Man-Made Barriers Between God and Man

Historically, people have put barriers between themselves and God. This seems to be a natural response we have to encountering the greatness of God. When God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, their response was to have Moses speak to God in the future and relay the message to them rather than them encountering God directly (Exodus 20:18-21). God always desired a direct relationship with His people; however, His people have constantly refused.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:21-24).

We build barriers between us and God through establishing designated places to experience God (we call them church buildings), setting a clergy class between God and us (we call them priests, pastors, and ministers). By doing this, people have created a God and religion that they can just do on Sundays rather than seeking to live the life of Jesus in the here and now. What God wants is to dwell in us and help us every moment of every day. We need to worship him in spirit and in truth, every moment of every day, rather than just on Sundays or when it is convenient. By pretending to confine God to a building and placing another person between God and ourselves, we miss out on the greatest blessing that God has designed us for: Knowing him, being in a relationship with Him, and bringing about his will.

The amazing thing is that the passage actually states that God seeks people to worship him in spirit and truth. He is seeking us. He’s not confined to one location. The idea of building Him a temple to “confine” Him in was King David’s idea, not His. No wonder when we seek Him we will be found. He’s right there just waiting for us to notice him.

Psychologists have done studies on how we typically see what we expect to see or we don’t see things we do not expect to see. But this principle of seeing what we expect to see or not seeing what we don’t expect to see impacts us spiritually. If we are not expecting to see God, then we will not see him. Our perception is influenced by our expectation. The Bible teaches that God is seeking us. It also teaches us that if we seek him, we will find him. He’s not confined to a building or confined to speaking only through this book or clergy. He’s among us, out here in the park, in our workplaces, in our yard, when we sleep, in our house, in our bathroom. God is there with us if we are willing to see him. We don’t need anyone besides Jesus to go through to encounter God, nor do we have to be in some specific “sacred” place.