#029: Does God Have All of You? 5 Reasons Why You Might Be Holding Back

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We are officially in December! Crazy!

Since we are in the Advent season where it's all about the hope and joy we find in Christ, and also the anticipation of Christ's birth, I want to ask you a question: Does God have all of you?

Here's why I asked: 

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
— Deuteronomy 6:5

Take note of the repeated word in this verse: "all".

In Scriptures, we are commanded to love God with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds - every single drop of us. 

But it's easier said than done. Often times we have the head knowledge that we should love God with our everything, but deep down in our hearts, something is holding us back.

So today, I want to take a look at 5 of the reasons why we might be withholding pieces of us.

This is a short list - there might be more - but this serves as a great starting point to begin a heart-to-heart conversation with God.

5 Heart Issues that Hold Us Back From God

Pride - "I don't need God." / "I don't see a need for Christ."

That was my heart before I accepted Christ.

A friend invited me out for coffee and she walked through the Gospel with me. She told me we were all sinners and we were all in need of Christ.

At the time, I was offended.

"What do you mean I am a sinner?! I am a good person. I am a good moral person. I don't need Christ."

My heart was hard. 

You might be in the same place right now. Allow me to encourage you to go to God in prayers. Be up front with Him and just go, "I don't see why I need Jesus."

You see, He already knows what's going on in your heart.
He just wants to have an open conversation with you.

A verse that comes to mind when I think of pride is Proverbs 11:2.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
— Proverbs 11:2

Allow me to pray for you, friend, that your heart and your ears would be open to God. I pray that your heart would be humble and teachable. I pray that you would have the courage to draw near to Him and allow Him to show you who He is and what He has done for you. I pray that, this Christmas, you will adopt a new perspective and will see everything in a new light.

Unconfessed Sins - "I'm avoiding God because I did __________."

These unconfessed sins may be a one-time event or they've been recurring. 

When there are unconfessed sins in our hearts, we tend to hide from God.

Look at what Adam and Eve did right after they sinned - they hid from God.

Sin can have a powerful hold on us, but let's take a look at what Christ did to sin and its effect on us:

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
— Romans 6:4-12

Because of Christ, we're dead in sin. We are dead in sin and alive in Christ Jesus.

We have been set free from whatever it is that we've been struggling with for years.

I encourage you to be courageous and brave - go to God and confess your sins.

Lift them up to Him. Confess and repent.

He already knows that you have committed the sin - whether it's a one-time sin or it's been over and over again.

You know what? When He looks at you, He doesn't see your sin.
He sees Christ's righteousness - that is what makes Christ's work so precious and so amazing!

Through Christ, you have been given the gift of eternal life and righteousness that you don't deserve but it is through God's amazing grace that you have been given this free gift so freely.

Shame - "God cannot love me because I'm so dirty." / "I can't go to God unless I have put my life back together first."

When Christ died on the cross, not only did He die for your sins, He also died for your shame.

He took your shame away the moment He breathed His last. It has been taken away.

If you've been feeling condemned, that is Satan's work.
He's trying to keep you from going to God, he's trying to keep you from feeling intimate with God. Don't let him.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
— 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

You have been washed, my friend. You have been sanctified and justified in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

There is no room for shame in you.
There is only a washed, clean slate you... all because of Jesus.

I encourage you to go to God right now. Drop down to your knees and experiences His presence.

Let Him embrace you. Let His love wash over you and overflow your heart with His mercy, His grace, His everything.

I know He's been wanting to do that. He's just waiting for you to say "YES!" to Him!

Fear - "I'm afraid that if I say 'Yes' to God, He will take _______ away."

About your fears... in all honesty, they could become true.
I can't guarantee they won't happen. I am not God. I do not know His plans for you.

However, this is when we need to look at what is timeless and unchangeable - God Himself.

God only does things that will bring Him glory, that is good, that is going to work out for good for you.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
— Romans 8:28
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
— Ephesians 2:10

When we have fear, we hold back a piece of us because we are afraid of losing control.
We are afraid of losing something that is actually sitting on our thrones when God should have been on the thrones.

The antidote of your fear is to trust God.
Trust that He does all things for good; He plans everything out for His Glory, and He will use you for His glory according to the gifts and talents He has put in you.

You are His workmanship created not for mediocre works, but for good works. 

Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith. You have to trust that whatever His plan is, it's going to turn out all right. It is going to turn out to be the sweetest thing ever, even if it takes you a few tears to get to.

I'll tell you a little story:

When I first became a believer, I was almost 21. I was a junior in college and I had just met my now-husband.

I really liked him. However, because I was a fresh believer, it was more important for me to really build a strong foundation of faith in Christ Jesus and to really grow in my faith, and also grow in my relationships with other godly women in my life. 

So Grant and I decided to just stay friends for the time-being, so that God could do work in us individually. 

At the time, I was so afraid. I wanted to be with Grant. I was afraid that if I had said yes to God, then I would lose Grant.

I remember I was taking a shower in my dorm, I was just sobbing in the shower. 
I was so afraid of losing Grant - not that I had him in the first place - really, I was just afraid of losing that control. 

But I felt like God was prompting me to just say yes to Him, and so as I was praying in the shower, "Yes, if this is Your will, do it! I'll wait - we'll just stay friends for now."

You know what, even though the next 7 months that we decided to stay friends was hard - it was so hard - looking back I am so glad that we had that time to work on our faith individually. I'm so glad I wasn't distracted by a "new boyfriend". 

God really used that 7 months to grow me, in my knowledge of the Word and also in prayer and those friendships with the Christian women in my life.

Even though it was scary, God used it for good.

I hope this little story encourages you. 

God will not allow bad things just for the sake of it. Even if things do get hard, keep in mind that He will always turn it into something good. Always.

Belief of Lies

 This is all going to be a heart check between you and God. I don't know what lies you're believing in. I might have something that I'm believing in deep down that I don't realize.

I want us to just go to God right now in prayers and be an open book.

Be listening to God so that He can reveal our sins, or the lies that we're believing in.

Let's pray right now: Dear God, I ask that You would open our ears. I ask that we would be listening to You right now. I ask that You would reveal to us any unconfessed sins we may have, any sins that we're not aware of, any lies that we're believing in. I pray that You would reveal those to us so that we may confess and repent and stay away from those sins and lies. I pray that You would give us the truths to hold onto instead of believing in the lies. I pray that we don't just do it one time but regularly. I lift up us sisters in Christ. Let us continue to sharpen each other's iron. Let us keep on encouraging each other. Let us build authentic communities that build each other up and that we are there for each other. I pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Podcast music: Sunny Holidays & Summertime by Nicolai Heidlas

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