DO YOU LONG FOR A DEEPER, CLOSER WALK WITH GOD?

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“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8

Do you want to draw closer to the Lord? Does your heart yearn for a deeper relationship with Him?

When we read of the heroes of faith in the Bible, we see that they walked with God. Their hearts were close to Him. They followed His commands and His guidance. They sought His grace, His favor and His blessing in their lives.

Our spirit desires and needs closeness to God. If we are not growing closer to Him, we are growing more distant. To draw nearer to Him, we need to come before Him faithfully… to seek His presence daily. Not that we can truly be any closer to Him for He is always with us. Yet spiritually we ought to pursue Him as He so amazingly pursued us in bringing us to salvation.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

Do we need God’s mercy and grace? Absolutely… every day of our lives. He invites us to approach His throne of grace… to come into His holy presence. It is there we will find His grace, His blessing, His peace to see us through each day.

Our Lord’s throne of grace is always open. We can come before Him anytime in prayer. Maintaining a connection with Him throughout our day will keep us walking in His will. Yet without a time set aside each day exclusively for Him, we will miss out on what our spirit truly longs for… a deeper, closer walk with Him.

How do we grow closer to God?

†   Make time for Him 

Amazing how many things we find time to do each day. If the Lord is not a priority in our schedule, our time can quickly get away from us. Our intentions may be good. Yet if we wait for just the right time to spend with Him… or perhaps wait until we feel like it… that time may never arrive over the course of our day.

To grow closer to God, we need to separate ourselves from all that distracts. Whatever you find that keeps you from Him… or that you enjoy more than spending time with Him… lay it aside. Perhaps consider fasting from any distractions for a while, or limiting your time with them, as you reassess your priorities.

Try placing time with the Lord on your schedule, your daily planner, your to-do list. Set aside a quiet time alone each day… a time to be fully present with Him… a reverent time on holy ground before His throne of grace.

†   Enjoy His presence

God does not want our time with Him to be a chore or a burden. He so desires to spend time with us. Enjoy Him. Recognize the awesome privilege of being with the One who cherishes you. Enter into His presence with reverence, love and worship of who He is and all He does.

Appreciate all His attributes. Praise Him for the love He bestows upon you so generously. Praise Him for His grace, mercy and goodness… for His omnipotence, sovereignty and justice… for His faithfulness, immanence and compassion.

Express thanks to Him for all your blessings. Thank Him for being your Provider, your Protector, your Refuge in the storms of life. Thank Him for His hand of guidance and wisdom. Thank Him for so mightily working His will in your life.

†   Share your heart

Prayer is not complicated. It is merely talking with God… talking with the Lover of your soul… the One who cares more for you than anyone. Pour out your heart to Him. Remove any barriers that are distancing you from Him. Forgiveness and repentance are the key. Clean your slate before the Lord.

Share with God whatever concerns you… anything that has been burdening your heart… sadness, bitterness, disappointment, anxiousness. Invite Him to step in and work sovereignly in your life. Tell Him of your hopes, plans, goals, dreams. Ask that He align them with His will for your life.

†   Listen to Him

Prayer is both talking with God and listening to Him. His primary way of revealing Himself to us is through His Word. Without daily time in the Bible, we miss out on any revelations He may have for us there. Take time to read His Word each day in your time with Him. You may want to choose a daily reading plan to stay on track.

Journaling can be an excellent tool to document your time with the Lord. Whether in a notebook or on your computer, tablet or phone, make note of key verses that touch your heart. Jot down any insights, inspiring thoughts or encouraging words from the Holy Spirit. Write out short prayers that flow from your time spent with Him.

†   Learn from Him

Remember God’s words to you. Here is where your journaling can be a helpful reminder. Apply His words to your life. Allow them to change you from the inside out… your thoughts, your attitudes, your actions. In this way we are transformed little by little, day by day into Christlikeness. This is the goal of our spiritual walk… our walk of sanctification.

To grow closer to God, we need to spend time with Him each day. For in His loving presence, we are changed. He grounds us, bringing our lives into focus. He refreshes us, granting us His peace, joy and favor. He offers His wisdom and guidance for our day. He gives His mercy and grace to help us as we need. And He Imparts to us His power and protection for the daily storms of life. Like the biblical heroes of faith, we can learn to walk with God through whatever our days may bring.