Do you ever wonder what it will be like to be close to God in Heaven? To be in the very presence of our God, our Creator? The One who holds this world in His hands?
I do, too. More and more, the older I get. I am comforted greatly by the thought that “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King”! (Andraé Crouch)
I can’t wait! How about you?
But you know what? We can be close to God here in this life, too. The Bible says so! We can get closer to God today than we’ve ever been by incorporating a few simple activities into our day.
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Where in the Bible Does It Say to Draw Closer to God?
God never gives us commands that are impossible for us to obey. That’s how I know that it is absolutely possible for us to draw near to God even while in this life on earth.
It is a command of God that we draw nigh to Him. Therefore, we can!
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.James 4:8a (emphasis mine)
And there are other Bible verses about getting closer to God, like…
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.Psalms 73:28
God clearly wants us to be close to Him, even now, before we get to Heaven.
Why Is It So Important to Get Closer to God?
Why is getting closer to God important? First of all, because God commands it. It’s what God wants. And isn’t that amazing?
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t understand why God would want me to be close to Him, especially while I am still only a filthy sinner saved by His grace. And not yet fully redeemed and freed from this sinful flesh.
But, He does! Praise God!
And I’m so thankful. Because there are so many blessings in getting close and staying close to God.
Benefits of Drawing Near to God.
God’s command that we draw nigh to Him in James 4:8 also carries a promise…draw near to God, and He will draw near to us!
And when He does so, we get to experience a little of Heaven on earth! Because as we draw closer to God, He comes closer to us in sweet fellowship, filling our hearts with His peace and joy and love. We experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit within and sweet communion with our Heavenly Father!
We walk with God and are able, then, to live this life above our circumstances, trusting in our loving Father, come what may. And that, I believe, is one of the sweetest blessings of being His child and drawing nigh to God…rest and joy in Him, even while surrounded by the cares of this life.
But how can we experience that close fellowship with God?
How to Get Closer to God Spiritually
There are many times in our lives that we struggle with our faith and our walk with God. Times when we might feel that God is far away.
When those times happen, though, we must remind ourselves that God’s promises never fail. For He cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) And God promised…
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.Hebrews 13:5 (emphasis mine)
Therefore, if we feel that God is distant, it is not because God has left us…we have left Him. God hasn’t moved. We have.
So how do we in those times get close to God again?
There are 7 basic ways we can turn things around and draw near to God in close fellowship…and stay close. I want to share those with you and then give you 25 practical ways you can apply them in your everyday routine.
Know Jesus as Saviour
We cannot hope to be near God without the blood of His Son Jesus cleansing us of our sin. (1 John 1:7) Only God’s children are allowed into His presence in that special relationship with Him.
Are you God’s child? Then the Bible encourages you with this verse…
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:22
Read and Study the Bible
The Bible is God’s instructions to us on how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. If we want to have a close fellowship with God, we have to learn what pleases Him.
Are you reading and studying the Bible every day? If you’re having a bit of trouble with being consistent, or if you are finding that your quiet time seems a bit stale and mere habit, you might consider changing things up from time to time. Maybe add a different devotional to your Bible reading, or instead of reading the Bible straight through this year, you might try using a topical monthly Bible reading plan.
I think it is important to implement variety in our quiet time with God in His Word, so that we don’t just go through the routine without really connecting with God.
Talk to God in Prayer
I cannot over emphasize the importance of prayer to get close to God. No amount of activity or service can replace the need for actually communicating with God.
No relationship can be sustained, much less grow more intimate, without consistent and much communication. It’s the same with our walk with God.
The Bible tells us that God is our Friend, our very best Friend. So, we need to treat Him with love and care, with even more care than we would our earthly best friends. And that means talking with Him regularly!
Another reason for opening our Bible everyday is to learn how to pray and what to pray for, as well as, what God looks for when we pray. In other words, what kinds of prayers God will hear and answer.
Remember, the goal is to connect with God. So we need to pray in a way that pleases God. That means our prayers mustn’t be completely self-focused, but rather also filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him.
