Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Diana Licon.
We all have hidden barriers that we’ve built in our lives. Some barriers are from trauma or things people said or did to us. We back away when we see those things again. Sometimes we have barriers in us that we’re not even aware of.
Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
There’s a difference between having a relationship with God and only knowing about him because we’re in a group or church. In a relationship with God, we need to strive to be our very best and understand about barriers. We’re growing through our entire Christian life. Today we’re talking about identifying and seeing how barriers are created, how to get past the barriers, and how to create good barriers.
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
A spiritual division can create a barrier, even between people who really love God and want to serve him. It can create a barrier if you have a difference of opinion in what is being brought. Unless we’re diligent to break down differences, it can create a barrier. We need to understand that people will bring what they understand and ask God to help us. There are many religions but it is because people have so many opinions and won’t change their opinion. God is not happy with those divisions. Divisions cause barriers that can become a comfort, a wall, or a culture. Our barriers must not affect or interfere with our relationship with God. If we hide behind a religious barrier and don’t seek God face to face, how’s our relationship with God? As we pray and read the Word, are we being obedient to all the Word and living a life that is free from sin? We need to make sure the barrier of sin hasn’t separated us from God. We must be sure we seek truth if we seek God – not just hiding behind the name of the Church of God. It must be a personal relationship.
It can be embarrassing to admit we’re wrong. People invest a lot in their personal beliefs and may take a huge upheaval to correct. Sometimes whole families have held personal beliefs that aren’t right according to the truth. People come to a crossroad where they have to chose what they’re going to do about those beliefs. They have to decide whether they’re going to stay in the barrier they’ve built or to humble themselves as they ask God to show them how to walk. When people leave a denomination, there’s often persecution from family who stay there. We have to weigh what’s more important – seeking truth and knowing you’re right with God and enduring the persecution, or not. Being true to God should be the most important thing. We need to make sure that our walk with God is correct, not just a comfort zone we’ve chosen. Seeking God with all our heart is needed for the saved and for those seeking God. At nine years old, Sister Diana and a friend went from church to church seeking God. They knew they would feel different when they found him. We can know where God is, even if we’re only a child. When she began seeking God many years later, she prayed for God to help her and God led her to the Church of God. In the first message she heard that we’re going to live the Bible way or there’s a door to leave. She was shocked but saw that people were agreeing and weren’t at church to play games. She saw people who wanted to be right with God and said that’s where she wanted to be. At first she heard truth that went against teachings she had learned. Those false teachings acted as a barrier to her finding God. When God shined the light on that barrier, she read the scriptures and let the false teachings go. Most people in false religion sincerely desire that they’re right with God and don’t see that they’re believing false teachings. They don’t study the Bible or have someone who can point them in the right way. As we deal with them, we must not think of them as being in false religion but think of them as a soul that needs to be connected to God.
People have barriers that keep them from receiving truth but we have to stop throwing cannon balls at their barriers. Their reaction will be to throw up another barrier and then we can’t reach them. If we start attacking them and their barriers, we’ll lose the opportunity to help them. If we ask God to direct us, we can talk to them about whether they’re happy and content. We can’t assume they’re a sinner because they belong to a different church. There are beautiful people we want to reach who are trapped behind religious barriers. We can’t reach them by verbally attacking the way they act or live or their lifestyle. We won’t help them but will cause them to throw up barriers to resist us. It shows a lack of respect. Even if someone is blatantly wrong in our opinion, it’s harmful for us to attack that. We need to just be quiet and nice or barriers will be raised between us. It’s better to be quiet than to attack and criticize. The children’s song says don’t say anything at all if you can’t say something nice. “Take a bit of good advice, say nothing.” People are tired of fake and being told, it will be ok and just pray once and a while. People are tired of virtual reality and want what’s real. They’re sick and confused about what is truth. Throwing insults and criticism at them won’t help them find the truth and reality. Before she was saved, Sister Diana heard someone say a bad word. They invited her to go to church with them but she knew that wasn’t where she should go. People can tell by our words and actions if we’re Christians. We don’t want to discount what people say and God doesn’t want us to fight every battle. If her husband forgets to pick up his socks, she just picks them up. It isn’t worth fighting a battle over. There are times when we need to take a stand. When we’re in a toxic situation, we can leave quietly. Throwing out a lot of comments to show our righteous indignation just throws up barriers. Leaving early from a situation can create an opportunity to testify later.
Experts believe that toxic and abusive family relationships can affect our well being with the impact of estrangement. It’s important to not bare that kind of toxic fruit! Some fruit is sweet to eat but inside it has the ingredients of cyanide. This is true when our words contain toxic elements. Jesus never used harshness to win souls or in his relationships with people. He always looked beyond where they were. As Jesus tried to arm his disciples for difficulties and temptations they would meet, he told them to be wise as serpents. We may think we have wisdom because of how many years we’ve served God but forget to be harmless as doves. We need to be harmless as doves with all souls to not build walls when people go against what we believe, our morals, or whatever. Some in families won’t talk to others in the family because of criticism and things said which resulted in barriers between them. If we’ve been guilty of that, it will take a lot of work to tear down that wall. Humility that puts other people before you is the key to tearing down that wall. It takes humility to not go where people are focusing on others problems. We should get to a place where we mostly avoid a toxic person that is always running others down because of their toxic condition.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
We should want no barriers between people. If we find a barrier, we want to go to the person and make things right. We need to respect people who come among us and don’t appear as we expect so we show them the love of God. Children need to be corrected but there’s a good way to do it. We can put a barrier if we don’t handle them with love.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
When God corrects us about barriers we have, we should gladly receive it so we can stay close to him. The Lord can heal all our wounds where there’s been damage. People who are wounded by something build a barrier around the injury. It may be in the form of unforgiveness. When people try to show us our faults, we may not listen and throw up a barrier. When God shows us, we can get rid of the barrier. Sister Diana had a leg injury that healed with scar tissue that requires her to limber up that leg after many years. When we’ve been in sin many years, there can still be scar tissue that the enemy uses to attack us. It’s up to us to stay connected to God and remove any barriers he shows us. God will heal our heart. We seek reconciliation to remove barriers. Jacob and Esau reconciled (Genesis 32, 33). Joseph was reconciled with his brothers (Genesis 50). The apostles were burdened to keep out division. Job was steadfast.
Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
We need to build up Christ and build walls between things that would separate us from Christ and his way or each other. Humility is key not creating barriers. Job was humble and it resulted in God pouring out a blessing of more than he previously had. Christ was humble. When we come to Christ, we humbly lay ourselves before him. The song Just As I Am (Author: Charlotte Elliott) says, “Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me” and in the last verse, “Just as I am, Thy love unknown; Has broken every barrier down;” Jesus wants to break down any barriers if we’ve not been harmless as doves. Ask God to search us and see if we have barriers we need to break down.
II Chronicles 14:7 Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.