These five obstacles are so prohibitive that if they are not addressed and removed the personal visitation of our King will be greatly hindered, and we will never walk in true freedom.
Unbelief. Unbelief is choosing not to believe God. I’m not talking about believing in God; I’m talking about believing what He says. We can believe in Christ, accepting the truth that He is the Son of God, and we can believe on Christ, receiving eternal salvation, yet fail to stand firm in belief and choose to find Him trustworthy day to day.
Unbelief is crippling. The steps we take forward with God we take through faith. Therefore, unbelief literally cripples our spiritual “walk,” casting huge obstacles in the way of a victorious life.
The good news is that if we’re willing to admit our lack of confidence in Him, Christ is more than willing to help us overcome our unbelief. Ask Him to do this for you. Also, spend time getting to know Him. The more you know Him, the more you will believe Him. Choose today to pursue Him and to walk in faith.
Pride. Pride is an obstacle to glorifying God because it is equivalent to taking God off the throne and putting ourselves in His place. We cannot honor Him when we are seeking honor for ourselves. And God will not share His glory with another, not even His own children.
Breaking free from pride involves two steps: (1) viewing pride as a vicious enemy and humility as a friend; and (2) humbling yourself before God. Proverbs 11:2 tells us, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Humility is not something we have until humbling ourselves is something we do. This does not mean we are to hate ourselves. It means we are to acknowledge who we are in relationship to God and bow to His majesty.
Idolatry. God wants us to find our satisfaction in Him rather than wasting our time and effort on things that cannot satisfy. But when we look to other sources for satisfaction, we are guilty of idolatry.
Dissatisfaction is not a terrible thing. It’s a God-thing. It’s only terrible when we don’t let it lead us to Christ. He wants us to find the only thing that will truly satiate our thirsty and hungry hearts.
To travel forward on the road to freedom, we must remove the obstacle of idolatry. But this is not always easy.
The first two obstacles to freedom—unbelief and pride—can be removed effectively by a matter of choice: we can choose to believe God, and we can choose to humble ourselves before God. Some of the idols in our lives, however, are more difficult to remove because they have been in place for years, and we find it difficult to let them go. We begin by choosing to recognize their existence and admitting their inability to keep us satisfied.
Prayerlessness. Avoiding prayer is a sure prescription for anxiety. To experience the kind of peace that covers all circumstances and live powerful lives, we must develop active, authentic prayer lives.
Prayerlessness is the most prohibitive obstacle in the road to a believer’s victory. When Satan attacks, we can’t rely on discipline, lessons we’ve learned in the past or our knowledge of what is best for us to bring us through.
Our strongest motivation will be the Person with whom we walk. Staying close to Him through constant communication, we receive a continual supply of strength to walk victoriously.
Legalism. God gave a perfect description of legalism in Isaiah 29:13: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
We must understand that we cannot please God—or find the freedom we seek—by following a set of rules. God does not take our spiritual temperature under our tongues by the words we say, or in our ears by the impressive teachings we hear, or under our arms by the service we perform. God takes our spiritual temperature straight from the heart. He wants us to exchange our regulations for relationship with Him.
If any of these obstacles is keeping you from walking in the abundant life Christ came to give you, remember: God’s specialty is rolling away stones! Allow Him to put His hand on what is holding you captive and shove it out of the way so you can experience total freedom in Him.
Beth Moore is a well-known Bible teacher whose life call is “guiding believers to love and live on God’s Word.” She is the author of several books, including A Heart Like His and Breaking Free.
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