Obstacles to Adoration
It would seem worship and adoration should be the natural outflow of every believer's life, but its not. There are always obstacles hindering us from finding this place of adoration. Isn't it true that the more we try to quiet our minds to focus on the Lord, the more we get distracted and frustrated with our efforts. I've found the key is to approach God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Let go, yield your thoughts to the Holy Spirit and He will help you. Isn't that what Jesus promised he would do?
Foster identifies a few obstacles to adoration from C. S. Lewis. First is inattention. We can all agree life can be overwhelming and draw our attention away from the inner place of adoration. These distractions are not necessarily wrong, but just the obligations of life. This is where spiritual disciplines come into play. I was thinking yesterday about Mary of Bethany who took time to learn and receive from Jesus and then when the time came, she anointed his feet with love and adoration. The second obstacle is the wrong kind of attention? We often miss God in the moment because we're not looking for him or expecting him. The right kind of attention is actively seeking the Lord and waiting on the Lord in expectation. Don't miss the beauty in life that surrounds us everyday. These things lead us to adoration. The third obstacle to adoration is greed. Foster notes that our constant desire for more and more will "destroy our ability to adore" because it "keeps us from reflection." If we think about it, this is a matter of trust. Do we trust God with our dreams and desires in life? Are we willing to rest in his will reflecting on his goodness and perfect plans for our life? One last obstacle from Lewis is conceit. Foster convicts me when he says that this can be a struggle for teachers. We can lose patience with those just beginning to learn and struggle with the biblical concepts we teach. For me, this is always an indicator that I've slipped into teaching from self and not through the Holy Spirit. He is never impatient, he never makes assumptions, or teaches to receive applause. The Holy Spirit only ever draws people deeper into knowing Jesus Christ. He draws us into love and adoration for the King of kings and the Lord of lords. In fact the way to overcome all four of these obstacles to adoration is to ask the Holy Spirit for help. I know I say that a lot, but its so true!