Getting Closer To God
To get close to God, we must experience God. We must feel God’s presence in our lives, feel the changes in our body, our attitude, the way we see and experience the world. We must experience that feeling deep inside our person: that God is real and tangible.
The Bible promises that if we seek God, he will come to us. God wants to be in our lives but we must be willing to turn away from the things that are not from God. Sin separates us from God. The things that are acceptable and pleasing to the world around us are not pleasing to God. In order to get closer to God we must move away from the things of this world.
The Bible says in I John 2:15-17:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
If we truly want to find God, we must be willing to do the things that God wants us to do. If we do this, we can start chipping away at the things that separate us from God.
Searching for God is like searching for a treasure. We don’t wait for someone to show up at our door and hand us a treasure. We go look for it. We are willing to do what it takes to find it. We may not even know exactly what the treasure is but we know it has great value and, therefore, are willing to do the things necessary to find it.
If you are truly interested in finding God or getting closer to God, then be ready to make the changes that are necessary.
Simply follow the steps listed below. These are the things that God has told us to do to strengthen our faith. Experience the closeness that God wants us to have with him and the changes that that closeness brings to our lives.
5 Steps to Getting Closer To God
Step 1: REALLY Want To Get Closer To God.
We must first understand that we are criminals in God’s eyes. We have broken his Law over and over again throughout our lives.
Have you ever told a lie? If so, then you are a liar.
Have you ever stolen anything, even if it’s small? If so, then you are a thief.
Jesus said if we look with lust at another person then we have committed adultery in our hearts. If we have done this then we are adulterers.
We are responsible for our thoughts as well as our actions.
Jesus also said that if we have ever hated anyone then we have committed murder in our hearts. If we have called anyone a fool then we are in danger of judgement. If we have done this then we are murderers in God’s eyes.
Have you ever used God’s name carelessly (Oh my G**!) or as a curse word (G** D*** It!)? Then you have committed blasphemy. God says he will punish all who blaspheme his name.
This is only half of The Ten Commandments, the standard by which God tells us we must live.
If you have committed these sins then you are a lying, thieving, adulterous, blasphemous, murderer and must stand before a righteous and just God when you die.
Will you be innocent or guilty if God judges you by his Law? Will you go to Heaven or Hell?
God is a just judge. You cannot bribe him by insisting that he shouldn’t send you to Hell because he’s good. If he is good, then he will punish wrong-doing. He will punish blasphemers and murderers. He is so good that he will also punish thieves and adulterers and liars.
We cannot bribe him by saying that we have done good works to make up for our sins.
In our earthly legal system, if a man is convicted of murdering 10 people, he can’t say to the judge, ‘Judge, I believe you are a good person and will not lock me in a prison for the rest of my life. I also have done many good things since committing those murders. I have given to the poor, I have been kind and helpful to many people. In light of this, you should set me free.’
This scenario is ludicrous to us. If a judge set someone free for these reasons, we would assume the judge is either corrupt or incompetent.
God is neither corrupt nor incompetent. He will punish sin precisely because he is good. Justice must be served.
Thankfully, Jesus paid the price for our crimes. God sent His Son, Jesus, God in the flesh, both fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a sinless life, so He could take the punishment for our sins, since He had no sins of His own to pay for. He took the wrath of God that was meant for us. He died on a cross and 3 days later God raised Him from the dead, proving that His sacrifice for us was acceptable.
Its like Jesus burst into the court room and told the judge that He will serve our sentence for us. Only Jesus could do this because he lived a sinless life and is the Son of God.
This is why, to be saved, we must turn away from our sins (repent) not just say we’re sorry. God will help us to turn away from these sins if we sincerely ask him to; if we love God more than we love our sins. We must then believe that Jesus did pay the price for our sins, and because of him, we can escape the sentence of an eternity in Hell, even though that’s what our crimes deserve.
Many people say they want to find God but what they are really doing is shopping for God; trying to find a god that fits their lifestyle. Please read the article, Shopping For God before proceeding. If you are a ‘shopper’ then there is no point in moving forward.
Step 2: Pray In The Morning
Start your day out with a prayer and, if you have time, read God’s word.
For those who may be new to praying, here are some things to cover:
- Thank God for getting you through the night and giving you this new day.
- Ask God to help you to keep from sinning. Ask him to show you when you’re doing something wrong and give you the will to stop. (When you get the message, don’t excuse it away; listen.)
- Ask God to remind you that he is there for you to help you through the difficulties of the day.
- Ask God to come into your life and give you the faith to find him.
- Say The Lord’s Prayer.
