Have you ever wondered how to get closer to God? Have you thought about how you could understand what his will is for your life, or just learn more about who God is?
Well, I wonder those questions often.
God is central in my life and there are times when I feel close to Him, but there are also times where, whether because of busyness, not making space to listen or pray, or because it’s just a season in my life where He doesn’t feel as close, there are definitely times God feels far away.
It is in those times where I don’t feel as close to God that I yearn to deepen my relationship with Him and have Him be near again.
Over the last few months, I’ve been able to draw closer to God through joining an online community called the Spiritual Journeyers, and by building a relationship with Larissa Marks.
Larissa Marks is a spiritual director, ministry planter, and writer (awesome blogger!). Her passion is to guide, equip, and inspire others to go deeper in the spiritual journey and encounter God. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband and three kids and is former InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Staff Worker (whoop whoop!)
I met Larissa through the Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering I attended in Indonesia back in August of this year. The conference was centered on connecting with Christian leaders from around the world who are operating in different fields, in order to encourage one another and also build Kingdom partnerships.
Funny thing is, it wasn’t until after we left the conference that I got connected with Larissa and started to build a relationship over Jesus and blogging (which we both love to do!).
Since then, she has helped me figure out simple ways to get closer to God. Whether through reflection or choosing one spiritual discipline to do each day, I now feel that God is more accessible and easier to connect with.
SO, Since she has been so great in providing support in my own spiritual journey, I asked her if she would write a guest post for Made Well on ways anyone, wherever they are at in their spiritual journey, can also get closer to God.
So please read her post below and reach out to either Larissa or myself if you have any questions around your own spiritual journey 🙂
A friend of mine asked recently, “How can I have a closer relationship with God?” This friend shared with me her desire to draw closer to God, to experience God more in her daily life, and to learn to walk with God. There was something inside her compelling her to want more in her relationship with God than what she was experiencing.
This desire expressed by my friend is something I, and perhaps many of us, resonate with. We long to know God more deeply, we want to experience an intimate relationship with God.
The good news for us is that God longs for a closer relationship with us as well. Revelation 3:20 says this, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” God himself is standing at the door, waiting for us to welcome him into our lives. The moment we open the door, we get to enjoy intimate relationship with God.
No matter where we are at, no matter where our starting point, we can always go deeper in knowing God. Intimacy and connection with God can grow. Like any relationship, the one we have with God is a two-way street. It takes both God and me to draw nearer to each other. So if God truly is drawing near to me, then what can I do to draw near to him?
Here are a few simple ways to deepen your relationship with God:
1. Listen to God.
God speaks in a myriad of ways. He speaks to us through Scripture, through the life and person of Jesus, through prompting us through inward nudges or pictures in our imagination. When you look at the Bible, it reveals nearly an endless variety of ways God speaks to people. So how do we begin listening? It begins with first a desire to listen. We must be in a place of openness to hearing God speak to us, and allowing his voice to shape us. If you desire to listen to God, then ask him to speak to you. You can simply turn to God and say, “Please speak to me. I want to hear what you have to say.” Tune your ears toward him, and pay attention. Just know that he may speak to you in a way that you don’t expect.
2. Speak to God.
If listening to God is one way to draw closer to him, then speaking to him is equally important. When we are in relationship with someone, we share our thoughts, feelings, joys, and fears. God invites us to come to him with our honest selves, to share with him our deepest desires. Consider God as you would a safe, compassionate friend sitting with you. Speak to him with honesty and vulnerability. Some people speak to God through verbal prayers, others find it helpful to speak to God through journaling. Speak to God in whatever way feels comfortable and authentic to you.
3. Get around others who are pursuing God.
Drawing closer to God happens best in the company of others. When we get around others who are trying to grow closer to God, we become connected with a built-in system of support and encouragement. Find a faith community, and get involved. Build relationships with people who are on the same journey with God as you are. Get people to invest in your spiritual growth, and people who you can invest in.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of ways to deepen your relationship with God. But it lays out a few next steps for anyone seeking to draw closer to God. I encourage you to take a step toward God today.
P.S. If you would like to stay connected with Larissa and have guidance in your spiritual journey, you can sign up for Larissa’s Weekly Notes for guidance and inspiration for your spiritual journey sent to your inbox. You can also join her Facebook group the Spiritual Journeyers, or connect with her on Instagram.