The Stirring Faith Blog

Overcoming Hindrances to Loving God Wholeheartedly

Overcoming Hindrances to Loving God Wholeheartedly

In the journey of faith, one of the most profound commands Jesus gives us is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Yet, as Christian women seeking to deepen our relationship with God, we often find ourselves grappling with hindrances that derail us from wholehearted devotion. These obstacles can subtly creep into our lives, hindering us from fully embracing the Greatest Commandment. Let’s explore four common obstacles and discover strategies for overcoming these hindrances to wholehearted devotion.

Sin

Perhaps the most obvious hindrance to loving God wholeheartedly is sin. Whether it’s pride, selfishness, or unconfessed wrongdoing, sin erects barriers in our relationship with God. Eye-opening to me, was the realization that NOT loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, sinning. Half-hearted devotion is not acceptable any more than stealing half an outfit from Target. Whole-hearted pursuit is required of every Believer, not simply for the few looking for extra spiritual points. Sin, my friend, is serious. Therefore, it’s essential for each of us to recognize it’s destructive nature of sin, repent of it, and seek forgiveness and restoration through Christ’s redeeming love. Embracing a posture of repentance opens the door to deeper communion with God.

Believing and Trusting God

Another obstacle we encounter is a lack of faith and trust in God’s character and promises. This has been the most crippling factor in my Christian life. When faced with challenges or uncertainties, I have struggled to believe God will be faithful to me, although I have full assurance, He will be faithful to you. Maybe you have, as well.

Doubt can overshadow our confidence in His sovereignty and goodness. However, cultivating a steadfast faith requires, first believing what the Bible teacher, and making intentional efforts and surrendering our worries and anxieties to God. As we meditate on His Word and recall His faithfulness in the past, our trust in Him grows, enabling us to us to live unhindered.

Forgetting who God is and what He can do

Sometimes, it’s not a belief issue, but a remembering one. We tend to have a sort of spiritual amnesia regarding God’s greatness and power. This forgetfulness can cause us to other helps to get us out of the jam we are in, or alternative places for solace and help. To combat this hindrance, you and I must remind ourselves of His faithfulness in the past, so that this record fuels our faith about the future. .

Fear

Of the hindrances we have mentioned so far, fear is probably the most effective for keeping us from loving God wholeheartedly. Fear often paralyzes us and inhibits our ability to trust. Whether it’s fear of failure, rejection, or the unknown, it can hold us back from fully surrendering to God’s will. However, God repeatedly assures us in His Word that He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Overcoming the fear to lean into God with everything we are requires risk. And the control-freaks we are, struggle to loosen our death grips on the management of, well, everything.

But living this way will never lead us to wholehearted devotion.

It’s time to let it go—whatever it is you are currently afraid of.

There is a better way. And I want to help get you on the right path.

Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment is an 8-week study, published by AMGovercoming hindrances Publishers, that delves into practical insights and timeless truths that will empower you to get rid of what hinders in order to embrace wholehearted devotion to God. It looks at Biblical examples of what it looks like to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, all our strength, and all our souls. Through engaging Scripture study, reflection questions, and application exercises, you’ll discover how to overcome the obstacles that are hindering you, and experience the abundant life found in loving God wholeheartedly. If you are ready to leave half-hearted pursuit or spotty devotion behind, this is the study for you.

May our lives be a testament to His unfailing love and glory as we pursue wholehearted devotion to Him.

For His glory,

 

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7 Ways to Fall in Love with God

7 ways to fall in love with God

7 Ways to Fall in Love with God

by Cheri Strange, Ph.D.

Welcome to the Stirring Faith Podcast 

I’m really glad you stopped by. This week we are starting a new series: Truths Jesus Taught. 

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7 Ways to Fall in Love with God, Episode #405

Each episode will take a closer look at what Jesus actually taught and what it means for you and me in our day-to-day lives. The perfect place to begin is with a big one. What did Jesus believe was the most important commandment in terms of following God? When asked, he responded with loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. But honestly, sometimes we are not exactly clear on how that plays out in daily life or even where to begin. How do we fall in love with God? It’s not rocket science, but there are some things we can learn and do. There is no reason to stand far off when the expectation is that we come near. Scroll down to join us today for 7 Ways to Fall in Love with God.

