Eleven ways to push God away

Sins are pushing ourselves away from God

You know that sermon, the ones where we are asked, “Do you want more of God?” I would reply, “Yes, I want more of God.” If people who wanted more of God were to be asked to come forward for prayer, I may well be amongst them.

In fact, I would probably say, “I want God’s everything. I want to be so close to him. I want to draw near.”

A ridge of bare rock under a blue sky. In the foreground is a sign written in Arabic script and English saying "Mount of Temptation".d

I am in two minds about this, because I play tricks with God, with other people and with myself – tricks where I say come close and stay back at the same time. The me that I present to God, to the world and to myself, the me I want to be, is at war with the other me, the selfish me that is happy how I am. I’m like the Apostle Paul in this. this:

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 

Romans 7:22-24 ESV UK

Here are some lessons on how to push God away from me, an expert. It works on three levels:

Towards God

1. Do not trust God.
“Did God really say that?” said the Eden snake to Eve, but the snake was a liar. God is trustworthy, God will protect us like a mother cares for her children. like a mother hen protects her chicks. God has promised to protect us and God can be trusted.

2. Do it your own way.
Frank was wrong, or rather Paul Anka who wrote the song was wrong, but it was Sinatra who made My Way popular. God’s way is not our way and calls for humility

3. Run from vulnerability.
Hollywood films have got it wrong, vulnerability is not something to be ridiculed, something to be covered up until we have overcome it. Our strength comes from God, The Holy Spirit says “Open your real heart, so God can do real work in you.”

4. If you find following God too hard, too inconvenient and too uncomfortable that is OK.
The Holy Spirit says, “Listen to my voice – and obey – and you will find your way.” Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Lu. 11:28

5. Run from change, it will change everything good about your life.
The Spirit says, “God’s change is the beginning of your hope.” God want’s to change what is bad about your life.

Towards others

6. I don’t need to to help others.
God’s judgement will be, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Matt 25:45). Our job is to pass the love of God on to others.

7. I don’t need to stand against injustice.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. (Psalm 89:14). The 5th chater of the Epistle of James is a rant against those who get rich by paying workers minimal wages, this too is injustice. Living in God’s kingdom means living by God’s standards. God stands against injustice, so should we.

8. Build that wall.
“Build bridges, not walls,” said Pope Francis last year. We love to build walls between ourselves and God and also between ourselves and other people—between male and female, between white and other races, between straight and gay, between transgender ans cisgender. Then we build more barriers to keep those we have separated ourselves from from coming to God.

Towards self

9. Put yourself first.
When Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” he was not limiting how much we should love ourselves, but we should bring people up to that level. Egotism is the sin of not passing on God’s love to others.

10. Put yourself last.
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” means that you must not put yourself last either. To love others as you love yourself means you must love yourself. God thinks you are wonderful and worth dying for. Yes, you.

11. Think God wouldn’t do something that amazing for me.
God loves you, God wants to bless you and bless others through you. Believe He can heal, help and harness what is coming against you.

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