Because the barriers to the inward journey will keep you from His presence
Only Christ can satisfy the hunger of the heart. We must come to the table in the wilderness Hungry and be with Him.
How nourishing is Christ to you? Is He all you need? Does He fill a hunger no one else can fill? Perhaps He is someone you call upon only in emergencies. Maybe you are not sure how to be nourished by Christ.
We must meet with Christ because we need Him. The enemies of the Christian life erect barriers to keep us from fellowship with God. It is a daily battle.
POINT FOR EMPHASIS: The foundation of Christianity is repentance! To cease to understand the value of repentance is to remain in sin.
This battle rages inside each of us. We cannot win this battle alone. We need someone to come along side to fight with us. Our hope is the inner reign of Christ.
When the Holy Spirit stirs a man’s heart and brings Him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God! To say, “I have sinned” is the surest sign that Christ is at work in my life. 1 John 1:8-9 confirms this. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
BARRIER IN BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
What are these spiritual barriers that hinder our relationship with Christ?
- EMPTINESS (Psalm 107:9). “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”
We are vessels, receptacles of Himself. But most of us hold little or nothing. Our emptiness is an abscess. Unless it is filled by God it becomes a receptacle for the secular. Our emptiness longs to be filled with Christ. The question remains, “Have I forgotten how to be truly repentant?
- SHALLOWNESS (Psalm 42:7-8). “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
For most of us our worship portrays a lack of depth. We claim to honor God, but we worship our Ego’s more than him. We have Christian books on How to Save My Business, How to Save My Marriage. We have Christian aerobics, Christian cosmetics, Christian diets, the Gospel of prosperity. We read all these things to make our lives better and more fruitful. And in the end, they produce nothing in our relationship with Christ. What are we to do?
We must get into the Word of God, the Bible, and see what he says about our lives. The depth of our walk with God is not in books, but in a book, the Bible.
- The third spiritual barrier that hinders our walk with Christ is SIN. In Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
David gives to us the progression of sin in our lives.
Walking, Standing, Sitting
When you WALK through life, you need to be careful of those things around us which leads to compromise and failure. When we hang out (STAND OR HESITATE) with the wrong people, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Years ago, my prayer partner said to me, “Show me your three closest friends, and I will show you your future.”
You see, the connecting link between walking and sitting is standing or hesitating. That’s what David did when he looked upon Bathsheba. He hesitated. He stopped and considered sin.
David feared losing intimacy with God. You see, he repented and got into a right relationship with God. That’s why he wrote Psalm 51:11-13, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.”
To enter into the Kingdom of God is through the sharp pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable goodness.
- (Psalms 51:10-17) Intimacy must not be rushed. Each bite from the wilderness table must be savored. Intimacy comes by entering His Presence. Learn to manage your time. Do not let your time manage you.
Next week we will look at this subject of intimacy. I will share with your 9 Ways to Enhance Your Intimacy with God.