If we want to grow in intimacy with Jesus, we will encounter distractions, temptations, and difficulties along the way. That is sure. What is not sure is whether we will allow these obstacles to be hindrances to our love for Jesus or whether we will see them as stepping stones for growing deeper in Christ.
In pursuing a deeper love and intimacy with Jesus, there are three things that stifle our relationship with Him: the inability to accept correction, the unwillingness to change, and the temptation to confuse the journey for the destination.
In our efforts to love Jesus more intimately every day, we must realize that whatever heights we've attained, there is more.
Let's look at the first obstacle: the inability to accept correction. When a godly person points out some of the blind spots in our lives, how do we react? Our willingness to accept correction from a loving Christian brother or sister is one of the greatest indications that we are growing in our love for Jesus.
Secondly, to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, we have to be willing to grow and change. Some people are afraid of change and want to cling to the past. They would rather live comfortably than obey Jesus no matter the cost. As believers, our middle names should be change and growth because that is the nature of sanctification. In our efforts to love Jesus more intimately every day, we must realize that whatever heights we've attained, there is more. Whatever level of growth we have reached, there is always further to go in our love for Christ. The day we stop changing and growing is a day of immense spiritual danger.
Finally, the third obstacle to loving Jesus more intimately every day is confusing the journey for the destination. We either see ourselves as a citizen of this world with a passing interest in heaven or as a citizen of heaven passing through this strange land on our way to our final destination. Loving Jesus intimately means that we keep our eyes on our destination and yet serve Him here and now as we await the call of our Redeemer (see Philippians 3:20-21).
Prayer: Lord, protect me from the complacency, apathy, and pride that would keep me from seeking You wholeheartedly. When I encounter an obstacle in my faith, let it become a stepping stone to growth instead of a source of discouragement. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way" (Colossians 1:9-10).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series To Know Jesus Is to Love Him: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW