with God? Whatever temporal pleasure or satisfaction is gained through disobedience is not worth the loss of joy and peace that can only come from having a right relationship with your Heavenly Father.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8, NIV).
Lack of vision is another barrier. We don’t miss what we have never experienced. And if we are unaware that something better is possible, we will never seek it. And that’s the way it is with our relationship with God.
“God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 53:2, NIV).
Our Heavenly Father offers us unimaginable joy, delight and completeness through an intimate relationship with Him. And yet, all too often, we are satisfied with only being mere acquaintances. We are ignorant of the incredible privilege and potential we have been granted to know Jesus intimately.
“But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23, 24, NLT).
We have been created with an inner need to know God intimately. And even though as humans we have a limited capacity to fully understand His magnificence, the potential of intimacy with God, through His Holy Spirit Who indwells us, far exceeds anything we could ever dream or imagine.
So then isn’t it tragic when we are satisfied to merely observe God from a distance and falsely believe that more is not possible?