What are the things that stand between you and a closer relationship with Me?

What Are The Things That Stand Between You And A Closer Relationship With Me?

Ephesians 4:22

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.

Casting off All Weights

I love what the writer of Hebrews says, that we need to throw off everything that hinders us and get rid of every weight, particularly those besetting sins that easily entangle us, so that we can keep running the race that’s before us with greater endurance (Heb. 12:1). That shows intentionality to our race of faith. It takes work. We must make the first move. When I ran track in school, we had ankle weights, but we had to cast these off in order to run with greater endurance. Some sins seem to slow us down more than others, and if it stands between us and a closer relationship with God, then it must go because we have to seek the King of the kingdom above all things (Matt. 6:33).

The Weight of Unconfessed Sin

The psalmist wrote that when he kept silent about his sins, he grew weary (Psalm 32:3). This could be the weight of a relationship problem between you and your spouse, which can hinder your prayers to God (1 Pet. 3:7). James suggests we confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another (James 5:16) because unconfessed sin can be a heavy weight or burden that seems to separate us from effectual prayer to the Father. We know that if we confess our sins, God will not only forgive us but cleanse us of them (1 John 1:9). So why carry that weight around on your own shoulders?

What’s Your Veil?

When the temple veil, or curtain, was torn by Jesus’ death on the cross, the separation between us and God that our sins had caused was ended (Isaiah 59:1-2). Now that you’re a child of God, what separates you from a closer relationship with God? The rich young ruler came to Jesus, asking, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? Jesus pointed him to the need to keep the Law, but when the young man justified himself by falsely claiming he kept all the Law (for this is humanly impossible), Jesus told him to sell what he had to give to the poor for treasure in heaven and then follow Him (Mark 10:21). The young man went away saddened because he had much wealth and wasn’t willing to part with it (Mark 10:22), indicating that he worshipped money; to him, that was his god. Jesus wasn’t saying that we all have to sell everything we own to follow Him. Jesus knew this young man’s heart and wanted to see if he was willing to make God his one true God and not money. For this man, money stood between him and an eternal relationship with God. What about me? What about you? What things are there that stand between us and God and a closer relationship with Him?

A Closing Prayer

Father, I have idols in my own life, and all too often I put them ahead of pursuing You and seeking You first. Please forgive me, for my heart is an idol factory. Help me to focus on the eternal things so that I can have a closer relationship with You, and in Jesus’ name I pray.


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