Barclay Littlewood

An Insight Into My Life

Spiritual traps – how to avoid them and come closer to God

I’ve done the rounds on the spiritual side of things. I’ve ploughed thousands of hours of work into it all, and I continue to do so, hopefully I can save you some time by sharing my experience of God and his rules.

Here’s what I consider to be some main spiritual traps that can actually keep you from God and his love.

Personally I don’t think it’s a case of agreeing or disagreeing with me, it’s about testing and applying these things to yourself to see if they are true.

In the words of Oscar Wide, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning, can be taught.”

The objective of any education should be your learning, and often you learn by your experience.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is my favourite Biblical Quote and says it all.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

In many cases I feel people need to make the same mistakes and fall into some or all of these spiritual traps in order to go through the learning process and burn off the energy as it where. This helps them gain more awareness of themselves and heighten their submission to God.

As always, remember what I say is always far less important than your own experience.

  1. An over focus on personal development in order to obtain spiritual enlightenment is one of the biggest spiritual traps. You can try and try, you aren’t ever going to be perfect or as loving as God. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and be loving and Godly, just realise for whatever reason human beings are flawed and real love comes from God. Work too much on yourself and it’s a form of self idolisation – that’s why grace exists.
  2. Not seeing our sins or blaming others for our sins. You can fool yourself, or others, but not God.
  3. An over focus on changing your subjective experience to make you more loving before finding God is a spiritual trap. Change your subjective experience as much as you like in order to find God, you’ll only realise the futility of it all.
  4. Making God’s awareness and presence (and later love) something that is not accessible now. God’s presence is accessible now, not when you’ve become some wonderful and perfect person you have in mind. You can test this now. Where you aware of the last sentence and now this one? That’s God’s awareness and presence, not yours. Yet you mistake it to belong to you. It belongs in all people, whatever veils it., it’s there, whatever religion, atheist, anyone.
  5. Mistaking God’s awareness or presence with something personal that is your own. This teaching puts you in the shoes of God, everything is fine ‘because you are aware of it.’ This one needs some deep work in order to realise.
  6. Over intellectualising everything in order to try and ‘get it’ is one of the toughest and most time consuming of the spiritual traps. This gets you idolising the world and knowledge, over your own experience and relationship with God.
  7. Being bothered abut the ego is one of the most common place New Age spiritual traps. Before you knew what ego meant no one had an ego, now you see it everywhere. God loves people with ego and those without. You may find this hard, but he doesn’t. Trying to lose your ego is another way of trying to find God by works and doesn’t work.
  8. Spending hours debating minute details and differences with other people is really one of the spiritual traps that wastes the most time. It’s a form of worshipping the world and knowledge. Instead focus on the core tenements of your approach, finding God within yourself and worshipping him.
  9. That any distinction between good and bad is arbitrary. Not so, the Devil will try and trick you that good and bad are the same thing. This is spiritual nihilism and is destructive.
  10. That God is all things, everything in reality, including you. That all are God. This is wrong and gets you hooked on how you make others feel and how they think about you, as well as your own experience. Fall into this spiritual trap and there is no one or thing to pray to follow their rules, because you are as much God as anyone else. God may be the ultimate source of all things, but all that happens is not from God.
  11. Messing around with the “you” or “I’ in order to remove it and the notions of the world is a spiritual trap. We’ve been created to experience the relative and the absolute. Both exist in harmony, the truth is neither obscures the other and they can be both experienced simultaneously. It’s common upon finding the absolute that is God to try and not experience the relative, yet later you’ll go back to a more dual, normal experience that contains both the relative and the absolute.
  12. Thinking there is nothing to be done. Finding God and immersing in him is incredibly hard work, yet his presence is already with you, focus on that presence, pray, read his word.
  13. Thinking all is as it should be. It’s a comfortable idea, but the world certainly needs help, perhaps just not in the ways you think.
  14. Mistaking your way for the only way. There are many ways to God, everything we say about it is ultimately down to interpretation.
  15. Its a spiritual trap that God is not judgemental. Whilst God’s love is free and accessible, God does judge us all. When we don’t know God, or we act wrongly in his eyes, we’ll be punished accordingly, here on earth.
  16. Talking the talk, but not walking the walk is a spiritual trap. Sure you need knowledge about God, but knowing a treadmill exists doesn’t make you fit. It’s the same with God, using, applying and doing what you know, to live Godly is key and often overlooked.
  17. Trying to manipulate the world to your own ends is a spiritual trap. This will get you idolising the world more than God.
  18. Thinking you can hide things from God – God knows your heart – focus on pleasing him over pleasing yourself and the world.
  19. Being intoxicated by the freedom of God’s love and simply doing as you like, of all the spiritual traps, this can be the most dangerous.
  20. Being overtaken by pride is one of the spiritual traps people often fall into when finding God in their own unique way. Many people have found God before you and will do in the future. God’s love should make you feel special but at the same time humble yourself.
  21. Thinking there’s an end point to this all, like it’s an equation to figure out. There isn’t. Once you find God, the journey continues. It’s all a never ending process to be enjoyed!

Thank you for reading and may God bless you as you avoid these spiritual traps yourself.

God Bless

Barclay Littlewood

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