Barrier Busters

Overcoming The Barriers
This last weekend we looked at the 4 barriers that often stand in the way between us and accepting/following Jesus. Here they are:
1) Inflexibility
2) Misunderstanding
3) Arrogance
4) Defensiveness or other emotional reasons.

These are not easy barriers to overcome and the reality is – we do a great disservice to simply tell someone: “Get over it.” Each one of these issues has no easy fix. Let me expand this a little bit. In the issue of “inflexibility”: We not only have to realize we are being inflexible (which takes a long time for me… đŸ™‚ ), but we also then need to become willing to flex; and then understand how to flex; and then actually choose to flex… There are alot of steps to overcoming inflexibility and this is not just unique to this barrier. Each of them have challenges. So how do we overcome barriers?
I’m going to give you three crucial barrier busters… This doesn’t guarantee breaking barriers will be easy – but I’ve seen these be very effective in doing so… Here they are:

3 Barrier Busters
— Prayer:
David prays: “Search me oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in your way everlasting.” I recently read an article about prayer where the author gave a super helpful metaphor. They wrote that often times we view prayer like a boat a hundred yards off shore. The boat is lashed to shore by a rope tied to a tree on land. Prayer; the way we often view it; is like us being in the boat, pulling on the rope forcing the land to come to us. But of course that is silly and incorrect. When we pray we don’t force the land to us but rather the pull the rope and the boat comes closer to shore. Prayer doesn’t bring God closer to our heart and desires; rather it brings us closer to God’s heart and desires.
There is a temptation to view prayer as a game, or some kind of optional thing in the Christian life – when in reality it is absolutely essential to us as Christians. The barriers in our hearts are often unremovable without prayer. The broken things are unfixable. It may all begin with David’s prayer. “Oh Lord search me for those barriers and lead me in your way everlasting!!!”

— Look For The Next Step:
Sometimes when we think of our journey with God – we think of a huge treasure map. God leads us to different destinations and each turn in the road leads us to who we ultimately become. This is true… BUT… God rarely if ever gives us the map. He only tends to give us the next step to take. When we come across a barrier in our life with God – we need only look to the next step. We don’t have all the answers or resurces to defeat this thing right now – we only have the next step to take. Maybe the next step is simply to admit we don’t have things all figured out – or to admit we need help – or to admit that this behavior is destructive. Maybe the next step is a specific behavior – or a course direction change in our life… God rarely gives us the whole game plan. He usually only gives us the next step.

— Get Grounded, In God’s…..
The biggest challenge for me, when it comes to following God beyond my barriers – has been repeatedly; I mistrust Him. Deep down, I don’t think He actually knows or wants what is best for me. I still trust myself more than Him. For some of us we need to get grounded in God’s wisdom; or His love for us; or His power. We need to be reminded that no matter what happens, His way is best for us. That requires that we are grounded in what the Word of God has told us about Him. When I feel uncomfortable in life; like God has abandoned me; I need to be reminded of Jesus’ words to His disciples that say: “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age…” When I am feeling shame; I need to be reminded of God’s great love for me. When it seems that God is calling me to humble myself; I need to be reminded of 1 Peter 5:5-6 that says:
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Sometimes the greatest barriers in our life – can be overcome simply by being strengthened by the promises and truth of God in our lives…

As we, as Christians, journey with God; we will encounter barriers; hindrances; walls that push us away from Him and His leading in our lives. I pray God will bless you this week and if you encounter one of these barriers; I pray these three barrier busters will help you mightily.

May God bless you all.
Pastor Ryan