Dealing With Hindrances to Loving Jesus
Jesus said if anyone loves anything or anybody more than Him that person is not worthy of Him (Luke 18:18-24; Matthew 10:37). However, the Bible tells us there are things that could be hindrances to our relationship with the Lord. Therefore, the Word of God directs us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and throw off everything that may be hindrances to our relationship with the Lord (Hebrews 12:1).
Whatever worldly hindrances may exist in our lives, we should seek the Lord’s help for recognizing and removing them. According to 1 John 2:16 the things of the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—are contrary to our relationship with the Lord. Romans 1:18-32 and Galatians 5:19-21 and other parts of the Bible spell out things of the sinful world in more details. However, I focus here on four things of the world that hinder many people in their relationship with the Lord. Loving money, power, recognition, pleasure or family more than the Lord often contend with people’s relationship with the Lord. If these or any other hindrances exist in your life, ask the lord to move them.
Money and Possessions Hindrances
The love of money and material possessions may hinder our relationship with Jesus. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). God gives us good financial advice.
- A rich ruler who met Jesus discovered that he was more attracted to money than he was to Jesus (Luke 18:18-27).
- Another man in the Bible, who was covetous of earthly possessions, was so busy accumulating these things that he forgot about heavenly things and his relationship with the Lord. Consequently, he lost his soul (Luke 12:18-21).
- According to the Bible, the Love of money has caused many to fall into temptations, to err from the faith, and have many sorrows (1Timothy 6:9-10).
- Our culture teaches us about getting rich and acquiring possessions, legitimately and illegitimately:
- Work hard like Horatio Algiers and you will go from rages to riches
- “Greed Is Good” is the title of a popular movie
- Being corrupt and even criminal is accepted if you don’t get caught
- A little cheating is really okay
- Gambling for a good cause is not bad.
God’s Financial Advice:
- Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “never will I leave you nor will I forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5 NIV).
- A little yeast make the whole batch of dough rise—A little love of money can take root and grow into a tree that overshadows your life (Galatians 5:9).
- Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all the things you need, and many things that you desire will be added to you (Matthew6:33 KJV).
- Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
Passions for Power Hindrances
A burning passion for power may interfere with your relationship with Lord. But the Lord can show you how to eliminate this interference.
- King Belshazzar of Babylon, in trying to impress a thousand of his lords at a banquet, allowed his guests to drank wine from the sacred vessels of God. The king brought the wrath of God upon himself and lost his kingdom. (Daniel, Chapter 5).
- Caiaphas, the high priest of the Jews, perceived Jesus as a treat to the priest’s high position. He orchestrated the death of Jesus by speaking to the council of Jewish leaders. The high priest told them, it is better for us that one man should die for the people, than that the whole Jewish nation perish under Roman rule (John 11:50KJV).
- A Roman appointed ruler named Pilate found no fault with Jesus. But the Jews said Jesus claimed to be a king, and told Pilate if he released Jesus, he would not be a friend of Caesar. To save his position of power, Pilate delivered Jesus to the Jews to be crucified (John 18:28-30; 19:4-16).
- Some of our present leaders may love power more than they love Jesus.
- You my may yearn for power, even unwittingly, in various areas of your life more than you long for the Lord.
- You may have thought about compromising your Christian values in some way to achieve a higher position—at school, on your job or among others.
An Example from God’s of How to Have Right Passions of Power
- David was a King, but his heart was set on God (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Desire for Recognition May Hinder
There are many people who desire recognition and idolize others more than they want the approval of the Lord. God can give us the wisdom to find a better way for recognition and happiness.
- Adam and Eve desired to be like God more than they wanted to please Him.
- There are people in positions of recognition who are honored more than Jesus Christ is glorified.
- There are many musicians, actors and famous people who are idolized more than the Lord is adored.
- You may have known someone at some time in your life whom you might have wanted to be like, more than you wanted to be like Jesus?
