Godwin Temisa

How To Get Closer To God

For us Christians, Jesus is the one through whom we relate to God.

That implies that our love for Jesus should be backed up by adhering to God’s instructions.

So let’s look at the 3 questions posed earlier in the introduction.

Number 1 – What does it really mean to be closer to God.

To begin, we must understand that a relationship with God can either be cold or hot.

There is no middle ground.

So in order to maintain closeness to God, you must look for ways to strengthen that relationship which was started the moment you gave your life to Him.

Examples of the things you can do to strengthen the relationship

1.1. Devotion to regular prayer. Prayer is the key form of communication with God. It is a time to ask of God for His will. It is a time to give thanks by counting your blessings. It is also a time to ask for God’s help in dealing with your issues.

1.2. Devotion to reading the bible. Dreams, visions, and the audible voices of God might be the most telling ways to hear from God but one would be on the fault line if the bible is put in the back seat.

The Word of God contains most of the guiding principles we need. You will definitely learn something new from studying the bible.

Sometimes a specific portion jumps out of a verse and it could just be the Holy Spirit trying to draw your attention to a timely answer. That could be your eureka moment.

1.3. Spontaneous dialogue with God. Prayer is not just about kneeling down, closing our eyes, and uttering specific language.

Sometimes, depending on where you are, it is a good thing to always utter spontaneous praises towards your God and His son.

It can be in the form of the following examples. ‘Thank you Jesus’,

I love you Jesus’, ‘Wonderful God’, ‘Lord you are good’ etc.

This is one way to show your awareness of God’s presence.

1.4. Repeating Confessions. – Everyone one of us is a sinner by nature. So you must confess sins that are known and unknown. This should be done every time you pray. Such an approach will take away pride and ignorance of the truth.

1.5. Practical acts of love for humanity. The two most important commandments that Jesus prescribed to His disciples were based on love for the father and love for your neighbour.

There are various ways we can empower others.

It can be done materially or spiritually.

One encouraging word or gesture can make a big difference in someone’s life.

1.6. Engaging in religious activities according to your calling.

Examples include working in the house of God or carrying out personal ministration through the medium of your choice.

1.7. Fear God. Ponder on how your actions may be viewed by God. Does your conscience stir up when you are in a compromising situation? Are you trying to be careful so that you do not repeat your past sins?

A caring heart that considers how God would feel about an action is necessary if you really want to be closer to God.

1.8. Trusting in God always.

There should be no double-mindedness when it comes to faith in God.

Number 2 – Benefits of closeness to God.

2.1. You will understand God’s character better.

It sounds illogical for most people to think that God can watch His own suffer physically and emotionally and in the midst of that promise that His grace is all we need. However, God sees you through the spirit and expects your soul to be sound.

We can tell from the Bible that Paul was a great man of God but there was a point in his life when he had some burdens. When he presented his frustration before God the response was as stated in

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV)

The above verse clearly shows that suffering is a common problem in a physical world regardless of how religious you are.

It is the knowledge of God’s grace that gives a joyful person the confidence to live through tough times. There wouldn’t be any need for ‘faith’ if life is rosy for the believer at all times. It is difficult to be humble before God when there is no knowledge of His grace.

2 Chronicle 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV)

seek my face” from the above verse exemplifies closeness.

Without the expressed desire of God, we probably would miss the fact that God loves those who are humble and are willing to turn away from evil. God can perform wonders anytime when we remain humble.

2.2. You will be better at discerning the voice of God.

The longer you stay with someone the better you get at understanding how they speak. You know if they are happy or angry from what was said and how it sounded. God wants us to draw near to Him and in return, He will draw near to us.

3. Things that can cause us to be far from God.

3.1. Unwillingness to repent. God doesn’t like it when we revel in sin. Relishing means to enjoy or look forward to a thing. If you are happily repeating the sin over and over again then that is relishing. God can be saddened when He notices His children going off track.

3.2. Lack of communication with God.

As explained earlier, prayer and talking to God are very important.

Imagine living in a household where everyone only speaks to each other once a month or so infrequently that no one really understands each other.

God however still knows all things about you even if you are far from Him. That is the grace by which we live buying us the opportunity to repent and get back on track.

3.3. Not studying the Word of God.

3.4. Not doing anything to support the work of God either by giving your time or resources.

3.5. Idolatry. The is the worst of the lot. There is nothing more alienating to God than idolatry. It is one of the 7 deadly sins in the eyes of God. During the time of Moses, there was a lot of idol worship and from time to time there was this rigmarole between falling for idol worship and returning to God especially when life becomes tough or when their enemies attack them and they are finding it difficult to win a war.

Idolatry is not just about carved image but anything that takes your attention from God can be considered an idol.

Number 4 – Dangers of being far from God.

The main danger of being far from God is a lack of enthusiasm for the things of God. When asked to give the reason you don’t pray or study the Bible anymore, the likely excuse will be that life is very busy. Another excuse could be that you are always too tired at the times when you intend to read or pray.

It can become hard to hear from God when you have been too far from Him for so long. The only exception is when God Himself is bent on using you for something that is according to His own will. In the Bible, Saul reveled in persecuting the early Christians but God still called him to be an apostle.

Saul was carefree before God called him. It was God’s will to use him regardless. Saul’s actions were so intense that God intervened by speaking to him directly in an audible voice and always making him blind perhaps as a way to show that there was one more powerful than him.