Bible Truth Examiner

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OVERCOMING ALL BARRIERS

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

“Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way.”

 

Genesis 24: 56

 

A BARRIER may be defined as a structure, such as a fence, to bar one’s passage; something

that obstructs or impedes. Literal barriers may be either natural, such as a landslide, or man

made, such as a prison wall, residential wall or a barricade. Figurative barriers refer to various

hindrances or obstacles in life. Both kinds of barriers can serve good purposes. In most cases,

literal barriers save one from danger, whereas figurative barriers tend to strengthen one’s

character.

 

Genesis 24 narrates the story of Abraham, who sent his servant Eliezer to select a bride for his

son Isaac. God prospered Eliezer’s mission, by leading him to Rebekah. But when Eliezer

desired to leave promptly with Rebekah, he was hindered, because her brother and mother

wanted to delay their departure for several days. That is when Eliezer spoke the words of our

text. They decided to ask Rebekah, who indicated that she was ready and willing to leave

immediately. The obstacle was overcome.

 

Although God does not place barriers in the lives of His consecrated people, He permits certain

barriers for our good and for our protection. For example, when the Apostle Paul desired to

preach God’s Word in Asia, he was hindered from doing so (Acts 16: 6).

 

The barriers that are permitted to come into our lives come from one or more of three sources –

the world, the flesh and the Devil. Let us consider six common barriers that come into the lives

of God’s people, barriers that can undermine our consecration to God, unless we overcome them:

 

Time Barrier

 

Time is an important element in God’s Plan. He does everything in His own “due time,”

according to His own definite and pre-arranged Plan. He expects His children to follow His good

example in the proper accounting of their time (Psalm 90: 12) (Ephesians 5: 15, 16). When we

present to Him our human all (Romans 12: 1), it includes everything we have. Therefore, as

respects our time, we dedicate it all to God, and He entrusts it to us as His stewards, to use it

fruitfully in His service.

 

Satan, the world and our fleshly desires will make the misuse and abuse of time a barrier, a

hindrance (1 Thessalonians 2: 18), to our faithful use of it in the Lord’s service. Our time is short

and precious, and not to be wasted, but to be used carefully and wisely in order to attain the

glorious reward of the calling to which God has so graciously invited us.

 

The Apostle Paul declared in Colossians 3: 2, “Set your affection on things above [the things of

God’s Kingdom], not on things on the earth.”

 

Let us follow our Lord’s example, who was always about His Father’s business, and whose meat

was to do the Father’s will (Luke 2: 49) (John 4: 34).

 

There are many humanitarian good works, but they can divert attention and consume time which

has been consecrated to another and higher use. Humanitarian good works for man’s

rehabilitation will soon be properly and effectively accomplished in “the times of

restitution” (Acts 3: 19-21). Besides, there are others engaged in these works, who do not have

the higher calling and service given to us.

 

Space Barrier

 

Unfaithfulness in our consecration will bring in a space barrier between us and our Heavenly

Father, our Lord Jesus and our brethren. The space barrier may begin with a looking back

longingly for the things left behind. That may lead to a measurable drawing back from our full

devotion to God. In a parable, our Lord shows His disapproval of those who, when they have

heard the Word of the Kingdom, go forth in consecrated efforts, but allow cares, riches,

pleasures and selfish desires of this life to hinder their progress, and they bring forth no fruit to

perfection (Mark 4: 18, 19) (Luke 8: 14).

 

The space barrier may also come between them and the brethren. They gradually cool off in their

warmth of spirit and are apt to become discontented and critical, even forsaking church

assemblies (Hebrews 10: 25), and finding themselves more in accord with the people and things

of this world. For example, note the case of Demas (2 Timothy 4: 10). They may then pray less

frequency, even quitting altogether (1 Peter 3: 7).

 

Although this is a sad state, we have a merciful God, who is willing to forgive and restore us

upon repentance (James 4: 8-10).

 

Economic Barrier

 

Earning income and acquiring material things can become a barrier, if they are used for selfish

gratification. The consecrated should keep in mind that whatever they acquire of money, goods

or other benefits is not their own, but belongs to the Lord, to be faithfully used as His stewards.

The Apostle Paul exhorted, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some

reaching after have been led away from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with

many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6: 7-12, American Standard Version, ASV).

 

One erects an economic barrier between himself and God if he devotes his consecrated time,

attention, influence and energy to the amassing of wealth or other earthly advantages beyond his

reasonable needs and to the best interests of God’s cause. On the other hand, a similar economic

barrier may be erected if he neglects to use that which is in his hand in God’s service, giving

liberally of all that he has beyond the reasonable provision for the needs of himself and his

dependents. Let us not follow the example of the foolish man in the parable, who laid up treasure

for himself and was not rich toward God (Luke 12: 13-21).

 

Some may feel that they have an economic barrier between themselves and God because they

are so poor that there is little or nothing beyond their temporal needs to use in God’s service.

Such should remember that God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16: 7) and rewards accordingly

(2 Corinthians 8: 11, 12) (2 Corinthians 9: 7).

 

Intellectual Barrier

 

The natural tendency of intelligence, knowledge and education, without sufficient development

in humility and love, tends toward pride (1 Corinthians 8: 1), and thus erects a barrier between

himself and God, “for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5: 5).

Such should recognize that whatever knowledge we have acquired is not our own invention, but

is a gift from God, received through His Word, for He is the source and dispenser of all true

knowledge and wisdom.

 

On the other hand, others may feel that there is a barrier to their serving God acceptably and

efficiently because of their lack of knowledge and wisdom according to this world’s standards.

But such should remember that if they ask God for wisdom, He “giveth to all men liberally, and

upbraideth not” (James 1: 5).

 

Hereditary Barrier

 

We have all inherited sin and death from Father Adam, but let us not allow this to be a barrier

against our coming to God through Christ and serving Them in truth and righteousness. The

Psalmist testifies, “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. LORD, hear my voice: let

thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications” (Psalm 130: 1, 2). Feeling his own

shortcomings and longing for full deliverance from every imperfection, and prophesying the

bountiful provisions of God’s Plan of salvation through Christ, he adds, “If thou, LORD,

shouldest mark iniquities [imputing them to us], O LORD, who shall stand? But there is

forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared [reverenced]” (vs. 3, 4). These are blessed

assurances when one is conscious of his infirmities, of his being overtaken in faults, for such are

freely forgiven through Christ (Romans 8: 1).

 

Environmental Barrier

 

Many avoid coming to God because of the environmental barrier; and many who profess

Christian discipleship are proving slack and unfaithful in fulfilling their consecration and are

thus erecting a barrier between themselves and God. They excuse themselves by blaming it on

the godless environment of the present day. It is true that we are living in a generation like unto

that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19: 1-25) (Luke 17: 28-30), but God is looking only for

faithful and strong characters who overcome despite the obstacles, temptations and fiery trials

that He permits for their testing. The Apostle Paul exhorts, “Be not ye therefore partakers with

them. . . . Walk as children of light. . . . Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no

fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5: 3-14).

Let us continue against all barriers, all hindrances, to “Fight the good fight of faith,” and thus to

“lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6: 12).

 

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