The puritans tell us that there are things we do that can sabotage our ability to experience God like a good Father.
In the last post I shared 5 obstacles that limit our ability to taste His love. Here are another 6:
Obstacle #6: Keeping Satan’s counsel
Most days I forget about Satan. I forget that he’s real and whispering to me day in and day out and fueling the fire of doubt that God is not the Father He claims to be.
Too many days I listen to him. I listen to him as he tells me that God will not provide. I ask his instruction on what to do when I am lonely and tired, and I’m left doubting my Father’s provision and love.
Obstacle #7: Secret tempting of God, and dependence upon such means and such men for peace, (i.e. trying to get God to give you people or things that you think will provide you with peace instead of going to Him.)
Obstacle #8: A sinful ambition of self-preparations for comfort and peace, (i.e. looking to yourself, your plans and your schemes, to save you from anxiety).
Man. These two basically just described my day. When I feel anxious I turn to a change in circumstance, I turn to my to-do list or strategy to save me and bring peace. When those things don’t work out, I’ll stop and pray. And you know what I pray? I pray for God to serve my idols. I’ll pray for God to change my to-do list to bring me peace. Blick.
Obstacle #9: Giving too much way to prejudices against God, and his love, from present sense and feeling, (i.e. deciding what’s true about God based on how you feel).
We all have days where God seems far; when it feels like He is not on His throne. Our challenge is to make sure that these emotions don’t dictate what’s we believe is true about God. He is real, and good and near, no matter how we feel.
Obstacle #10: Slackness and remissness in ordinances and duties. (i.e. ignoring the means of grace that God set up: like prayer and time in His Word).
Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. If we want to believe that God is a good Father we can’t neglect the means He has given to grant us that faith.
Obstacle #11: Over-scrupulous and skeptical-question-fulness. (i.e. valuing questions over answers).
I’m a question-asker. I’m thankful that my God is big enough to handle my wrestling.
But, in our day and age, questions have become an end in themselves. We cling to our questions, not because we don’t have answers, but because we don’t like the answers. So we duck out under the cover of His mysteriousness.
And God is a mystery. But He has sent His Son so that He can be known: Christ, the mystery revealed.
He’s a real person. He’s a real Father. He’s better than any earthly man we’ve ever known. There is more of Him to be known than any earthly man, not less.