The Barrier to God

There is an awesome barrier that stands between people and God. But it is not what you think! So let’s take a look at barriers and glass ceilings.

In various professions, social circles and communities there are hidden barriers. Entry to the inner circle or just any entry at all can be frustrated by some form of secret practice. The “in” group have their ways and means of preserving their place and blocking others who they don’t want in their area of influence.

In some professions women find it hard to gain entry. I know of workplaces where only people of particular sexual orientation end up being employed. Ben Stein’s recent doco, “Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed”, exposes the significant barrier thrown up against anyone who questions the Evolutionary dogma. The British BBC TV comedy series, “Yes Minister”, produced in the early 1980’s, celebrates the collusion of Public Servants in frustrating the wishes and intentions of the elected government minister.

In the case of secret societies or in places where secret agreements operate processes are put in place to take power away from people and to exclude people.

At a more basic level, individuals can face barriers which belong just to them. A problem child in a class can so frustrate their teacher that the teacher takes a set against them. The same could happen within a family toward someone who causes shame or hurt. And so it goes.

We are all accustomed to limitations and barriers, glass ceilings, obstacles and hurdles, and even impenetrable prohibitions. So, what are the barriers that block our approach to God?

Now an evangelical may be quick to say, “Sin!” Sin is a barrier, and the Bible says so.

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

But, I protest, sin is not a barrier to our approaching God. Sin is the very reason why we need to approach Him! So what then is the barrier?

What stops people from finding God’s grace? What stops people from receiving salvation? What blocks people from being transformed by His power? Is it their past life? Is it their theology? Is it the denomination they are connected with or the preacher they listen to? Is it their level of selfishness? Or is it hereditary?

What is it that God sees which causes Him to frustrate man’s approach to Him? What causes God to put up barriers and obstacles in man’s way? Why does God not have a completely open door, welcoming all comers freely, just the way they are?

Hmmmmm ?

The answer is that there is NO BARRIER! God has not put up barriers to man’s approach. God does not try to frustrate man’s search for Him. God has a completely open door, welcoming all comers freely, just the way they are!

The barrier is not put there by God. The barrier is put there by man!

The barrier to God is in the heart of man. It is man’s rejection of God and God’s terms that creates a barrier between man and God. Any man, woman or child can come freely to God, whenever they choose to. They can approach God and accept His salvation and His grace, on His terms.

When people reject God’s salvation, God’s grace and God’s open offer for their lives a barrier suddenly appears between them and God. God has not changed and God has not withdrawn all of His blessings. Man blocks himself from receiving them because of his rejection of God’s open offer.

So, do you sense a barrier between yourself and God? Do you think God has placed obstacles in your way? Look again. The obstacles are in your heart, not in God’s hand. Man’s rejection of God is the obstacle, not God’s rejection of man.

Hmmmm….

Blood is Thicker Than Water

People are bound together by many things. Family ties are an important and valuable link between people. The saying goes that ‘blood is thicker than water’. This is often quoted when someone acts in a nepotistic fashion, giving advantage and favour to a family member at the expense of others who should have been considered.

But the blood bond is not the only bond, and at times it is not a good bond. King Solomon advised that a near neighbour is better help than a brother who lives a long way off.

Neighbourly support is a sweet benefit for those who enjoy it. My 99 year old neighbour, Howard Perkins, at home caring for his 92 year old wife, Marion, gets plenty of support from others in the street. Patricia drives him to the local market so he can do his shopping. Kalliope calls around regularly to cut Marion’s hair. And so it goes. Up until just a few years ago Howard was cutting the lawn of an elderly lady who is just a little older than he. She is now in a nursing home and will beat him to the ‘century’.

Then there are the networks of church and social groups. These provide long-term friendships and support bases for people. Social research during the great depression found that those who survived unemployment and loss the best were those who had a strong family network and who were well connected into a church.

Then again, there are the less obvious connections of such things as secret societies. In these, people make vows to others and are bound to fulfill them. The connection may be ideological, such as we see with religious fanaticism, or it may be entered into from some lure of privilege, such as may attract some to the Masonic societies.

Where these secret connections exist they are often called upon by covert signals, such as handshakes, stance postures, and so on. A man in the docks can signal to the jury by assuming a prescribed posture. Anyone in the jury who is a fellow Mason is thus obligated to rescue the defendant, even if he is obviously guilty.

Now, having given than elaborate introduction, here is my point.

Blood is thicker than water and secret alliances may hold greater sway, but the Fear of God is thicker yet again!

When a person acts in the fear of God they are willing to uphold justice and righteous standards for all. They will not give leniency to their family, as that would mock God. They will not give special consideration to their neighbours, as that will rob someone else of justice. They will not let off an offender because of secret vows made to the secret society.

The answer to any request for such treatment should be “No, you have violated a higher moral ethic than my secret commitments with invocations and vows. My responsibility to the living God is of a higher rank than the promises of my lips, my subscriptions to secret collusions and vows, my care for my family or the members of my society.

Whenever the fear of God is not the ‘thickest’ thing in our life, we end up compromised and morally damaged. I challenge you to be in thick with God. Let the cord that binds you to Him be the thickest of them all.