Many things seem to cause my journey with God to slow down. There is all the 'work' of the church, which can grind. There is all the involvement in the Annual Conference, which can suck the life out of a person if not careful. There are the things like TV, and food. When all is said at done however, the most significant hindrance to a deeper walk with God is me. Not all these other things, simply me.
The mixed bag of selfish ambition, pride and fear can overwhelm a person. Most of all the desire to see things done my way can cause significant disconnect from God and people. The people of Israel cried out for a king in the 1 Samuel. No longer did they want God to rule their lives they wanted a human king like all the nations around them. In this longing for a king they had lost sight of the fact that they are not suppose to be like the nations around them. The nation of Israel was to be marked by a people who had God as their leader.
In the end what we really learn about the Israelites is that they didn't really want an earthly king either, what they really wanted was to rule themselves. To return to the days of judges when Israel had no king and everyone did what they wanted. To add to this there was a desire to do whatever they wanted, without consequence.
I guess I have not come very far from the Israelites. Come to think of it I think we are all very similar to the Israelites. We want to do whatever we want to, and not face the consequences. If we are not careful, every activity we engage in becomes an attempt to have our agenda furthered, which might not be the one God has in mind. The struggle is that now one really knows the mind of God. So what are we to do. Mark 8 would remind us to deny ourselves, and follow Christ. Seems like good advice, no not advice, a good calling to holy living.
Whos agenda are you pushing?