If you have time in the morning to read God’s word, feel free to read one chapter from any of the New Testament Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Acts (the founding of the Christian church), Psalms (in The Old Testament), or if you’re up for some excitement, Revelation. Or you can read The Words of Jesus, The Life And Teachings Of Jesus Christ In Bible Verse, and Verses To Live By from the Downloads sections of this website.
Step 3: Ask God To Help You During The Day.
If you are tempted to sin, ask God to help you. Read his word. Remove yourself from the tempting situation. If you face troubles during the day, ask God for help. Turn your worries over to him.
The Bible says in in Luke 12:29-34:
Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Step 4: Pray At Night
If you didn’t have a chance to read God’s word in the morning, do it at night. Is it very important to read God’s word. This gives you a chance to find things out for yourself rather than relying on things you’ve heard about The Bible and about Christianity. It will also give you a chance to see God’s word in context so that you have a more complete picture.
The NASB (New American Standard Bible) is a very accurate translation of The Bible. You can also access the World English Bible online at: http://www.worldenglishbible.org/web/
You may also find it worthwhile to purchase a pocket-sized copy of the New Testament of The Bible. These are also available wherever Bibles are sold.
God speaks to us through his word. You will be amazed at how many times you read something in The Bible that is directly relevant to what you are going through at that time. It’s not a coincidences; it’s God speaking to you.
Sometimes reading The Bible can be daunting. Just remember to ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. Don’t read The Bible with a pre-determined mind-set. Let God speak to you through his word rather than looking for The Bible to reinforce one of your own thoughts. Remember, the goal is to understand God’s will.
Before you go to bed, pray. Below are some of the things to include:
- Thank God for getting you through the day and being there for you when you needed him.
- Ask God to forgive you for the things you did wrong during the day. List them and ask for forgiveness and ask God to help you turn away from these sins and stop doing them.
- Ask God to protect you in your sleep so your dreams are pure. The Devil will try to tempt us when we are least able to defend ourselves (H.A.L.T. = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).
- Ask God to come into your life and give you the faith to find him.
- Say The Lord’s Prayer.
Step 5: Ask God To Help You Stop Sinning.
This is an absolutely key element in truly getting closer to God. Sin separates us from God.
Jesus said in John 14:21:
One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.
Jesus promises to reveal himself to us if we keep his commandments.
There is a difference between falling into sin and diving into sin. If we are chasing after sin, then we have not turned over our hearts to God. Our hearts and our desires still belong to this sinful world.
The difference between someone who knows God and someone who doesn’t; is that the person who doesn’t know God will justify his sin. A person that knows God, knows that they’ve done wrong and need God’s forgiveness.
If we say we believe in Jesus but still hold onto the sins of this world, we are putting our faith at risk. If we still love our sins more than we love God, we must soberly examine our faith.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:3-6:
This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. But whoever keeps his word, God’s love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
This will be the most difficult step. It forces us to be honest with ourselves and face the things we’ve been doing wrong.
This step also requires us to admit that we are not strong enough to resist temptation on our own. We will need to ask God to help us to turn away from temptation.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:6:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
The good news is that God promises to help us if we seek to keep his commandments and live a righteous life. God also promises to always provide a way for us to escape temptation.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, The Bible says:
No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
It may be as simple as walking away from a tempting situation or just saying “no” when someone wants us to do something we shouldn’t. It may mean that we need to think of something else when sinful thoughts come into our minds. Its good to have 2 or 3 pure thoughts ready just in case. Think of what Heaven will be like. Think of what it must have been like to travel with Jesus when he was here on earth.
This step requires us to set aside the values of this world and accept the values of God.
We know deep in our hearts the things we shouldn’t do. For this step we must resist the temptation to justify our wrong-doing. We often justify our behavior in the following ways:
- Look for a loophole; a way to dismiss the thing we’re doing wrong.
- Say its OK because everyone else does it.
- Rank our wrong-doing by severity. The Bible says that all sin is wrong.
- Say its OK because our culture says its OK. Its not up to the world to tell us what’s right; God is the final judge of what is right.
Some of the things to stop doing include: blasphemy (taking God’s name in vain or as a curse word…including sugar-coated curse words…the meaning is the same even if the letters are different), cursing (even sugar-coated curse words), lying, anger, sexual immorality, gossiping, materialism, criticism, stealing, dishonoring our parents, greed, self-glorification (bragging, being arrogant), selfishness.
For help to stop sinning, please go to the How to Avoid Sinning section of this website.
If you honestly want to get closer to God and are willing to do the things he asks, he will show himself to you. You will then have a truth that no one can talk you out of.