Monday, April 15, 2024

Always Standing in My Way

Always Standing in My Way 
by David Brenneman 

Charley Pride had a song out called "I'm Always Standing in My Way". It wasn't intended to be a gospel song, however, the first line sort of sticks with me. 

"I'm always there forever, I am
There between what I'm reaching for and the fingers on my hand
Blocking myself with things like words I shouldn't say
It seems I'm always standing in my way
Like the time I told you a lie
And I became the wall that stood between your heart and mine
I apologize but the truth is the truth don't ever fade
It seems I'm always standing in my way."

How often are we our own reason for what's between the righteous life that God desires for us and where we are in life?

Ezekiel was sent to an obstinate, stubborn people...not an unintelligent people or to a people that wouldn't understand the language he would use.  

Those people stood in their own way between them and their God. 

We can and do the same. We are the ones, whether in big decisions or small, stand in our own way. God says come this way and we don't. He says stay and we continue to walk. 

Perhaps the most quoted passage outside of John 3:16 is Psalms 23.

While the first points us to salvation in Christ Jesus...the second describes the life after coming to Christ for salvation. 

Oh how stubborn and stiff-necked we can be. It's a human trait that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. You're just as susceptible to it as everyone else. 

We can hold grudges for decades and forget why...and aren't interested in the real reason why. 

We can withdraw from others because of conversations that took place only in our minds. 

We can find reasons to not obey when it's extremely clear that the will of God has left no doubts as to how to proceed. 

Sometimes we are standing in our own way. 

We have a sin nature that isn't going away entirely until we leave this world for good. There are none that aren't struggling with it. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Our battlefield is in the Spiritual world.  

Denial is probably the epitome of stubbornness. Refusing to acknowledge what the Spirit has said, shown, or done to direct our paths.

We are a troubled people outside of the grace of God.  

The unmerited favor of God in Christ Jesus is what sets the Believer apart from the world. The mercy shown by God is just as much a part of the light of Jesus in us as that grace.  

I know that I am my own worst enemy. Yesterday we were challenged to drop the clipboard. To stop keeping records of wrongs by others. For me it's a clipboard of the wrongs that I myself have done that are an offense to my Savior.  

The Preacher yesterday made mention of a story that I won't entirely repeat. Suffice to say a specific portion is what is important. A person had made mention of meeting Jesus in person at various times. A skeptical Pastor wanted to talk to her about it. Issues a little challenge. That the next time she meets with Jesus to ask Him what was the last thing that he confessed in prayer. A few days later she calls. The Pastor asked what did He say? She said that Jesus said "I don't remember".

In our stubbornness we keep records of wrongs. We forget that when we do come to Christ to ask for forgiveness He does indeed cast them as far as the east is from the west...remembering them no more. 

If this is what Jesus does.. and the work of sanctification in us teaches us to be more like Christ...shouldn't we be doing that too?

Or are we going to continue to stand in our own way?

We have opportunities to grow in Christ...but we are worse than a toddler in a toy store in living life. We are distracted by everything else. It's not at all that we can't sit at the feet of Jesus, we can't keep our attention on Him. We're standing in our own way. 

Pray as often as you can. It wasn't ever meant to be at times of eating or only in times of distress. 

Jesus wants us to have an unhindered relationship with Him...with nothing standing in our way.

"So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:17-32

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation. 

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