12 - Obstacle 1: Religious Legalism or Hypergrace

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
— Heb 12:1

The teachings of Jesus Christ are not just nice words; they are commands that must be followed if we are to count ourselves as true disciples, worthy of eternal life, and life to the full here.  However, as we begin this journey, there are obstacles in our way.  If they aren’t identified and removed, “Christians” may spend years exhausting themselves in a joyless, fruitless, busy, but going nowhere walk. 

Many experience this and don’t even realize it.  But, when they are able to finally see and remove the obstacles, their faith and joy flourish.

Naturally, our flesh, the world, and Satan conspire to work against us.  But let’s cover eight major obstacles that seem to impede most of us.

•     Religious Legalism or Hyper Grace

•     Fear of losing/giving up the things you love

•     Not being able to find enough time

•     Exhaustion from trying to live by self-effort

•     Current sin or guilt from past sin failures

•     Unforgiveness towards self or others

•     Poor discernment and understanding

•     Distorted view of evil and Satan

•     Distorted or incomplete view of God

Obstacle 1: Religious Legalism or Hyper Grace.

I currently live in the Bible belt in America, and after talking to countless people over 4 years in Starbucks, I saw two major religious extremes that are robbing people of life to the full in Christ.  As I have shared my testimony with people about how intentional obedience to Christ’s commands radically changed my experience with God, many showed internal resistance to the idea.  They grew up under religious legalism, where external religious appearances in their family never matched the brutal private reality.  They felt the pressure for righteous rule following, but what they experienced in the home was abuse and hypocrisy. 

Unfortunately, many that grew up in these types of “Christian” homes turn to atheism, but even more turn to the hyper grace movement.  They finally hear the message their itching ears long to hear, that God is all love, all mercy, all grace and they are covered under it all.  This is the false message (Jude 1:4) that suits their desire to love God without having to fight against orbe conscious of the sin they are still living in.  The devil wins either way because neither of these extremes leads to life to the full now, or eternal life later.  There is a much better path and it is the one we are on right now!  Be sure to listen to the added audio message in today's message.