Some hindrances to intimacy with God growing in our lives are a lack of understanding of righteousness and the cares of this world (or busyness).
All hindrances of truly knowing God can be summed up in these two categories.
The first is a lack of understanding of righteousness.
If we don’t see how God sees us, who He created us to be, and who He redeemed us back to, then we are going to struggle with having a solid relationship with God.
Every time you come before Him to spend time with Him and talk with Him, you’ll hear a little voice telling you that you failed in some area, or you could have done something different or better.
And before you know it you feel dirty and unworthy to come before the Lord and the only thing coming out of your mouth is “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Lord. Please forgive me.”
Now, of course, we should confess our sins and receive forgiveness when we do something wrong or when we fall short. But we must also wake up and realize that Jesus died for us while we were YET sinners (Romans 5:8). And the moment we confess that sin is gone.
You see, the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He is the one trying to prove to us that we are failures and that we are not righteous, as if Jesus’ blood was not enough.
We need to understand where that voice is coming from and realize it is not God.
Jesus builds us up and gets our eyes on righteousness so that we can bear fruit unto holiness, while the devil tries to get our eyes off righteousness so that we never spend time with God and never get transformed.
But if Christ died for us while we were sinners do we really think He is threatened by our struggles?
If He welcomed us with open arms while we were actively choosing sin, how much more now that we are actively choosing righteousness but just stumble every once in a while?
And if God transforms us through intimacy with Him, why would sin be the determining factor of our relationship with God when Jesus already crushed it?
We need to see that God sees us as “holy, blameless, and above approach” because of what Jesus did on the cross. So every time we come to spend time with Him we need not let ourselves get hemmed up on our mistakes.
The fact that we want to have intimacy with God proves we have a pure heart and the fact that we are “struggling” and desiring to live pure proves we care and have a repentant heart.
So if you struggle to get close to God because of past mistakes, repent quickly, thank God that He sees you as if you’ve never sinned, and begin to worship Him as if you never stumbled.
The more you do this and get your eyes on the fact that Jesus has made you righteous, the more you’ll spend time with Jesus and the more your life will begin to look like His life.
The second hindrance is the cares of this world or the busyness of life.
A perfect illustration of this is when Jesus was in the house of two sisters; Mary and Martha.
While Jesus spoke, Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42)
The fact that Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened intently to His word is a picture of intimacy with the Lord.
Jesus showed here that it is very easy to get distracted by many things in this life, and although these things may be necessary they are not “that good part” that Jesus has called us to.
Of course, it is okay and good to clean our house, take care of the kids, work, pay the bills, etc. But if these things get in the way of our intimacy with the Lord then they have just replaced the main thing and that is when they become not okay.
Another time Jesus mentioned this is when He gave a parable about the word of God being sown into our hearts similar to how a seed is sown into soil.
Jesus explained that if we sow the word of God alongside the cares and worries of this life then those cares will grow next to the word of God and they will choke out the word in our lives, thus causing us to be unfruitful in our walk with the Lord.
So let’s not let things distract us so easily. Everything we see in this life is temporal and fading, but our relationship with God and the fruit we produce is eternal.
Some related articles on knowing God intimately: How to Start Knowing God (Step-by-Step), What Does it Mean to Know God Intimately? (Explained). , and 7 Tips to Have/Grow/Build/Develop/Cultivate Intimacy with God
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helped you in your walk with God.
God bless you all!