Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Reaching up by Getting Down
The best way to access a God who is high and lifted up is to get down and low–on your knees. Imagine you want to grow closer to a friend of yours. What would you do, humanly speaking, to grow closer in friendship with this person? I would think you would want to communicate with them more often. So why not talk to God more often if you seek to grow closer to Him? Tell Him your struggles, the intimate details of your life, and that you seek to grow into a closer relationship with Him. He already knows these things, anyway, so why not confess it to Him? You will never grow closer to a human friend than when you share the private things of your life, so how much more important is it if you want to grow closer to God than to talk to Him every moment you can? If we seek to do this in our earthly relationships, then how can we not recognize the fact that talking with Him every day is essential? Maybe that’s why Paul said that we are to pray without stopping (1 Thess. 5:17) and why Jesus said we should always pray (Luke 18:1).
Abiding in His Word
We cannot abide in something that we are not into. In other words, I might want to abide in my home during the harsh cold or intense heat, but if I’m not in the house, I’m never going to be abiding in the house. Bad analogy, I know, but Jesus said that unless you abide in Him and in His Word, you and I cannot possibly bear any godly fruit (John 15:4-5), and shouldn’t that be one of our goals in life? Jesus doesn’t recommend this, He commands us to abide in Him because our prayer requests depend on this (John 15:7). To be seeking to be doing those things the Bible says we need to be doing to grow closer to God means we ought to be living in obedience to His commands, and by doing this we can abide or dwell in His love (John 15:10). The Greek word for abide is “menō” and means “to remain in, to stay in one place” and “not to depart from” or “to continue in.” So if we are abiding in Him, and since Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14), then this means if we abide daily and consistently in the Word of God, the Bible, then we will grow closer to God.
Loving God is Obeying God
I touched on this briefly in the paragraph above when I wrote about staying in the Word of God, but this paragraph focuses on growing closer to God by obeying God. I ran an errand for my sick wife the other day. I didn’t do it out of obligation or because she asked me to (which she didn’t); I did it because I love her and want to please her because she is precious to me. In the same way, we should seek to please the Father by living in obedience to what He commands because we love Him. Jesus always sought to please the Father (John 5:30) and not do what He wanted. Jesus consistently did those things that would please the Father (John 8:29). If we want to do those things that God says through His Word to grow closer to Him, that is what we will do, too–love Him with every bit of our heart, mind, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30)–because that will not only please the Father, it will help us grow closer to Him, and that’s what I desire to do.
A Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father, I want to grow closer to You, and Your Word tells me that I need to be abiding or dwelling in Your Word daily, I need to be talking (praying) to you daily, and I need to be obeying You, which pleases You, so that I can grow closer to You. In Jesus’ name I pray for these things.
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