16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
God knows our heart. In fact, He knows our heart better than we know it ourselves. Like any loving parent, God will point out the things in out life that we have placed a priority on that is hindering our ability to live a happy, productive life.
The young man in this scripture, often referred to as “the rich young ruler”, recognized that there was something missing in his own life that was limiting his relationship with God. Jesus, in his typical loving, teaching and straight-forward way, lead the young man straight to the issue…“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Unfortunately, the young man was not willing to part with his worldly possessions for the promise of heavenly treasures and closer relationship with his God. His worldly possessions, because he prioritized them over his relationship with God, were an obstacle that stood between himself and God.
Worldly possession, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing. However, anything that prevents or limits one from serving God fully is an obstacle. There can be many different obstacles in a persons life. Some common obstacles may include:
Spiritual Neglect – not reading His word and praying regularly
Pride in Self – not acknowledging our need for God and fellowship with other believers in our life
Pursuit of Power – Seeking positions of power over others (as opposed to serving others)
Addictions – Drug and alcohol abuse are the commonly recognized additions, however any activity or substance that limits our ability to serve God is an obstacle
Many things in life, like possessions, are not inherently bad or evil. Only when they become prioritized over service to God do they become obstacles and limit our relationship with God.
What obstacles exist in your life today that prevent you from fully experiencing the relationship with God that He desires.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
May your remove any obstacle that prevents you from experiencing the fullness of your relationship with God.