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Brian La Croix
We all know what sins are, but let me focus for a moment on those hindrances.
Hindrances are those things that may not be sins, but still keep you from living a life totally surrendered to God.
Imagine you are at a track meet, and they’re lining up for the 100 meter dash. Everything’s fine except for one contestant. Instead of the regular shorts and track shoes, he’s wearing a snowmobile suit and galoshes.
Now that’s probably not against the rules, but he’s not going to win, if he even survives the race.
The clothes are a hindrance to his success.
Take an inventory of your life to see if there are any hindrances to your walk with God.
W.H. Griffith Thomas scourged Christians this way, “There is no greater foe to Christianity than mere profession. There is no greater discredit to Christianity today than to stand up for it, and yet not live it in our lives. There is no greater danger in the Christian world today than to stand up for the Bible, and yet to deny that Bible by the very way we defend it. There is no greater hindrance to Christianity today than to contend for orthodoxy, whatever the orthodoxy may be, and to deny it by the censoriousness, the hardness, the unattractiveness with which we champion our cause. Oh this power of personal testimony ?with the heart filled with the love of Christ, the mind saturated with the teaching of Christ, the conscience sensitive to the law of Christ, the whole nature aglow with grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.?(Listening to tthe Giants, 149-50, Warren Wiersbe, Baker 1980)
Lord, send revival in mighty flood-tide;
Send streams of blessing to sweep far and wide.
Send them engulfing like waves of the sea;
Sweep through our lowlands and work mightily.
Send the outpourings of God’s Holy rain
Send mighty cloud-bursts again and again
Strike holy lightning at home and abroad;
Speak in your thunder, O Spirit of God!
Fill all our churches with rivers of pow’r
Flood man’s embankments in this holy hour!
Sweep away rubbish and all the debris;
Sweep all the hindrances out to the sea.
Things long unmoved by our normal smooth way
You can remove by Your flood-tide’s full sway.
Unsightly jumble that littered each side
Sweep to obliv’on by Your holy tide
Lord, send revival to flood all around;
Flood by Your blessing all low parched ground.
Sweep on in power; oh, sweep, mighty flood!
Sweep in all fullness, O river of God!
Dr. Wesley Duewel from "More God More Power"
THE LIFEBOAT STATION
, by Theodore Wedel
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give their time and money and effort to support its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little lifesaving station grew.
Some of the members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely, because they used it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. The lifesaving motif still prevailed in the club’s decoration, and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club initiations were held.
About this time, a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin and some had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was in chaos, so the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted upon lifesaving as their primary purpose and pointed o...
The Didache, is a first or second century document that relates to us outside the New Testament the teaching of the early church. This document "prescribed two fast days a week: Wednesday and Friday." For early Christians; this was seen as a regular part of daily discipleship.
John Wesley sought to revive the teaching of the Didache and urged early Methodists to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. He felt so strongly about this matter that he refused to ordain anyone to the Methodist ministry who did not fast on those two days.
Matthew Henry said, "Fasting is a laudable practice and we have reason to lament that it is generally neglected among Christians."
Hudson Taylor the great missionary and founder of China Inland Mission, said, "In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are-dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon."
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: "I wonder whether we have ever fasted? I wonder whether it has even occurred to us that we ought to be considering the question of fasting? The fact is, that this whole subject seems to have dropped right out of our lives and right out of our whole Christian thinking."
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Calvin, who saw that the Devil’s chief device was disunity and division and who preached that there should be friendly fellowship for all ministers of Christ, made a similar point in a letter to a trusted colleague:
"Among Christians there ought to be so great a dislike of schism, as that they may always avoid it so fast as lies in their power. That there ought to prevail among them such a reverence for the ministry of the word and the sacraments that wherever they perceive these things to be, there they must consider the church to exist...nor need it be of any hindrance that some points of doctrine are not quite so pure, seeing that there is scarcely any church which has not retained some remnants of former ignorance."
SOURCE: Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing, p. 107-108.
Have you ever been a parent waiting, watching and helping your child to take that first step or two without holding on to some thing. You brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles get in on this too. My daughter started walking by holding onto a coffee table when we lived in Jacksonville, Florida. When she started doing that I was so happy. But when she got to the end of the table she would stop. I would entice her with all kinds of things to get her to take that first step and come to me. Most of the time she would stand there with one hand on the table and wave at me with the other. One day I finally got her to let go and take three steps to get to me. Cathy and I were so happy! I picked her up in my arms and held her so tight. Cathy joined us and we all three hugged each other and jumped around.
Friends that first step experience is our Salvation experience. The table can be our help or our hindrance. We have to let go of it and step out. When we do and take that first step we have repented. When God reaches out and takes us we have been justified. AND God spends the rest of our life helping us get up when we sit down or fall. Then we eventually learn to pick those tiny feet up and run with the wind.
"In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak...
Sermon Central Staff
FEAR OF WITNESSING
Leighton Ford, Good News is for Sharing, 1977, David C. Cook Publishing Co., Page 15:
In preparing for this book, I have talked to a lot of people, and the fear issue comes up front again and again. What makes people hesitate to share their faith? Here are some of the fears that have been mentioned to me:
- "I am afraid I might do more harm than good."
- "I don’t know what to say."
- "I may not be able to give snappy answers to tricky questions."
- "I may seem bigoted."
- "I may invade someone’s privacy."
- "I am afraid I might fail."
- "I am afraid I might be a hypocrite."
Perhaps the most common fear, however, is that of being rejected. A survey was given to those attending training sessions for the Billy Graham crusade in Detroit. One question asked, "What is your greatest hindrance to witnessing?" Nine percent said they were too busy to remember to do it. Twenty-eight percent felt the lack of real information to share. None said they didn’t really care. Twelve percent said their own lives were not speaking, as they should. But by far the largest group was the 51 percent whose biggest problem was the fear of how the other person would react! None of us likes to be rejected, ridiculed, or regarded as an oddball.
(From a sermon by Mike Rickman, Whom Shall I Send, 8/5/2011)
Traps That Hinder Leaders: Dale Galloway enumerates these hindrances to relational ministry in his book On Purpose Leadership, Beacon Hill Press.
Insecurity—Selecting only those people who have the same gifts as the leader—or lesser gifts.
· Elitism—Developing a “leaders only” attitude that keeps one from sharing responsibility with others.
· Codependency—Making decisions not motivated solely on what’s best for others.
· Control Issues—Staying wrapped up in one’s own power needs.
· Immaturity—Caring more about themselves as leaders than others.
Lack of Trust—Conveying the idea that they don’t trust the people they’re trying to empower. (On Purpose Leadership, Galloway, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2001)