Join us on the podcast, but did you know there is more? We have created some resources for you to utilize in your own study time, to come along beside you while we are in this series.

Truths Jesus Taught Reading Plan

Get the FREEBIE HERE — to go along with this series. In it, you will find the Truths Jesus Taught 30-Day Reading Plan, a Scripture Writing schedule, and a Journal to download. Just provide your email. (And if you have already joined the She Yearns Community, you can find it on the Facebook page just for the community.)

 

And While you are on this page — Don’t forget about The Show Notes.

Just fill out the form and you will begin receiving the latest notes straight in your inbox. Generally, these make it to your inbox by the end of the week AFTER the airing of the episode.

How Awesome is Show Notes?

If you are already a subscriber to the She Yearns Community, you can receive a link to a pdf. But this is different. By signing up here, you will ONLY RECEIVE Show Notes for the podcast. There is nothing to download unless there is some sort of bonus offered.

You can also use this resource to take with you to coffee with a friend or sit with a small group and talk about the topic together. It’s a quick low prep to no prep way to have a deeper discussion about relevant Gospel-centered topics that matter to your everyday lives. So don’t wait! Sign up today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, 7 Ways to Fall in Love with GodJoy in the Hard Things is a really applicable episode for what we are experiencing right now. You can find it here if you are interested.

Listen Now: 7 Ways to Fall in Love with God

You can now check out the latest episodes from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, or BuzzSprout. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

soul care

soul care

Become a Subscriber

And if you have not already become a subscriber to the podcast, allow me to invite you to become one for the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes life easier.

If you enjoy this episode, 7 Ways to Fall in Love with God, or find it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service. We cannot do it without you! The only way the word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

Click the image to listen to the previous series, beginning with Episode #401.

should I yearn for God

 

Thank you for listening,7 ways to fall in love with God

 

Day 10: He Waits for You

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Bible Readings for Day 10: He Waits for You–Psalm 27:8; 42:1; Nehemiah 1:1-10; 2:1-5; Acts 9:1-8.

The King waits for you. He holds His plans for you in His hands. He tenderly speaks to you, but He will not push you out of complacency. Your God, the lover of your soul, waits for you to want Him.

We will not find our souls panting feverishly for anything other than ourselves in a rushed fifteen-minute “quiet time,” in a frantic completion of our group studies, or in a prayer life consisting of our own concerns and the concerns of the ones we cherish. The glorious enlightenment experienced by those whose souls pant for God (the kind that illuminated the very face of Moses) resulted from the discovery that God does not have to conform to our fractured understandings resulting from our limited engagement.

In the movie Galaxy Quest, Tim Allen plays an actor in a TV series mimicking our Star Trek. Allen portrays a character similar to Captain Kirk. The movie opens with Allen and his co-stars attending a Galaxy Quest convention crowded with people dressed in costumes associated with the series. Allen meets an attendee in space garb who asks for his help. Allen misinterprets the request as a public-speaking gig and agrees to go. He finds himself in outer space on a spaceship identical to the one he pretends to navigate, fighting alien enemies. When he returns to earth, he hysterically reports to his undaunted crew, “It’s real! It’s all real!”

At some point in time, those whose souls panted feverishly after God came to this conclusion: He’s really real! And there is nothing on this planet that can compare to the thrill of Him! Their lives began to take on a dimension I can only describe as spiritually derived passion.

The signature of those who leave lives of complacency in exchange for the lives God dreams them to live is passion. Intensity, fervent devotion, and inexplicable joy, even amid adversity, exude from a passionate follower of Christ.

Both Nehemiah and Paul accomplished greatness for the kingdom. Their compulsion came from within. One simply possessed an acute awareness of God and His promises for His people. The other experienced a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. Both allowed God to change the direction of their lives, putting aside previous dreams to pursue something bigger than themselves.

Spiritual encounters with Jesus continue to have the same effect on people today.

Let’s not keep Him waiting to be wanted.

