Obstacles to Seeking God
When I started cultivating a relationship with God, there were obstacles I had to overcome; barriers that suppressed my motivation to seek God as He calls us to.
Giving up our ways and will isn’t easy but that is what moving into a real relationship with God requires. It’s a willingness to go down another path, to acknowledge our ways might be wrong and to change direction. The very concept of seeking means we are looking for something we haven’t discovered before and when we find it to be willing to let it change us.
Letting go to embrace the truth of God begins with understanding what we are holding onto and why. When we understand the nature of our blockades then we can penetrate it with God’s truth. God showed me two significant lies I held that kept a wall between Him and I, two I believe many others share; a fear of embracing all of God’s character and putting others between us and God so the relationship is impersonal and indirect.
First, I was misled that if I fully embraced God as all powerful, just, righteous, and sovereign, then hardships and intense tribulations would consume my life. What if He led me down a path like Job’s, sent me to places I didn’t want to go, or made me live in outward depravity? I wasn’t ready for that life, nor did I want it. So I kept a safe distance and sought Him very little. It feels similar to thinking about getting married, for some of us. The fear of being hurt, making the wrong choice, and being stuck in something we don’t want can plague our thoughts. These fears block openness and trust that are required to move forward in a relationship. However, when the desire is strong to be united to someone, then the longing starts to override the fears. I came to the point in my life when my desire to be united in truth to God was overriding my fear of letting go and trusting Him. I began to seek within a comfort zone by spending a little time with God each day. God is patient and longsuffering. He meets us where we are at. He knows our thoughts, fears, and doubts about Him. He knows everything. They don’t disappear in an instance, but over time as we get to know Him. He connects with us in whatever season of life we are in and works with the faith we have.
Over time, as I learned about God the fear began to subside. He was much different than what I had been taught. He opened my eyes to the truth and it replaced the fears I held onto. He showed me His true character in the circumstances of my life and my trust grew.
God’s love is unlike any love we know. He desires the very best for us. When we commit to learning about Him, we discover who He is and not who we created Him to be; the image that made us fear being close to Him. This image, which we learned from the world, false teachings, family dynamics, and other mediums, is gradually replaced with the truth producing a real relationship with God; a relationship according to His design, not ours. He taught me I had nothing to fear and that He was my hope, life and the source to everything I needed and truly desired. When you taste of God’s love, mercy, care and goodness, a hunger develops to be consumed by Him.
We don’t need to be afraid to learn who God is. As we spend time with Him we learn this truth. We don’t have to fear what Job went through. Though his trial was intense, it lasted only a season, it wasn’t his life. Job’s life was incredibly blessed. Job 42:10-17 There have been times in my life where I went through something so difficult that I thought I would rather die than live, but those times were only for a season. Overall my life has been exceptionally blessed. In hindsight, I wouldn’t change my past. Those hard times taught me truths that I probably couldn’t have learned any other way and those truths set me free to have a better present. Most of my trials came from my own stubbornness, depravity and living lies. If I would have sought and trusted in God’s way initially I would have avoided many hardships, but those times brought me to Him, so I am thankful. Unfortunately most of us grow by difficulties not ease. We grow by experience not theories.
As we spiritually mature, our fear will continue to fade and the only dread we will have is being separated from God in any way. Bit by bit we surrender a little more. We must fight the influence of this world telling us that a life with God is anything but glorious. God is life. In Him we experience true life.
My second blockade was people. Godly men and women were my bridge to God. I didn’t trust or believe that I could learn and know God like these seemingly godly people. Besides, my time was limited and I didn’t have the time to give to search out His depths like they did. What if God thought about me like that? What kind of relationship is this I am offering Him, one all about me? I depended on others to teach me, lead me and nurture my spirituality. God and I had an indirect relationship. I only knew Him through others because I put the church system and others in place of Him. It’s like spending time with our spouse’s friends instead of your husband. We will learn a little about him, but we lack the intimacy of a true marriage. God calls us to know Him personally, not just hear about Him from another’s words, sermons, books, or teachings. God has given us His spirit, His Word and He is calling each one of us to come to Him directly. This intimacy is Christ’s gift to us.
Letting go of the middle man takes faith and faith comes from the Word. Come to God in the quiet of the day and ask God who He is; to show you His truth and ways. To open your eyes and ears to see and hear Him.
Seek God. Don’t be afraid of drawing near to Him because any fear isn’t real. He is love. But you must fight your fears by drawing a little closer each day so you can experience His goodness. And don’t hand your relationship over to another. It’s yours to nurture and develop. When you do you will discover a relationship that will be your greatest treasure.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.