When we came to Christ and received salvation it wasn’t the finish but the beginning of God’s work in us! As Christians it should be our constant goal to grow more into the plans and purposes God has for us. Until the day Christ returns there are always new levels of faith and growth that can elevate us through life. However, many times we find ourselves entangled in the grips of habits and choices that draw us away from the path God has us on. Here are a few things that could be hindering your fullest potential:
Pleasing people over God
“Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant.” –Galatians 1:10
By being bound to the opinions of people, we hinder the many ways God could use us- maybe to reach these exact same people. Remember you are a representative of Christ, not of this world. We can’t long to be in alignment with the world around us so much that we fall out of alignment with God. If the choices we’re making are to win the approval of being liked by others but at the cost of compromising our relationship with God, we have an insecurity problem and need a perspective check. Nothing is worth your soul.
One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. It’s important to remember who you serve and who God is because in the end nobody can keep your soul but Jesus. Even if no one else understands your faith, God sees you and will reward your faithfulness. Nothing compares to having God on your side.
Not applying the scripture to your life
It’s one thing to read the Bible; it’s another thing to let it actually shape the way you live. It’s through abiding in God’s word and putting it into practice in our lives that we see the fullness of the life God has called us to. Next time you pick up your Bible, challenge yourself to think of real life ways you can apply these instructions to your life and let it renew the way you think.
Not surrounding yourself with like minded believers
You become most like the people you hang around. The people around you are either encouraging your walk with Christ by living it with you, complacent and not living their faith at all or against it completely. Who you spend your time around will determine what is being invested or not invested into your life. By having like-minded believers in your circle you gain the experience of being surrounded by people who will strengthen your faith when it’s weak, bring accountability when you walk with Christ if getting off track and encourage you toward the calling God has on your life. Never underestimate how vital this is to the direction of your life and spiritual growth.
Little to no prayer life
You are as close to God as you chose to be; and like any relationship, communication is needed to thrive. When we’re disconnected from God, it’s not long before we’re backsliding into old habits eventually into a spiritual emptiness. Having an active prayer life keeps us in His presence and aligns us with His Spirit. Prayer is where we can ask God to show us what step to take next. Prayer is where we can let go of the things in our heart that separate us from Him. Prayer is where we can wage war victoriously against the enemy who works against us. When prayer is absent from our life, we leave a void between us and God that hinders our spiritual growth.
We can be in church but not in Christ. We can do the “works of God” without stopping to genuinely connect with the God of our work. We can read His word to gain knowledge but never let it change our heart and attitude. Religious traditions look sanctified on the outside but don’t genuinely change us on the inside. If at any point we get wrapped up in works because it’s the “Christian thing to do” we aren’t deeply surrendered to God with all our heart, soul and might then our faith is counterproductive. It’s like being on a treadmill- we’re running but in actuality we’re not going anywhere. Nothing is changing. No new works are being done in our life.
At this point it’s time to do a self-reflection. Understand that nothing you do can make God love you more or less. There’s nothing you can do to win His approval. Only grace though faith has made you righteous and the greatest thing you could give Him is your heart.
“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." –John 4:24
You strive to do everything on your own. You’re independent. You don’t ask God for anything. You make plans but never involve Him or ask for His hand to show you which route to take. When it comes to your life, you got this!
The truth is, self-sufficiency says you don’t trust God. And you can’t have a real relationship with someone you don’t trust. You make yourself the god over your life. It distances Him. It also limits what can be done in your life because you are limited. A big hindrance of spiritual growth is simply a lack of dependence on God. In a world where dependence is seen as weak, in faith it is the strongest and wisest move you could make. When we depend on God we still do what we can do, but we look to Him in faith for what we can’t do or can’t see. God wants to use you in mighty ways but you hinder this journey when you shut Him out of your life.
No Spiritual Discipline.
Nothing replaces consistency. In order to be great in anything it takes practice. This is a principal that can be applied to anything- sports, musical talents, public speaking, etc. Why don’t we view our spiritual discipline as the same if not higher? After all, our life does flow from this. The foundational aspects of our walk like prayer, worship, reading the word, etc., are nourishment to our spiritual muscles. The less we invest, the weaker we get. It really is that simple. It’s discipline that we struggle with. Many times we want God to do great things in our lives, yet we haven’t been faithful with the basics of our faith! If you want to grow in spiritual resistance, in knowledge, in faith, in your relationship with God, in your tools to witness to others, get back to the basics and dedicate to consistency.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” –Proverbs 15:22
Having someone who is more knowledgeable and mature in the faith to glean from is a vital way to grow in your walk with Christ. This may be an older figure, a pastor or someone who you’ve been exposed to that carries qualities you’d like to see grow in your own faith. When you’re humble enough to take direction and learn from someone like this you’re blessed with the opportunity to avoid many failures and gain a world wisdom and understanding beyond your own. Having someone there to help pull you up can play a major role in the level of your spiritual growth.
Have you found yourself stuck in any of these hindrance’s and what steps are you taking to grow spiritually? Let’s chat! Comment below!