But isn’t is wonderfully comforting to know that even when we really don’t know what to pray, the Spirit helps us to pray anyway!
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.Romans 8:26
Be a Faithful Member of a Local Church
Fellowship with other believers is so important to our walk with God. We were not created to go this life alone, to be independent of one another. God made us for community. For family. For fellowship. With Himself and with each other.
God gives each of His children spiritual gifts to use to help one another grow in Him. And He created the local church, groups of His believers, for us to love and serve one another and thereby demonstrate in our own lives His character traits for the benefit of one another.
Church is where we make our closest friendships. We need those in our lives who will build us up and help us know how to get closer to God spiritually and not hinder our walk with God. Our church family can also provide accountability and encouragement when we are struggling with sin or just with the disappointments of life.
If you want to be close to God, then you need to find a Bible-believing and teaching church family and get busy serving God’s people together with your church family. We cannot hope to be close to God if we ignore something He loves and died for…His church. (Hebrews 10:25)
I hope you have such a church already. I know that sometimes, and in some places, it is hard to find a good true church. I’ve learned not to take my church family for granted after searching for several years for mine.
Obey God’s Word
As I’ve grown in the Lord over the years, my desire to one day hear my Saviour say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” has also grown. I so long to hear those words. I’m sure you do, too.
Jesus tells us in the book of John…
If ye love me, keep my commandments.John 14:15
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.John 15:10
None of us are perfect, and we all sin. Every day. But the mark of a close friend is that when we do mess up, we seek to make it right with that friend, as soon as possible.
It’s the same with God. If we would be close to our Saviour, then we will seek to be quick about making things right with Him whenever He pricks our heart about our sin. We will strive to keep a soft heart and quickly and humbly repent of sin as needed throughout each day. It’s best to keep short accounts with God.
Believe God’s Word
How annoying is it when someone doesn’t believe you? I’m telling you, it is extremely frustrating to be falsely accused. That ever happen to you?
Well, anytime we choose to not continue trusting Jesus during our trials, we essentially are accusing God of not being true to His Word. Wow! That thought makes me stop and think.
Faith is something God values extremely highly. After all, faith in Jesus is what saves souls from hell! And gives us the blessings of God here and in eternity!
It’s hard for us to be friends with those who don’t value what we tell them as truth. We surely cannot expect God to be OK with our lack of faith, then, either.
God, in the Bible, calls Abraham “the Friend of God.” Why? Because of his faith in God’s promise.
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.James 2:23
If we would enjoy a close fellowship and friendship with God, then we, too, must continue to trust God, especially when life just doesn’t make any sense.
We can do that by choosing to trust His love for us!
Love and Serve Others
Loving and helping others is a practical way to show that our faith in Jesus is real.
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?1 John 3:17-18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Like John says in the verse above, how can we say that we love God and are walking closely with Him, if we don’t share His love with others. For God is love. And He shared His love with us in the most self-sacrificing of ways.
Our Lord Jesus gave Himself, His all, for us. The least we can do is offer ourselves in service to Him in this life by allowing Him to use us as His ambassadors. And not only to help others in physical ways, but also in spiritual ways by sharing the gospel with those around us.
Loving what God loves…people, souls…will keep us close to God’s heart.
How Can I Get Closer to God?
The seven ways to get closer to God that we have discussed can be implemented naturally in your daily life in many different ways. I’ve put together a list of 25 simple ideas for you to show your love for God and thereby stay connected with Him, and abiding in His love, throughout your day. Let’s take a look.
How Will You Draw Near to God Today?
Drawing near to God in deeper fellowship involves adding to our day what God loves and taking out of our day those things that would hinder our fellowship with Him. Which of my natural ways of connecting with God are you already doing each day? Which ones will you be incorporating into your day today?
Any close friendship takes effort. But is so worth it. Likewise, our efforts to stay close to God will be immeasurably worth it, both now and in eternity!
There is no greater joy than to know that God is with us and to feel His presence and assurance in our heart!
Drawing nigh to Him,