One of the things I recently realized is, I had created a barrier between me and God. Our relationship was wonderful; that wasn’t the problem. The problem was, God needed and wanted the ministry to happen through me. Instead of jumping on board, I began to build a barrier between his will for my life and my will for his life.
Barriers are described as obstacles that prevent movements or access. My barrier was preventing God from moving. That is a pretty scary thought. I was preventing God from doing what he needed to do. I was keeping him from moving in people’s lives.
We all have built barriers at some time. We might not admit it, but we have. Those barriers are simply excuses for not doing something God is calling us to do. Those barriers could be something as simple as saying, “I just don’t have the time right now.” We all believe there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. But, if we would stop and evaluate those things we are doing, we’d find we have wasted time doing things that don’t matter. For me, playing games on my phone is a big excuse. I can always find time to sit and play a few games on my phone. If I would take the time I use to play a game and instead pray or read the Bible or even call a friend, that would be time much better spent. We often tell God we don’t have time for the things he has for us to do, but isn’t it amazing if we WANT to do something, we can always find time to do it.
Another barrier that we often use is that we aren’t qualified or equipped to do what he’s calling us to do. If my memory serves me correctly, God did not call Seminary Students or Pastors to be his disciples. He called fishermen, tax collectors and the such. I have found in my own life that God has been busy equipping me for the work he needs to be done. Each job is a little different, the job requires something different from me, but I find I can accomplish all of the things he wants done simply because he equips me. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 He will equip you! You can’t use this as a barrier; it just won’t’ work.
One of the biggest barriers is fear. There are several fears we have that builds a barrier between God’s will and ours. Some could include, failure, stepping out of our comfort zone, being laughed at or made fun of. What I recently discovered is this: when we walk around in fear we are not living out our trust in God. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)” If God calls us to do something, I have found out that he goes before us and prepares the way and he will walk with us to help us accomplish the task. God will not leave us. God calls us not to fear, but to believe. “Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36)” We are to believe and trust. The week before I was to bring the message to our church, I kept saying, “God’s got this!” He had it and I lived to tell about it. Trust and obey!
One of my biggest barriers was the control factor. We all struggle with this one. My excuse went something like this, “Well, I have been doing for God so it’s my time to stop and have time for myself. I deserve this time because I’ve been at church all week, or I’ve been busy serving meals all work or the list goes on.” We actually make excuses about why we think we deserve to do something or live a certain way. I have found out that when I give up control of my life, I often find there are extra hours in the day for me. I spend more time making up excuses than actually doing the job I was called to do. If I would just do it instead of coming up with excuses, I would have plenty of time left over for me. God knows what our lives look like. He will never call us to do more than we are capable of doing.
Another simple barrier is our money. We think we can’t do something because it’s going to cost us more than we have or are willing to pay. If it’s God’s will, he will provide the means necessary for us to accomplish his will.
What I have found over the years is this simple truth: I build a wall (or a barrier) and God helps me and we tear it down. When I think we are making progress, God finds yet another barrier I have built or one that I’ve spent time rebuilding. We need to make ourselves aware of the barriers we are building to stop the progress of the movement God needs to make in this world.
Barriers can be the excuses we use for not doing the very thing God calls us to do. What we each need to do is examine our lives and see what barriers we have built up or are building to keep God from working in our lives. We may be the only Pastor some people will hear. If that’s true, how will they hear God’s message if we have built a barrier to prevent that from happening?
We all want God to be on the move. We all desire for God to work in people’s lives. When we stop and think it’s because of our barriers that he is not working or moving in people’s lives it can be a scary thought. It is frightening for me to think I am preventing God from doing what He needs to do. I hope it is frightening for you as well.
President Trump wants to build a wall….I say instead of building a wall or barrier, let’s start tearing down. What barriers are you building that is keeping God from moving freely in your life?
Dear God, I would never want to keep you from moving in people’s lives. I would never want to hold you back from doing something that needs to be done. Yet, when I build barriers that prevent you from moving in my life, when I make excuses I am doing just that. Help me to tear down any barriers that I may have and help me not to rebuild those we’ve torn down together. Amen.