The Hindrances: What’s Stopping Your Progress
After reading through the last few days of this plan, you should be gaining great confidence about knowing and doing the will of God in your life. After all, the One who spoke the world into existence is the same One speaking to you. And if He can set the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies in their places, He can certainly communicate His desires to you.
So why is it we sometimes fail to hear Him? After all, the Bible promises God will never stop speaking, instructing, and directing us. But the truth is, there are times when the problem of hearing the Father lies with us. If we’re experiencing a lack of communication with the Lord, it’s not because God’s unable or unwilling to connect with us. He can and will break through if we desire to hear Him. What He won’t do is force Himself on us—and He won’t override our refusal to hear Him.
Today, we’ll consider several factors that can block our ability to hear God. If not dealt with promptly, each can become noise in our lives that stops us from discerning what the Lord is saying to us.
- Self Will — The most common and destructive of these factors is our own self-will. We’re so focused on our own needs and desires that we can’t hear what the Lord is telling us.
- The Influence of Others — People have influence in our lives, and they’ll always have an opinion when we have a decision to make. But they aren’t you and will never know better than you what God’s will is for your life.
- Ignorance of God’s Character and Principles — Another reason we may be hindered in hearing the Lord is that we don’t really know God and His ways.
- Unbelief — Another factor which can hinder you from hearing God’s will is unbelief—a combination of fear in your heart about your situation and doubt concerning the Lord’s promises or character.
- Feelings of Unworthiness or Guilt — How you feel about yourself can hinder you from hearing God, especially if you see yourself as unworthy of His love and concern.
- Busyness — We all make choices about what we should do with our time—and often we may show that the Lord is our last priority by the small amount of time we spend with Him.
- God-Directed Anger — The reason you either consciously or unintentionally avoid knowing God’s will is because of unhealed anger and resentment you have toward Him.
- Willfully-Harbored Sin — Harboring sin can hinder you from hearing God’s will for your life. When we pass from committing a sin to harboring it (embracing and shielding it as part of who we are and what we’re entitled to), we put up a block between us and the Lord.
The greatest treasure apart from knowing Christ as your personal Savior and having His Spirit indwell you is to understand God’s purpose and plan for your life. Don’t allow any of the hindrances above to cause you to miss out on this awesome gift. Instead, pray often, asking God to evaluate you … and don’t ignore anything He reveals to you. Bring yourself into alignment with Him and watch all the ways His wonderful will unfolds in your life.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV