The world lies to us. They tell us that we can have it our way, and still live a righteous life. In my personal opinion, I haven't found this to be true. Be who you want to “be” and you will be crushed under the reality of sin. It will be like through living death. Be who God designed for you to be since the beginning and you will be free. Weightless from this world's bondage. The more in tune we are with scripture and our relationship with Jesus Christ, the less of this world's weight we will feel.
As easy as that is to write, and even understand – sin= death, personal destruction. God's way = life, eternal blessings - it is often a lot more difficult to live out.
We live in a world that screams and The Word of God is like sign language. We must quiet ourselves and look to Him to see what's actually going on. But it is so easy to simply hear and be distracted by the noise that the world is making.
It's something that happens often, and if we are not careful to watch out, all we will be able to hear is the screaming of the world.
These are the top ten things are hindering you from Christ's kingdom.
Surprise, surprise. No. 1 on the list often goes the most undetected because it is often the one most pursued. And where sin is, human logic is often there as well. When we are greeted with discomfort in our life situation, everything inside of us longs to be comforted again. This is natural, and not a bad thing. What our downfall is, is that if something is uncomfortable or not easy to us, we believe that it is not God's will or purpose for our life, when the very opposite is true. God often uses discomfort to bring about His greatest glory. Look at 2 Corinthians 12:7, which speaks about Paul and his thorn in his flesh. Paul, who was discomforted by his “thorn in the flesh” and asked God several times to take it away. Yet God told Paul that His grace was sufficient in his discomfort.
The longing for comfort is natural and normal, but we must resist thinking that a comfortable lifestyle or life is what God desires of us, as there are many Biblical characters that lived and died extremely uncomfortable lives. Being comfortable doesn't mean God's best, and being uncomfortable doesn't mean unhappiness.
To desire a thing is not wrong.
It is what you desire that matters the most.
Desire, just as comfort, is a natural human instinct. It means that we are alive and have wants. The Bible speaks in many different books about the desires of our hearts, and how if we seek God first, He will grant us the desires of our hearts. (Matthew 6:33. - Who doesn't love reading that verse?) The only negative yet truthful downside to this is that we often place desires above God.
I'm not going to knock on any other doors with this point, but the easiest way to see what you truly desire, and not think that you desire is to ask yourself
-What do I think about most?
-Where does most of my money go?
-What do I spend my time doing?
What our answers and actions point to in these three questions give us the conclusion to what we desire most.
Going along with point number two, often times, when we ask ourselves the top three questions, we get pointed back to one person: ourselves. We spend our money on clothes or restaurants or an upgrade or whatever it may be, but most of our money is spent to making us the most comfortable, and getting our deepest desires.
When we ask ourselves what we think about most, we are often confronted with the truth that our thoughts are mostly centered around us, and how to better ourselves.
When we take a test on how we spent our time, the results return back that we spent our time on bettering our own lives, and selves, rather than seeing that the world is a lot bigger than just us. A side note on the above: This point is not to say that you shouldn't invest in your life, or take care of yourself. That would actually be counter-biblical. This point is referring to how much we are interested in ourselves, versus the lives of those around us, and the lives around the world that are suffering.
QUICK QUESTION. You don't have to answer this in the comments but just ask yourself.
A teacher once told me that hate is not the opposite of love.
He told me that selfishness is the opposite of love.
Which do you think is true, and why?
Going along with self, pride is a little different. This point was a bit more advanced to tackle because pride is the root of all sin. But I didn't want to focus so much on sin alone, but on what silently and secretly draws us away from God. Pride is a tricky little one to pin down, because it just slips right in and joins us for coffee in the morning. So this point is just to make you think about this: What do you think you deserve? And why? The honest question is probably that you don't deserve it all, and that pride has taken you out for a date.
Examples could be: You get angry at another person. You're at work, and someone says something to you randomly that was sincerely not meant to be rude. That someone rubbed you the “wrong way.” You're pissed off silently, the kind that makes you red in the face, but you won't actually say anything. Why are you pissed off? Because that person was wrong? No. You're angry because your pride says that you're right, and they're wrong. You deserve to go and give them a piece of your mind since you're right, and they're wrong! But in all actuality, humility wouldn't get angry. Humility would let it slid down their backs like a duck, knowing that if God wants them to speak up, then you will. And if not, then God will deal justly with everything in life.
Pride is speaking in the place of God. Humility is bowing down to Him to speak for you.
So if you're beginning to notice a pattern, most of these are about the same and cause the same patterns and results in our lives. Entitlement is a specific section of pride that says that if it's not my way, it's wrong.
Entitlement says, “I deserve the best life now.” Where the Bible only speaks about laying down this life for Christ, in order to receive peace and eternal salvation.
Entitlement says I can have both: The life I want, and the God that is just. This contradiction can not be.
God is either just, or you can have the life you want. Christianity is all about sacrifice. Entitlement says no sacrifice needs to be made because it's all about me.
Next time you're struggling to understand the distance between God and you, see if there are any silent killers going on in your life. Nothing keeps you from your faith more than not addressing your sin.