3 Obstacles That Can Show Up When You Want More of God

I love watching the variety of birds that come to feed just outside my back window. The different colors, sizes, and sounds they make remind me of the complexity of our God and all His wonders.


Most of the birds are average to small in size, but there is one exception. A majestic blue jay lives nearby. This frequent visitor is huge compared to the others. When he shows up, the strangest thing happens. As he sits proudly on top of the pole guarding the prized food, all the others perch on branches a safe distance away. Watching.


It’s as if that blue jay stands between them and what they most long for. And they won’t even attempt to get closer until he leaves.


Sometimes I can be like those birds in my spiritual life.


I long to draw closer to God, learn more about Him and hear His Voice, but I let obstacles of this world stand in my way. When things come up that demand my attention, I forget all about my desire to deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I let them intimidate me and block me from getting what I most long for.


If you have the desire to deepen your relationship with God too, then you may feel the same way. Below are three things I’ve discovered that show up when I want more of God. By identifying these obstacles, we won’t be surprised or intimidated when they arrive. Instead, we can move forward claiming more of God in our lives.


Unforgiveness


Holding onto unforgiveness builds a wall between us and the One who so generously forgave us. We didn’t deserve such sacrifice, but that didn’t matter. God’s love covered all our sin, and He willingly gave His precious son to ensure eternal life for you and me.


With such a powerful example of forgiveness, we too can find the strength to forgive, even when it’s undeserved. If you are struggling to forgive someone today, start with this prayer. May it open your heart to the possibilities forgiveness offers.


Daily Distractions


I recently discovered a valuable resource for distracted women who desire more of God in their lives. My friend Betsy just released her book, More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times. This book is packed full of helpful ideas for overcoming the distractions that seems to pop up right when we’re trying to pray!


While reading it I was encouraged to make small steps forward instead of condemning myself for doing something wrong. Betsy reminds us, “God is pleased by even the smallest steps we make towards Him.” Amen!


Doubt


God could never use someone like me. I’m just wasting my time. Other women are much more qualified and talented.


Sound familiar? If doubt is a struggle for you like it is for me, meditate on this verse. You are precious, wonderful, and worthy of God’s love.



“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV



Whatever obstacle stands in your way today, let’s make the choice not to be intimidated. When we draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us. Let’s remember the truth of His Words above.


Nothing can separate us from Him.

Blessings,

Kristine

For more information about the More of God book, click the image to visit the book page.

3 Helpful Words for When I’m Frustrated with Myself

Have you ever had a pesky little annoyance creep into your heart and cause frustration, only to scroll social media a few minutes later and see a good friend’s post about a difficult trial or struggle she’s facing?

I let the small stuff dredge up petty negativity while my friend is going through a tough time.

The grip of conviction hurts. But instead of taking this correction as an opportunity to grow and change my habits, I simply turn the frustration inward.

I become frustrated with myself.

Thoughts like, “I should know better,” and “I’m a terrible person. I should be more thankful,” come to mind. I feel guilty. It’s not that I want to be frustrated with myself, but sometimes I question how someone who reads the Bible, prays, and studies God’s Word can mess up over and over.

Paul felt the same way.

“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me….” Romans 7:21-23 NLT

But then in verse 25, Paul goes on to reveal this. 

“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” Romans 7:25a

God gave us a sound mind, but our sinful nature is constantly at odds with the love of Jesus in our hearts and the peace of the Holy Spirit. That’s why as believers it is so important to pray continuously, read the Truth in God’s Word, and “meditate on it day and night.” (Joshua 1:8)

God’s Word tells us He corrects those He loves. (Hebrews 12:6) Knowing we will make mistakes and staying in constant awareness of God’s presence helps us to be open to correction. So those moments of conviction can draw us into a deeper gratitude for God’s goodness. 

God doesn’t want me to dwell on my missteps, and He definitely does not want me to be frustrated with myself. These three words will help me overcome frustration with myself and move forward in Christ.

1. Awareness - Be aware of the Holy Spirit’s nudges when frustration threatens again.


2. Forgiveness - Ask God to forgive me instead of turning the frustration toward me.


3. Gentleness - Move forward with a more gentle spirit toward others and myself.

Awareness. Forgiveness. Gentleness. If you’re experiencing frustration today, whether it’s with your circumstances or with yourself, let these three words calm the war in your mind. God will “renew a right spirit within you” as frustration releases its grip. And what a beautiful spirit it is:)

 

Blessings,

Kristine

 

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