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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Overcoming Spiritual Distractions

Do you ever find yourself at the end of a busy day, wondering where the time went and why you couldn’t focus on what truly matters in your spiritual journey? I’ve been there too, and I’ve discovered that the struggle of overcoming spiritual distraction to stay on course with God’s plan is a common challenge for many Christian women.

Today, we’ll tackle this very issue by delving into the Focused Faith Formula, a set of strategies that can help you overcome spiritual distractions and make meaningful progress in your relationship with God. Let’s dive right in!

Overcoming Spiritual Distraction by Following the Future Path

Keep your eyes straight ahead. Proverbs 4:25

It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions of daily life. This verse reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on the path God has laid out for us. The Message version of this same verse calls us to “ignore all sideshow distractions.” Left to myself, I can waste oodles and oodles of time each and every day. I am not able nor smart enough to keep my gaze straight.

Setting aside time each day for focused prayer and reading the Bible is my only hope of overcoming all the sideshow distractions. Some of these sideshow distractions seem like really good ideas. So, I literally bring my To Do list into my prayer time because I am so prone to veer off the path. I encourage you to do whatever is necessary, whether that be turning off your phone, setting a timer, or finding a more distraction-free zone to help minimize the opportunities for chasing the sideways jaunts that keep you from making spiritual progress.

Overcoming Spiritual Distraction by Fixing Your Focus on the Spiritual

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Our minds often wander to worldly concerns, causing us to lose sight of God’s purpose. Make a conscious effort to shift your focus. Not only do I bring my To Do List into my prayer time, but bring Scripture I can pray. Starting your day by meditating on God’s Word and praying, keep your thoughts centered on eternal matters.

Too often, you and I show up to pray with nothing more than an anxious mind that wanders within a few minutes. My times like this were not very productive nor did I feel like I was making any spiritual progress or deepening the relationship. But A few years ago, all of that changed. I downloaded a free prayer app, called ECHO, where I can add verses into the app to pray, giving my brain and heart a tool for focusing on all thing spiritual.

If you are interested, you can download the ECHO app here. Or, maybe you will develop another technique that will work for you. The bottom line is that if you and I want to make meaningful progress in our relationship with God, we need strategies like this one from the Focused Faith Formula.

Overcoming Spiritual Distraction by Fortifying Your Senses

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:3

Our surroundings greatly influence our focus, don’t they? Take a moment to evaluate the things you expose yourself to, including TV shows, social media, and conversations. Sometimes you and I expose ourselves to what is socially acceptable, but not if our aim is godliness. Or we might settle for exposing ourselves to what is not “bad,” but it may still be “worthless.”

As you think over what you place before your eyes and ears, consider if these things align with God’s purpose. If not, consider eliminating or reducing them to create a distraction-free environment.

Overcoming Spiritual Distraction by Foster Daily Renewal

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Romans 12:2

God’s purpose for our lives often requires a transformed mind. To achieve this, we must move beyond a fifteen-minutes-with-God approach. John Piper points out that if you want leaves, rake the surface, but if you want diamonds, you must dig deep. One way to ensure we overcome our tendencies to rake the surface in terms of our spiritual lives is to participate in in-depth Bible study. There is much we will never know and understand about God and our walk with Jesus, but there is oh so much we can know. The Focused Faith Formula calls us foster daily renewal of our minds by digging for gold rather than being satisfied with leaves on the surface.

Overcoming Spiritual Distraction by Fighting to Win the Day

You and I are in the middle of a battle—a war for our devotion. Paul articulates the warring for who we will follow and what we will believe well by giving words to this struggle that is more spiritual that we might realize:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Every day you and I encounter all sorts of things that conflict with our faith, vying for our allegiance, the scope of which ranges widely. Essentially, this is a battle of the mind, and it’s a fight worth fighting. And fight, we must.

The woman who is actively working spiritual progress recognizes the fight she is in, and equips herself to fight back with divine resources.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

Paul warns us that we cannot sit back and let life happen, distracted from the fight by practicing a casual Christianity. If the enemy can’t have your soul, he wants everything else near and dear to you: your family, your health, your home, your relationships, and your faith (John 10:10). But he will settle for your ineffectiveness and small belief. Allow me to share a secret with you that took me too many years to learn:

You can learn to win the day, one small battle at a time.

So, take heart, my friend. You can overcome your lack of focus in this battle for your thoughts. Arm yourself with the truth of God’s Word to conquer destructive wanderings and entrenched beliefs. Whether it’s struggling to believe in God’s love or your forgiveness, find verses that speak to your heart and fight back. You can be an overcomer, led by the Holy Spirit, taking captive every thought, making them obedient to Jesus as Lord of your life.

Remember, with the Focused Faith Formula as your guide, you can overcome spiritual distractions, stay focused on your spiritual journey, and make meaningful progress in your relationship with God. Don’t let distractions deter you; embrace the tools and strategies to win the day. Your journey towards a deeper, more focused faith is about to begin.

xoxoxo,

 

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