Are Your Unresolved Relationship Issues Affecting Spiritual Development?

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribut...

Why do we have so much difficulty receiving from God in worship?  Here  is a good diagnostic question to begin with: Do we have broken relationships that need mending?  In worship we are we focused upon people and things– or are we focused upon God.  Before one comes to a time of worship, it is good to stop and take a moment and refocus our thoughts upon spiritual things. Refocusing in this way has a way of dissipating the concerns of life and reducing them to a manageable matter of faith. The psalmist said that God inhabits the praise of his people. The fact is that when we focus on God, everything that used to matter just becomes an infinitesimal issue.

Another question that  is important to worship is: unresolved ethical issues with those around us. One  central theme that shows an ignored truth that affects spiritual relationships–is the need for justice: the need for justice and fair play. Job said he needed an advocate to speak for him and plead his case before God. Amos said let justice roll down like a river. The unfortunate fact among contemporary Christians is an absence of justice–respect,  in how people relate to others.   Sadly, this is not an anomaly it is a regular occurrence. The truth is that when we fail to follow the teaching of Jesus about relationships, we cannot approach God with a clean heart nor have an effective relationship of worship with God.

Attitudes Are More Important Than Sacrifice or Actions

Jesus said except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees had, the right religious actions, expressions, and ritual. But they had inner attitudes that precluded them from having intimacy with God. Like a lot of religious people and leaders, they were self-focused  in their religious activities. Self serving motives, when trying to relate to God do not move God. One question that is helpful to ask is: whose need is being met in what I do in relationship to God and my fellow man .  (e.g. who is the focus on?)

Attitude Must Precede Worship

Jesus said that before we bring our gift to the altar, which is worship, go reconcile yourself to your brother. If there was more of this going on before worship, we would not have to sing as long or preach as long.  Broken relationships equal broken worship that is ineffective.

What Is Really Important To You?

Jesus was asked one time what is the greatest command?  He said that we must love God with all of our being and love our fellow-man: the Ten Commandments in one statement. Unfortunately, you cannot have one without the other. The act of loving God equals loving others as ourselves. Why are we so concerned about whether people drink, dance, smoke, and all the other “Thou shall nots” when we do not address inner attitudes that are stunting our spiritual growth and which are so devastating to those under us and around us?

Worship is most effective when we look inward, look outward, then upward.

He That Hath An Ear Let Him Hear

I hope that you have come to life today with a desire to experience God in a real way. God has something to say to you that you need to hear.  The question is: are you ready to hear it?  Many people spend their life searching for the voice of God, but He has already spoken, many times we are just not hearing.  Hebrews chapter one says that God has spoken in many ways in the past, like prophets and by spiritual leaders.  Many people today are still looking for the voice of a prophet to speak to them.  The writer of Hebrews said that God has spoken to us by His Son Jesus in these last days… and His voice is ringing into the future.

What is there that anyone could say that would add to the words of Jesus? [Nothing.] Many people present themselves as God’s voice in the present and have enamored a following, but the only voice that we need to hear today is that of Jesus. There is nothing that can be said that is more important than what–He said  … Are you ready to hear?

The Most Important Activity of The Christian life

Worship is a spiritual activity. The success of that activity depends on our awareness of the Holy Spirit and our willingness to allow Him to lead us. I believe that the Holy Spirit wants to help us experience liberty when we worship. What must we do to have liberty? Evangelist D. L. Moody said, “ I am sorry to say that we must there must be a funeral in a good many churches before there is much work done. We shall have to bury the formalism so deep that it will never have any resurrection.” Moody makes a point that is good to be observed by all churches. Rituals and externalism can replace the power and dynamic of the Holy Spirit in worship.

One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to bring liberty to captives. Paul wrote, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. “ (2 Cor. 3:17)  When we have spent the week in the work-world, raising children, or dealing with the problems of life, our thoughts are taken captive by the drama that is played out in our life.  One of the things that we can to give us greater liberty to worship on Sunday is to make preparation throughout the week.  Every day we should take time to reflect upon our spiritual needs. We can do this by reading our Bible.  As we read the Bible, its words recall the story of God’s greatness and the need of all humanity has for help in the time of need. Also, we can do this by praying.  When we pray, there is the reminder of failures, the need for forgiveness, and the compassion which God–who loves us even when we are less than perfect provides. In addition, we can do this by praising. Every day we need to take some time and make note of  how we are blessed,  and thank God for the wonderful, abundant grace that he provides.

Have you taken time to prepare to meet God today? If you have not, right now is  a good time to stop and ask God to make you sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to speak to you today about the need that you are experiencing in your life. God is here today to meet your needs and to give you liberty to live for Him.


2 thoughts on “Are Your Unresolved Relationship Issues Affecting Spiritual Development?”

  1. Really enjoyed this post, particularly the emphasis on internal attitude over external behaviour. It is very interesting to me how this is subtly linked to both emotional and spiritual intelligence.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks so much. You are right and perceptive to point the connection out. It is a reflective process that is bi-directional. There is a connection between behavior, thoughts, feelings, and the spiritual life that requires intuition and self-regulation.

      Best Regards,


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