The Advice of a Man with God-given Wisdom and Great Recognition
- King Solomon, had all the world had to offer, and was recognized by royalties of his time. He said it is all “meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). He concluded, “the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy” (Proverbs 16:20 HCSB).
Lust and Pleasure Addictions Are Hindrances
Lust and pleasure may entice you away from the lord. “All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father” (1 John 2:16). But he Lord can show you a way that leads to the Father.
- In the Bible, Demas was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul. However, Demas forsook the Apostle and the ministry of the gospel because of his “having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10).
- King David, said to be a man after God’s own heart, was lured away from God by lust for Bathsheba, another man’s wife. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. However, after God’s prophet confronted David about his sins, he repented and God forgave him (2 Samuel 12:7-13).
- A “prodigal son” in the Bible, asked his father for his inheritance. Having received his inheritance, the son went off and wasted his money on partying and riotous living. After he blew all of his money, he decided to go home. He was blessed in having a loving father who welcomed him home with waiting arms (Luke (5:11-24).
- Devastating lust and seeking pleasure pervades our society today, and are hindrances to our relationship with the Lord
- Overt sexuality is regularly portrayed in ads, in movies and on TV. Lewd pictures and pornography are commonly displayed in the name of “Art”, which appeal to conscious and unconscious sexual instincts. Sex crimes like pedophilia, rape, sodomy and sexual enslavement appear often in our headlines.
- In another article, I wrote about how lust and pleasure-seeking had interfered with my relationship with the Lord. But thank God, he helped me to repent and reconciled my relationship with Him
- A special report on drugs, death, and despair appeared in the February 2017 Decision magazine of the Billy Evangelistic Association. It reported that Americans are dying in record numbers for what has been called “the diseases of despair”—drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide. The report says that it is reflection of a culture without Christ.
- Having worked as a drug addiction treatment counselor, I have seen how addictive and destructive drugs and alcohol can be.
The Lord Shows Us the Way to remove hindrances to the Father
- Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me (John 14:6)
- The report in the Decision magazine informs us that though finding Jesus Christ, many in despair have found healing, restoration and new life.
Family Obsessions Hinder
Excessive love for members of our family may hamper our relationship with the Lord Jesus. Seeing the love of Jesus should cause us to love him more. Responding to his love brings us blessings.
- A man told Jesus that he wanted to wait until his father had died before he would follow Jesus. Jesus told him, follow me–put me first, let the spiritually dead bury the dead (Matthew 8:21).
- Another person said to Jesus, let me go say farewell to them at home, then I will follow you (Luke 9:61).
- A priest of the Lord named Eli showed more honor for his sons than he showed for God. He allowed his sons to take parts of sacrificial offerings that were to be for God only. Therefore, God caused Eli’s sons to die; and gave Eli’s priesthood to another family (1 Samuel 2:28-36).
- However, Abraham and his family was blessed by God because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac to demonstrate his greater love for God (Genesis, Chapter 22).
- In my counseling with prison inmates, I observed a significant difference between the ones who were taught respect for the Word of God, by God fearing relatives, and those who were not. The ones who knew and respected the Word were more receptive to counseling involving the principles of the Word, which could positively impact their lives.
- My wife said she was thankful to and blessed by her mother having taught her about Jesus Christ. My wife walked with the Lord many years before the Lord took her to be with him.
- I wrote before about my grandmother providing a strong example of respect and love for Jesus. This inspired and helped me in my relationship and walk with the Lord.
- Excessive love for family hinders your relationship with the Lord. Having a greater love for Jesus will bring his extra blessings to you and your family.
Making Jesus Your First Priority of Love
- Love Jesus like He has loved you
- You should remember that Jesus gave you all the members of your family. It is he that has made us and not we ourselves (Psalm 100:3).
- God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8).
- Greater love has no one than what Jesus did for us; he laid down his life for us (John 15:13).
- You should be willing to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? (Matthew 22:37).
- If you seek the Lord with all your heart, the Holy Spirit will help you to remove hindrances to your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:16; Ephesians 3:20).
Seeking the Lord First