It’s easy to get focused on learning about God. Reading the Bible, going to studies, and taking notes at church.
But no matter how much knowledge you have, it seems like you still don’t experience the level of faith you long for.
You know about God’s love, but it seems distant in your life.
You know about God’s wrath, but you wonder if you actually fear him.
You’re at a stand still. Stagnant. You’re…being held back.
But by what?
The answer is closer to home than you might realize.
Held back in your relationship
When your relationship with God isn’t where you feel it should be, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, ashamed, and envious of others. For starters, you need to show yourself some grace. This walk is a long journey. We were never promised to be happy and fulfilled the whole way there.
You can even find yourself wondering if God is the one holding back.
Did I do something wrong? Why do I feel disconnected?
Let’s stop making it about us. It’s not. It’s about Him.
And as usual, the problem is with us.
What’s really holding back your relationship with God?
Withholding from God
Truth is, we all withhold something. The ultimate goal is to strip ourselves of all earthly ties and be squarely focused on God.
I don’t need to tell you how short we fall of this standard.
This needs to be a truth-telling session. You need to look inside yourself, your heart, your mind, and wrestle with this:
What are you withholding from God?
For many of you, this may be your sex life. You’re fine giving up time and money, but…sex? That’s something you like, so you don’t really want to give that one over yet. You decide to keep God locked in certain parts of your life.
For others, like me, you’re withholding your full infatuation. Let me explain. Over and over again, I find myself infatuated by certain material things. This past week it was cellphones. No idea why. I have one for crying out loud. But I was obsessed with looking up the latest and greatest smartphones.
Maybe you let the new Google Nexus 7 tablet take over your thoughts when it was announced recently. The question you and I should be asking is this: Have you ever been infatuated with the love of Jesus Christ like you are with [insert current obsession]?
Still for others, it’s undoubtedly your money. You think it’s insane for a hard working person to give away 5% of their income, much less 10%. And from each paycheck? Yeah right! I would have nothing left to live on.
God knows how hard this one is for us. He knows you hold on to it for fear of not being able to provide for your family. That’s why he says,
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33
It’s time you, it’s time I, let these things go.
Stop holding back from God
The heart of the matter is we hold back from God because of fear. We fear what will happen if we give everything over to God.
We wonder if He will show up. We’re scared of what to tell others. We don’t want to lose things we hold onto.
The thing is, God didn’t just ask us to give our entire lives to him. He commanded it.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
It doesn’t matter what it is you’re withholding. God will be with you.
This is the hope we must carry.
It’s time we let it go. Once and for all. Whatever it is for you, this is the time it dies. It will be scary. It will be hard.
But God will be there.
What are you going to stop withholding?
Tell me in the comments.