Hey Ginger! It’s me again! I have another question for you: what are some practical ways to grow closer to God? Thanks! -TC
TC – thanks for another question! As soon as I read it I immediately thought about the Shawn McDonald song that’s been getting a ton of airplay the past few months.
There are obviously some very practical words of wisdom that I could share here, but I don’t think any of them will surprise you. Reading God’s Word, staying in a faith community, talking to Him in prayer, memorizing scripture, remaining accountable to people in your network, reading books, listening to uplifting music… all of these are great tools and absolutely have the potential to enrich and deepen your walk and relationship with the Lord.
But if I’m honest… I’ve had times in my life where I have consistently read and prayed and fellowshipped and still felt like I was in a spiritual desert. My heart just wasn’t in it. My practical tools became a to-do list that soon became a formula. I think it’s really important to remember that there is no set formula that’s going to get you closer to God. I can’t tell you that A + B + C will guarantee what you are hoping for, because relationships aren’t formulaic.
Think about your own friendships. How have you deepened those relationships? How have you drawn closer to the people in your life? I would be willing to bet that your answers will be: shared time, shared experiences, and shared hearts. When you make yourself vulnerable in a relationship you open yourself to know and be known by others. Time spent with others creates experiences and a closeness that can’t be manufactured. The same is true in your relationship with God. If you desire your relationship with the Lord to grow- then give Him your time, but more importantly, give Him ALL of your heart.
Are there steps to drawing closer? Yes.
“The truth is there are a million steps, and we don’t even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us to not rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather in His guidance, His existence, His mercy, and His love.” -Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What
The steps for drawing closer to God aren’t going to be the same for all of us. When your heart is set on Him and your desire is to know Him, everything you do can be used to draw you closer! Pray earnestly, read daily, live in community, and ask that He would do as He promised: “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8
I just want to be closer to you
I just want to be closer
I am yours
You can have all of me anything, everything
I just want to be closer
P.S. If you feel like you still are looking for more specifics, look back to all of the Thursday Tips over the past few months. I put a lot of energy into sharing things that have helped mature my own relationship with the Lord!