Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). The Bible also states that darkness cannot coincide with light (I John 1:5; John 8:12; John 12:46; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). We can’t fill our lives with darkness and expect the presence of God to be evident within us. We spend too much time pursuing our desires and counting on God to bail us out when things don’t go our way. If you’ve been following Jesus for any amount of time, you realize it doesn’t work that way. As creatures of freewill, we have the ability to limit the power and presence of God in our lives. The more we fill our lives with sin and things not of God, the less room we have for Him.
It seems like an obvious principle, but most of us live as if we can defy the laws of nature and physics. There is a limit to the amount of mass any one container can hold. The more you fill a jar with one substance, the less room there will be for additional substances. This seems like common sense until we apply it to our spiritual lives. We have the mistaken notion that we can fill our hearts with sin and that God will be every bit as present as if we were serving Him with all of our hearts.
While it is true that God is spirit, omnipresent, and all powerful, we must recognize that He has surrendered a modicum of His power in order that we might have freewill. Thus He allows us to limit His presence in our lives if that’s what we should choose. How tragic that we actually choose to kick God out when it’s not convenient for us to submit to Him. Who among us believes they can succeed in life better without God? When we operate according to His will, we are unstoppable. Vulnerability creeps in when we act in our own strength.
I’m sure some read this as heresy. How can finite beings limit an all-powerful God? Freewill is the game changer. Because God loves us so much and desires us to love Him in return, He has imparted some of His power to us; He has given us the power and freedom to choose. God making this incredible sacrifice allows us to love Him back. While it might seem risky for God to allow His power to be limited in our lives, it actually speaks of His unsurpassable power and wisdom. Knowing full well we humans would in all probability mess things up, that we would attempt to thwart His plans at every turn, He is so powerful that He knows He will easily circumvent our roadblocks with ease. No matter how much we try and mess up His purpose, He always has a million contingency plans to make certain His will comes to pass.
If you want to experience the full measure of God’s power in your life, you must get rid of everything that competes for space in your heart. Following Jesus with all of your heart means exactly that. Don’t ask God to fill you with His power while only giving Him a small corner of your heart. The freedom that comes from letting go of everything that is contrary to God comes from the amazing joy and comfort you experience as He moves in and consumes your life in greater and greater measure. You can experience the full presence of God in your life by determining that your heart will accept nothing other than Jesus.