So, how is your Christian Spirituality? Be totally honest with yourself: is it where you would like it to be? This bible study lesson will identify five areas that may hinder spiritual growth. Eliminating these problems one by one can be your key to victory!
What are the five main hindrances to Spiritual Growth?
I'm sure you can guess at least one of them correctly. So for this lesson we will list them from 5th, right up to the 1st: the 1st being the most dangerous hindrance of them all. Wait 'til you see what it is!
So without delay, let the drum rolls begin ...
Hosea 4:6King James Version (KJV)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
In another spiritual growth lesson, I spoke about some social myths about spiritual maturity. In that list I mentioned that you can have all the knowledge in the world and still not be spiritually matured. I still believe this to be true.
But now I am saying that 'Lack of Knowledge' is a Hindrance to Spiritual Maturity as well.
Sounds a bit contradictory doesn't it?
Well let me clarify. In my excerpt from my free e-book on spiritual growth, I spoke about my struggles I encountered in understanding what was necessary for spiritual maturity; not knowing the steps to take; not understanding what prayer was or how to fast right; not understanding how to study the bible effectively; and not loving to read the word of God.
I also mentioned that when I asked persons for help in understanding spiritual maturity most just gave vague answers like 'pray' 'study your bible' 'fast'.
The struggles that I had, happens to many. This is what I mean by 'lack of knowledge' being a hindrance to spiritual growth.
Being a new convert, we will have many unanswered questions. We will have many yearnings and desires. And without proper guidance from others that have been where you are right now, this lack of knowledge can become a very big hindrance.
The Holy Ghost is numero uno for Christian spirituality. We cannot
gain spiritual maturity in Christ without it. The Holy Ghost is the
Receiving the Holy Spirit is for everyone.
You have as much right to this Holy Ghost as everyone else.
From the 'average Joe' to the most powerful man of God. None can be ushered into the presence of God, without it. It is that important. The word says that if we, being prone to evil intentions, are so willing to give gifts of value to our children then 'How Much More' ( this means that the feeling is multiplied ) will a loving God give the Holy Ghost unto all that ask?
God is more willing to give us this free gift, than we have room enough to receive it.
Is Receiving the Holy Spirit for Today?
There is a lie that is creeping into the circles of Christianity. It is a devised attempt by the enemy to prevent the Children of God from reaching their full potential and to deny us access to the power the lies within the Holy Ghost. But it is just that... A lie.
Malachi 3: 6
' I am the Lord and I change not ...'
God spoke through the Prophet Malachi and said I do not change. In other words, God does not change his mind. Being in the 21st century is not going change the principles that was set down by God thousands of years ago.
2 Peter 3: 8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
We often think that modern society means modern rules, but in God's time frame, only a few days, or sometimes a few hours has passed. lol.
The Holy Ghost is still for Today.
Societies might change. Laws might change. The year might be different. But God does not change. We need God more and more each passing day, and with the changes that is occurring in society, we would fail, if not for the Spirit of God. He is our strength. He is our keeper. He is our Guide.
This four letter word "Life" is a massive hindrance to our spiritual growth.
The bible calls it the 'cares of this world'.
At some point or the other 'Life Happens' and if we are not careful, we become side tracked with other priorities.
It often seems like the 24 hours allotted in a day, is barely enough time to get anything done. By the time we blink, turn around and sit down, the day is all over and it is time to go to bed and prepare for another day.
Why am I saying this?
Because even thou we are Christians we are still affected by limitations of time like everyone else. With family obligations, job obligations and other obligations, where are we going to find the time to do this Christianity spirituality thing right, and put God first? Much less, gain Spiritual Growth.
So we all desire to have growth, but most of us believe that spiritual growth is too difficult; or too time consuming; and will take too much energy and effort. To these persons, spiritual growth has becomes unreachable.
This statement is so true and so important that a passage of scripture was dedicated to show how powerful this hindrance can be if we do not be careful.
Let's open our bibles to Matthew 13.
This passage of scripture talks about the sower that sowed seeds. Some fell by the way side, some fell on stony places, some fell among thorns, and some fell on good ground.
