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Summary: There are many obstacles to Christian growth; our busy lives are the #1 reason for most. Let’s explore the reality of why we fail to sustain meaningful growth in our Spiritual lives.

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Obstacles to Growth

Romans 12:1-2

August 5, 2007

East Mt. Zion United Methodist Church

Graceville, FL

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Growth is a natural thing. Babies do it, adults even do it – anyone need a haircut? We all grow in one way or another, but often times there are obstacles to healthy Christian growth.

What is your obstacle? The most common answer to this is “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have the time.” These answers were most likely what many of you thought of a few seconds ago. It is true that as Americans go, we work harder, play harder and do everything to the extreme. When we do this, we don’t leave time for much else.

Look at me as an example. My family and I haven’t had a week long vacation in many years now. We have managed to take a few days here and maybe a weekend there but a serious vacation hasn’t been realized (yet). Why? Too busy? Too much going on? Too many irons in the fire? All of these are valid answers if only they were true. What is the truth?

According to a recent poll conducted by Mike Zigarelli, associate professor of management at Charleston University’s School of Business, 40% of Christians worldwide say that they often or always run from task to task. It is the studies finding that their hectic lifestyle is what is keeping them from going deeper in their walk with God.

Mr. Zigarelli stated in his own response to the poll results that covered 20,000 Christians from nearly 140 countries, that the answer to the disturbing yet revealing reality of our society will be found in the twelfth chapter of Romans;

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

When we choose sleep over God, television over Bible study, work over prayer, and family over church is we are telling God that He isn’t as important than what we have going on in our lives! Would you stand up and lift your eyes heavenward and tell God that He is not as important as your life, your schedule, your job, your family, your friends, or your career to His face? That would be ludicrous wouldn’t it? That is exactly what we are doing when we don’t put Him first!

Sometimes I find myself like the little boy reasoned in his prayer to God. He told God that “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.” We get so caught up in realizing accomplishments that we see rewards of our efforts that are only temporary. How about that house? What about that car, your family, your career? It is ALL temporary! None will stand the test of time. We MUST realize that we cannot simply settle for temporary accomplishments when we should be about “laying up treasures in heaven.”


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