Three Obstacles to Enjoying God's Presence
Jeremiah 2:7-8 says “But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say “I am only a youth”: for to all whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the Lord.”
God calls Jeremiah to be on mission. His whole life will now be different. He will face struggles he never imagined, both in the world and in himself.
On his own, he could not do this. And he knows it. But God reassures him that his presence will be with him.
We are called just as Jeremiah was, except we know even more of the message of God because of Christ. If we live our lives for the kingdom of God daily as Jesus calls us to do, we will also come up against barriers that prevent us from experiencing and enjoying the presence of God.
Here are three obstacles that prevent us from enjoying the full presence and power of God:
If we think we are inadequate on our own, we are right. But God has completely changed the nature of His people's heart. He is in us now.
If we think we are inadequate now, we are forgetting the Spirit of God in us. He gives us the power to fulfill everything we are called to do.
If we focus on our own effort, it prevents us from enjoying his work through us.
Without God, we all overestimate our security. Something terrible could happen at any moment, and we have no control over it. And sometimes we worry about controlling one thing that we believe we can control: our reputation.
Because God has changed our identity, we no longer have to worry about building our reputation. We are children of God. He loves us. He has a perfect future for us, and he has everything under control.
Focusing on our own security or reputation prevents us from enjoying the glory of his presence flowing through us.
Christian maturity measures the extent to which we are like Christ, and how much the gospel of Jesus has taken over every moment of our lives.
If we are living in a way that is still like our old self and not like Christ, we need to grow in maturity. We can enjoy the presence of God more than we do today.
How do we grow in maturity? Be on mission to make disciples in daily life while in community, repenting and believing the gospel of Christ as we are in the Word and prayer.
As it Paul writes in Ephesians 4:13, together we have to confront these obstacles with the good news of Jesus “until we all attain to the unity of the faith of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”