Cheri

He Waits for You from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

Psalm 27.8 Printable

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*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 9: Dream Big Expectant Dreams

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Bible Readings for Day 9: Dream Big Expectant Dreams–Genesis 18:14; Amos 7:14-15; Matthew 14:15-16; Mark 9:22-23; Ephesians 2:10.

Along this journey of seeking what it looks like to love God with my entire mind, there is one lesson I need continuously drilled into my hard head. As you read through the lesson today, please know that both the subject and the pointed presentation are directed at myself before anyone else. I need it this way. I wonder if you need it this way too.

Stop thinking so small! Stop talking yourself out of believing that God can accomplish the miraculous using your life. Take back the promises and methods of God you have rejected because you thought they couldn’t possibly be meant for you. Take them back by letting go!

God does not call us to small thinking. Small thinking results from a lack of exposure to the Word and a lack of ownership of the Word. Today, let the Word of God speak possibility and limitlessness over you. Maybe you have never given God the opportunity to dream with your life. Maybe you are afraid to take that next step for fear you will be disappointed. Maybe you feel insignificant, convinced small is just your size. Leave it behind. Small thinking limits who we become and what we are able to accomplish in the Lord.

The enemy knows this. He is constantly filling our minds with thoughts and ideas contrary to the Word, and even though they are opposed to the Word of God, these thoughts can make sense to me. They confine possibilities to what I can see. They confirm my own beliefs about my weaknesses. They keep me from loving the Lord with all my mind and restrain me from taking that next step of faith.

Sweet friend, it’s time for you and me to let go of small thinking. God calls His people to tasks and opportunities greater than we can imagine. Ponder the possible ramifications found in your reading today on your own life.

There is work to be done. Someone with just your personality, with your gifting, in your situation is exactly who God needs to accomplish His will (Ephesians 2:10). Anything He asks you to do is important, purposeful, and significant.

Cheri

Dream Big Expectant Dreams from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

Ephesians 2.10 printable

Click here to download this FREE printable!

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Day 7: Faithfulness in the Small Things

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Bible Readings for Day 7: Faithfulness in the Small Things–Exodus 13:17-18; John 12:49-50; 14:15; 30-31; 15:9-10; Philippians 2:5-8.

If we were to take our cues from Scripture, focusing on the relationship between the Father and the Son, we could make the case that God receives love through obedience.

Succinctly stated, “Christ emptied himself in order to be filled up with obedience.” (ref. 15)

I can think of several other things I would like to be filled up with rather than obedience. (At the moment, M&M’sÒ would be at the top of my list.) Herein lies my problem. As Philippians describes, Jesus understood best how to love God with all His heart. He knew His purpose and fulfilled it completely. I struggle with this combination.

Our willingness to do what God desires is a crucial element to loving God with all our hearts. This call can be found in most books of the Bible. Many individuals failed to heed the call. Most chose their own way. But if we want to become passionate followers of Jesus, obedience is imperative.

Is Jesus a broken record on this topic, or does He simply understand my yearnings for M&M’s over obedience? Why the frequent parallel between love and obedience? How will my obedience enable my relationship with the Lord to flourish?

My efforts to shed light on my own ponderings brought me to Exodus 13:17-18.

What if the process is entirely the point? Suppose God is more concerned with the journey marked out for each of us than the final destination? If this is accurate, He would want the relationship to be marked by learning to Love Him in response to His love to us. But (and this is where my candy bowl overpowers me) we are not like Him. Instead, we are impatient to arrive at perfection. We are not satisfied with baby steps and scenic routes. We don’t want to wait to grow and learn. We have no interest in serving our desert time and taking the long road. Like the Israelites, we want to be in our promised lands or back in Egypt. No, the prospect of the process being the point is not appealing.

He could make us godly through our pillows overnight. That route would indeed be shorter. But that is not His style. Instead, He woos us through a dynamic, growing relationship all the days of our lives.

Cheri

Faithfulness in the Small Things from Cheri Strange on Vimeo.

John 14.15 downloadableClick here to download this 6×4 FREE printable! 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*