You believe in God. You have experienced his power in your life. Yet you desire more. You are not satisfied with what you know of God. For it is the experiential knowledge of God that brings real purpose and fulfillment into your life. Does knowing God at a consistently deep level seem unattainable to you? Have a look at potential hindrances to knowing God below. Breakthrough in your relationship with God is within your reach today! Keep Reading...
What are common hindrances to a life-changing knowledge of God?
Romans 3:12-13 - See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Unbelief is not a lack of information. It is not confusion over the facts. Unbelief is understanding the truth and saying, "No!" The Israelites did just that as they stood before the Promised Land. They knew the power of God (the 10 plagues, the Red Sea parting, water out of a rock, manna from heaven and more). Still when they faced the prospect of giants and walled cities in the Promised Land, they said "No" to God's command to enter in. There is a wilfulness in unbelief. It is a decision to turn away from the Living God.
Unbelief will always hold you back from knowing God. Perhaps you have believed a lie about God's character that you are unwilling to give up. You have decided that God is not trustworthy to protect you. You know in your head that he loves you, but you don't really believe it. Those are examples of unbelief.
Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of any unbelief in your life? Acknowledge it and repent… tell God you will turn away from believing lies about him. See Renouncing Lies for more.
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
The feeling of fear is a normal part of being human. Choosing to dwell in fear, however, will always hold you back from knowing God intimately. When we live in fear, we are not living in love… God's love. Sometimes we choose to live in fear because of terrible pain or rejection that has come into our lives. Fear can be our way of protecting ourselves against further pain. But, it never works. It only serves to shield us from the love of the Father.
Is there fear holding you back from knowing God? Fear of rejection, failure, the future, intimacy, authority and many more. Allow God to identify the fear in your life. He doesn't want you living there. Confess that you have been holding onto fear rather than God. Ask him to deliver you from your fears with his love. See Dealing with Fear for more.
1 Peter 5:5 - God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Pride says, "I'm good enough. I don't really need God." Pride is constantly measuring itself against others, always comparing and criticizing. Really, pride is a mask for insecurity. And it blocks us from knowing God.
Pride is not honest. It presents a good front, while the insides are rotten. The Bible says that God opposes the proud. It is very difficult to get close to God when he is opposing you. It is also quite hard to get close to someone who is presenting a false front. When you are not being real with someone, the lack of vulnerability blocks relationship.
Is God convicting you of being dishonest with yourself and him? Do you think you are fine as you are? It's time to cry out for mercy. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 1 Peter 5:6 He will lift you up into a greater knowing of his nearness. See Dealing with Pride for more.
Rebellion Against Authority
Romans 13:2 - He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
When we rebel against human authority, we are hindered in our knowing of God. Why is that? God is our ultimate authority. Any rebellion against our leaders is a finger of accusation in the face of God. He instituted authority. When have a complaint against our leader, we complain against God.
If we have been wronged by our leader, we have a clear pathway of action from Scripture in Matthew 18:15-17 Clear communication with honor and respect is important. In every situation, we are to maintain an attitude of submission - even when we might disagree with a decision. This heart of submission will lay the platform for an increase in the knowledge of God. See Dealing with Rebellion for more.
Ephesians 5:3-5 - But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Impurity causes us to lose our inheritance. Our greatest reward is the knowledge of God. But, if we allow impurity to remain in and around us, we will lose this great reward. It is very difficult to get close to someone when they are cheating on you. This is what impurity does. It defrauds and cheats the lover.
God does not want even a hint of sexual immorality or impurity in our eyes, mind, ears or hands. Even a hint repels him. Would you allow the Holy Spirit to search you for impurity. As he highlights any areas of impurity, respond with humility. Speak out your repentance, and then make an action plan to rid yourself of temptations towards impurity. See Overcoming Sexual Temptation for more.
Exodus 20:4-5 - You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.
Idolatry creates a massive blockage in the knowing of God. It blinds the eyes and deafens the ears to the voice of God. Idolatry hardens the heart, making us insensitive toward sin in our lives. It must be uprooted if we are to deepen in our relationship with God.
Idolatry takes many forms. Witchcraft and the occult (including games and movies) are practices that stand directly opposed to God. It is becoming more enamored with the false power of Satan than the true power of God. Idolatry can also be loving anyone or anything more than God. Even good things can turn into idols when they are worshipped by us.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any idolatry lingering in your mind, spirit or home. If he speaks to you about this, be sure to quickly repent and deal with the idols. Don't be gentle with idolatry in your life. Smash the idols and pave the way for a new intimate relationship with God. See Dealing with Idols for more.
You can know God
You can know God with greater and greater depth. Don't wait for a day in the distant future. Get rid of the hindrances to knowing him. Begin today!
Missionary. Teacher. Worship Leader. Deeply desiring to make God's Word accessible and understandable to all. May you be transformed as God's Word fills your life.