The world is full of contradictions. It tells us that we can have it our way and still live a righteous life. In my personal opinion, I haven’t found this to be true. Being who you want to be outside of God’s plan for your life means you will be crushed under the reality of sin. Submitting to who God designed you to be means living free of this world’s bondage over your life. The more in tune we are with Scripture and our relationship with Jesus Christ, the less of this world’s weight we will feel.

As easy as that is to write, and even understand: Sin means death and personal destruction. God’s way is equal to life, eternal blessings. It is often a lot more difficult to live out.

We live in a world that screams mixed messages and the Word of God is a whisper in it all. We must quiet ourselves and look to Him to see what’s actually going on. But it is so easy to simply hear and be distracted by the noise that the world is making.

It’s something that happens often, and if we are not careful to watch out, all we will be able to hear is the screaming of the world.

These are the top five things that may be keeping you from living in the fullness of the life God has for you:

Comfort
Comfort is the most undetected because it is often the one most pursued. And where sin is, human logic is often there as well. When we are greeted with discomfort in our life situation, everything inside of us longs to be comforted again. This is natural and not a bad thing.

Our downfall is that if something is uncomfortable or not easy to us, we believe that it is not God’s will or purpose for our life, when the very opposite is often true. God often uses discomfort to bring about His greatest glory. Look at 2 Corinthians 12:7, which speaks about Paul and his thorn in his flesh. Paul was discomforted by his “thorn in the flesh” and asked God several times to take it away. Yet God told Paul that His grace was sufficient in his discomfort.

The longing for comfort is natural and normal, but we must resist thinking that a comfortable lifestyle or life is what God desires of us, as there are many Biblical characters who lived and died in extremely uncomfortable lives. Being comfortable doesn’t mean God’s best, and being uncomfortable doesn’t mean unhappiness.

Desire

To desire a thing is not wrong. Desire, just like comfort, is a natural human instinct. It means that we are alive and have wants. The Bible speaks in many different books about the desires of our hearts, and how if we seek God first, He will grant them to us. The only hindrance is we often place our own desires above God. The easiest way to see what you truly desire is to ask yourself: What do I think about most? Where does most of my money go? What do I spend my time doing?

What our answers and actions point to in these three questions give us the conclusion to what we desire most.

Self

Often times, when we ask ourselves the top three questions, we get pointed back to one person: ourselves. We spend our money on clothes, restaurants, an upgrade or whatever it may be—most of our money is spent making us the most comfortable and getting our deepest desires.

When we ask ourselves what we think about most, we are often confronted with the truth that our thoughts are mostly centered around us and how to better ourselves. When we take a test on how we spent our time, the results return back that we spent our time on bettering our own lives, and selves, rather than seeing that the world is a lot bigger than just us.

This point is not to say that you shouldn’t invest in your life or take care of yourself. That would actually be counter-biblical. This point is referring to how much we are interested in ourselves, versus the lives of those around us and the lives around the world that are suffering. Hate is not the opposite of love. Selfishness is.

Pride
I don’t want to focus so much on sin alone, but on what silently and secretly draws us away from God. Pride is a tricky little one to pin down because it just slips right in and joins us for coffee in the morning. Think about this: What do you think you deserve? And why? The honest answer is probably that you don’t deserve it all, and that pride has taken you out for a date.

You’re at work, and someone says something to you randomly that was sincerely not meant to be rude, but it rubbed you the wrong way. Why? Not because that person was wrong, but because your pride says that you’re right, and they’re wrong. You deserve to go and give them a piece of your mind since you’re right, and they’re wrong! But in all actuality, humility wouldn’t get angry. Humility would let it slide, knowing that if God wants you to speak up, then you will. And if not, then God will deal justly with everything in life.

Pride is speaking in the place of God. Humility is bowing down to Him to speak for you.

Entitlement
Entitlement is a specific section of pride that says that if it’s not my way, it’s wrong. Entitlement says, “I deserve the best life now.” Where the Bible only speaks about laying down this life for Christ, in order to receive peace and eternal salvation.
Entitlement says I can have both: The life I want and the God that is just. This contradiction cannot be.

God is either just, or you can have the life you want. Christianity is all about sacrifice. Entitlement says no sacrifice needs to be made because it’s all about me. Next time you’re struggling to understand the distance between God and you, see if there are any silent killers going on in your life. Nothing keeps you from your faith more than not addressing your sin.