In Matthew 13: 22 Jesus explains the seeds among thorns. He says:
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."
Well, here in Matthew 13 we see 'fruit' again showing that if we are not careful the cares of this life can stump our spiritual growth.
So we as Christians can be very eager and happy at the beginning of our Christian spirituality. So eager to be a part of everything; So eager to read every word in the bible; So eager to stay connected by listening to sermons, gospel music ; whatever necessary. We stayed constantly at the feet of Jesus, waiting for the water of the word to quench our thirsty souls.
But as time progress, and the cares of life steps in, slowly but surely less attention is paid to the necessary steps for spiritual maturity and more attention is paid to our work, or family or education, or entertainment, worrying about our finances, anxiety about our health and the list continues.
To be quite honest 'life does happen'. Yet, if we are not careful to monitor and balance your everyday life with what is necessary for your spiritual health, these very things that we pay more attention to will begin to choke the spiritual life out of us and instead of moving
forward ------->>>>>>>> to spiritual maturity
We would me moving
<<<<< --------- backwards to unfruitfulness
In other words, we will be going right back to where we started.
So as I studied this passage of scripture. I started to wonder within myself. What is the real understanding behind these words 'choke the word' that was written in Matthew 13:22. Read on and you'll see what I found ...
choke: sumpnigó :
Do you see the destruction that this can make on our spiritual life?It 'cuts us off from our life supply and leave us inoperative'
Let's face it. Only a mature plant can bring forth good fruit. So if Matthew 13: 22 says we 'become unfruitful' that means in God's eyes we are not growing. But Luke said :
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."
Every evening without fail Adam met with God in their spot in Eden to have sweet communion and he love it! It was bliss!
But then Adam sinned and when he did, he felt ashamed and knew that God would be displeased, so he hid himself
Genesis 3: 8 - 10
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
If we were to be honest, isn't that what we do at times?
We slip up, and mess up. But instead of running to God to ask for forgiveness, our guilt and shame cause us to run away from God. So we may decide to skip a few evening prayers with the Lord because we cannot bare to face him. Maybe we skip church services, reading our bibles and the list goes on.
We may say 'let me slacken off just a little until I get myself together'. Yes, tell the truth! lol. I know I've been there.
Sin does that to us. It not only breaks our communion with God, but if it is not dealt with our guilt can cause hindrance in our spiritual growth.
Yes we may fall, but that does not mean that we should stay down. Rise Up! Dust yourself off and continue. Soon, you will realize that you've overcome that 'thing' that was once your weakness.
We are more than conquerors through Christ our Lord!
Sorry to be point fingers here but the first and most important hindrance to your spiritual maturity is you. You are your #1 hindrance. ( the same goes to me as well) For who can stop a person that has a made up mind?
Living in an 'it's-everybody-else's-fault-but-my-own' society, we tend to point fingers at everyone else but ourselves.
So yes, we can blame it on our lack of knowledge. But the fact is, that where there is lack, with a made up mind and heart, we can find all our answers and information that we seek.
We can blame it on the cares of this life. But the fact is, we have the power to make the necessary adjustments in our life so that our God really have full and complete control of our hearts.
We should not blame our parents or our friends or our pastors, for the truth be told, the only person that is standing in our way, from attaining any of our goals is us.
Just take this time to say this prayer and re-dedication:
Lord Jesus I need you. I need your help. Forgive me for choosing to do things on my own. Forgive me for not seeking after you with my whole heart. Teach me your ways and renew in me the joy of your salvation. I need you Jesus. Strengthen me with the strength that only comes from you and give me a fresh start today. Amen and Thank you for doing it.
The Lord promised in his word that 'if you seek me with your whole heart, you shall find me'. I have rededicated my life to seeking after God and I want you to join me ....
Do not allow yourself to be your biggest hindrance.
Did you receive guidance in Christian Spirituality? Share with friends and family so that the blessing can be passed on.
Leave your views on this lesson below. I would love to read them! On to the next lesson.
Here's a book for spiritual growth