Get Rid of Everything That Gets in the Way
by Margaret Silvester
I recently returned from holiday to find that there was something wrong with my television. The message on the screen read, “No signal or very weak signal.” A couple of people advised me on how to fix the problem. It didn’t make a scrap of difference. It added to my frustration. After three days a neighbour came round and immediately spotted the problem. Whilst I was away, scaffolding had been erected on my drive in front of the satellite dish, blocking the signal. It was obvious to someone having understanding but it hadn’t even occurred to me.
I wonder if this is an illustration of how we can be in our relationship with God. We want to be close to Him, to hear Him speak, to experience His love deep in our hearts and above all to know Him intimately as our Father. Instead we can end up feeling quite frustrated because, after striving to grow closer to Him, hearing teaching and having prayer, nothing seems to change. We are lacking that intimacy with God. Intimacy is relational, transforming, the opposite to head knowledge and it is God’s will for each of His children.
Maybe we have things in our lives that we need to get rid of, things that stand between us and a Holy God. They could be things we have not even recognised, things which we need to ask God to reveal to us. The big issue is that they are usually sins that we may not want to face or that we want to cling to and harbour as idols in our hearts. So let’s consider three of these things.
Firstly, let’s consider un-forgiveness. Forgiveness of sin brings us into relationship with God. So secret sin that has been hidden in the darkness of our hearts needs to be brought into the light, confessed, repented of, and forgiven so that we’re rid of it. When we know how much we have been forgiven it is so much easier to forgive those who have sinned against us. If we harbour un-forgiveness towards others a bitter root will grow in us and the bible clearly tells us to get rid of this (Ephesians 4:31).
Secondly, let’s look at strongholds. The enemy hides behind strongholds. A stronghold is a mind impregnated with hopelessness which causes us to accept something we know is contrary to the will of God as unchangeable. We may see ourselves as unacceptable or as failures, instead of precious children of God. We may see God as a taskmaster whom we can never please, rather than a loving Father who is compassionate and gracious. To get rid of strongholds we must recognise the lies they hold and replace lies with truth. There is power in the name and blood of Jesus to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Thirdly, let’s consider unbelief. Unbelief can cause defeat in the life of a believer. It certainly gets in the way of intimacy with God, because unbelief is the direct opposite to faith. ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:1). Unbelief causes us to doubt God. To be close to Him we need to confess it as sin and ask the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and to give us the gift of faith.
Our text for today finishes with, ‘Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus’. Jesus is the One who shows us what the Father is like, and it is only through Jesus that we can be in relationship with His Father. It is worth saying today, “I don’t want anything in my life that is not of Jesus”, and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden things and enable us to get rid of them.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the great love You have lavished on me, that I should be called Your dearly loved child. I acknowledge Your greatness and goodness. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray that the Holy Spirit will search my heart and reveal to me the things I need to get rid of, the things that stand in the way of a more intimate relationship with You. Amen.