God and Obstacles

There are many things that might deter you from a rich relationship with God, but there are two worth singling out: 1) the fear of judgment, and 2) the fear of disappointment.

The fear of judgment keeps you from a rich relationship with God because you just can’t believe that God can forgive your sin. You know your sin and guilt, and although you like the idea of a closer relationship with God, you wouldn’t dare pursue it. You think a person as messed up as you just isn’t supposed to be close to God. The fear of judgment imagines God frowning, crossing his arms, annoyed, angry, fed up with your mess-ups. He is not a Father running to meet you, but one waiting to punish you. How could you draw near to him?

The fear of disappointment, on the other hand, says, “Oh yeah, I get that relationship stuff. I’ve tried it before. Have you seen how crazy my life is?” This is a fear that doesn’t tempt us to stop believing; it tempts us to forfeit a life of intimacy with Jesus because we just don’t think that kind of life is possible for us. We’ve tried it. We just can’t do it. And therefore we’ve bunkered down into a Christian life solely about survival.

But God has something to say. If we struggle with either of these obstacles, Hebrews 10 speaks up with the good news that Jesus abolishes both fears at the cross.