Why Does Following God Seem So Hard Sometimes?
Does any one else want to know:
• That they are not the only ones always trying to “figure things out?”
• That they’re not alone in returning to sinful thoughts and habits that they thought were gone?
• That they’re not the only one who struggles with trying to discover God’s calling and will for their life?
• They are not the only one struggling with trying to fulfill both God’s calling for them and their earthly responsibilities?
• They’re not alone as they constantly search for the next thing God has for them, while often missing out on God him
• That they’re not alone on their journey with Christ?
• That they’re doing great and that God is well pleased with them?
You Are Not Alone
If you have any of these thoughts and feelings, you are not alone! The journey of faith can often contain doubt, questioning, and even frustration. That is normal. It is normal because although God created us in His image to follow Him and reflect his image to the world, the world we are born into has a completely different agenda. As Jesus told His disciples,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Know that the journey of faith also contains great joy and peace that can only be experienced as a follower of Jesus Christ. All of the questions above are things I have wrestled with, or still do. But I am here to tell you that it is possible to live in joy and peace and not have to “wrestle” so much with our faith.
How Do We Do This?
First, we have to come to terms with the fact that your faith journey will never be what you want it to be if other things in your life are more important than God; that is giving honor to Him and pursuing Him.
Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:4 ESV
Having idols in our lives doesn’t just mean worshiping literal bronze statues as gods. It means that anything we worship more than God Himself is an idol, and must be put in its place. Idols can be a sinful behavior, such as habitual over-drinking or devious business practices, or it can be worshiping our job status or our kids’ achievement in school or sports.
Reducing the status of idols in our lives is a process, most people don’t just decide God is #1 and then never have another problem with placing other things above Him. But if we seek the Lord diligently in prayer and worship, He will show us a new way to think and feel about these things that keeps them in their rightful place.
God Does It
Second, you have to realize that you can not "figure it out” all by yourself, or even with another person, unless God is an active part of your life and choices. You must include Him in your thoughts and actions. You need to seek Him and show patience and trust during the process of growing in your faith.
I encourage you to dive into His word, participate in active worship and prayer, and let your life be affected and changed by God Himself. He is the one that changes you through the Holy Spirit; you can not do it by yourself with mere “behavior modification.” Real, lasting change, occurs through transformation by God.