Hurdles to enlarging our faith are often self-created. A barrier, a hindrance, or wall to greater faith encompasses attitudes such as doubt, inadequacy, selfish desires, pride, stubbornness, and fear; all of which can get in the way of our faith.
These hindrances are deep rooted spiritual matters of the heart. They are further entwined by our stubborn will and mindset, in constant enmity against the things of God, entertaining a bent towards the ways of the world. These inner skirmishes and turmoil often short-circuit our trust, inhibiting us from obeying the Lord’s will.
A feeling of inadequacy can likewise hinder us from climbing out onto the edge of the limb where God has called us to stand in an exercise of faith. Like Moses, we can quickly conclude our abilities are not up to par for the job the Lord has laid at our feet. We begin stepping backwards, offering excuses to God for our lack of faith and trust in Him and His divine abilities. We fail to lift up our eyes from our immediate circumstances, and place our eyes upon the character and greatness of God who can lead us in victory as we crawl out on the edge of the limb.
Past failures, if we let them, can greatly limit our insight and perception of a situation immediately before us. Satan likes to constantly remind us about our past parading our faults and failures before us. To end this procession of doom and gloom we must feed our minds to overflowing with the things of God.
Gender and race barriers can impede our exercise of faith such as witnessing to others. We can get tangled up in “religious rules and hang-ups” Just as the disciples did in the book of John. The disciples, being Jewish, were hindered and indifferent towards the Samaritans, not even dwelling about the immediate environment about them, let alone sharing in any conversations together. The attitudes between them were mutual on both sides; racial hatred and disdain. Christ marched beyond these traditional stumbling blocks and witnessed to the Samaritan woman at the well in the middle of the day, bringing her to her knees, and unto saving faith with Him. Christ’s example should move us to seek out and witness to lost souls beyond racial barriers society and man’s traditions has erected along the path.
Sins not repented from serves as an insurmountable wall for obtaining greater and deeper faith in serving Christ. Sin creates a ravine between us and our relationship with Christ. This ravine widens and deepens as our sin problem grows. Our sin cuts off our spiritual communication with Christ causing our faith to diminish, while our ear for the wickedness of the world abounds and develops further. When our faith shrinks because of sin we find ourselves outside the “holy circle”, like a leper in the Old Testament, far away from the will of God. Repenting and capitulating from our sins brings us back into a close relationship with Christ and again inside His “holy circle” and His will for our life. Our faith builds upon the mercy and goodness of Christ and not of anything we can do for ourselves.
Our priorities can be a barrier to growing in faith. If we choose to serve the things of this world and not acknowledging and obeying His priorities for our life, our relationship gap with Him widens. Christ will not take a back seat in our life, but demands the driver’s seat, guiding us along the narrow path as He sees fit for His glory and honor.
When nagging doubts, walls, and obstructions are permitted to assault our minds they create a lack of faith and spiritual disdain in our lives. The good news is these barriers can be overcome with diligent study of Scripture and persistent prayer, helping to dislodge uncertainty and building a bridge to a deeper relationship with Christ. God promises His provision in a right relationship with Him.
It is not hard to be a Christian. The bible says the way of the sinner is hard. There is suffering in the world for the saved and the lost. But there is joy in the Lord. There is joy and rest in following His will for our life. All it takes is faith and trust in His promises.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” Proverbs 13:15
For Further Contemplation:
Victory in Christ is a settled issue. His victory for us was finished on the cross 2000 years ago. We have no excuse for any lack of faith in following Christ’s will for our life. When He asks you to “Get in the boat…,” do not hesitate to obey His command.