“Stan,” I commented one morning, “you’ve not been shy to talk about how slow you were in developing a deeper relationship with God after you came to faith. What do you think was holding you back?”
“I was held back by a very limiting factor.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“Me,” he responded. “I was the limiting factor, and until I realized the truth that being me was in the way, there was little chance I would move forward into a deeper relationship with God.”
Continuing, he added, “I was way too content in thinking I was doing just fine as I was. I didn’t see any need for doing anything different.”
“Content,” I commented. “You were content with where you were. Is that it?”
“Probably a better way to say it is that I was lazy. A deeper relationship with God doesn’t happen all by itself, and I was limited by my laziness.”
“Well,” I replied, “something must have happened. What was it?”
“God happened,” Stan replied. “He didn’t happen in that He suddenly appeared. No, He was there all of the time, but He happened in the sense of opening me to see me from His perspective.”
“See you?” I said, “What did you see?”
“What I saw,” he replied, “was someone who thought he knew all he needed to know, someone who didn’t even know or appreciate the power of God that resided within him in the form of the Holy Spirit. I had a very limited view of God and it was killing any chance for a deeper relationship with Him.”
“And the solution was what?” I asked.
“We’ve talked about it before,” he replied, “and we’ll talk about it again because it’s important. It’s called the three steps of discipleship. I had to choose to get the limiting factor out of the way by denying its power in my life. Then I had to choose to be who and what God intended. That was followed by the third step of choosing to follow Him however He wanted to lead, whatever the cost and whatever the direction.”
“That,” Stan concluded, “was and is the process of getting rid of what was holding me back, as well as what can and does hold me back on an ongoing basis.”
“Stop being the me that was and can be so limiting!”
Bible verses to consider:
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Ephesians 3:20, 21.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. “ Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to have an ever-deeper and ever-closer relationship with you. You know and I know what too often stands in the way of the relationship you intend. Please help me with what limits in any way what you want to do in and through me. Help me to get myself out of your way. Please help me with all you have. Thank you that I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the personal relationship with God that you would like? That He would like? If you don’t, why is that? And if you don’t have the relationship you desire, what do you think is standing in the way? What would it take to have a deeper and ever-growing relationship with God? Who can help you with that? Do you want that help?