In order to draw closer God it is necessary to take more of a proactive approach, and do some work. As humans we tend want things super fast without without any hassle. We see this in society today. Instant gratification is a driving force all over the world, as we cannot get enough of fast food restaurants, digital downloads, or selfies. This may work in some areas of life, but not all, especially, when it comes to spirituality. Learning more about God, and growing in a relationship with Him takes time. Time makes us nervous since we have no control. We have no say over how long it will take to become a deeper Christian, or when the Holy Spirit will visit us. However, we can control the time we spend daily with God. This time is the building blocks to a better relationship. If you have a genuine thirst for God and can handle His time frame, please review the following 6 suggestions in deepening your relationship today.
Get right with God.
Being a light in the world is never easy if we are struggling ourselves. It may take some time, but we need to take ownership of our actions, and sins. The first step is acknowledging that we are weak, and will sin. This is hard for those with "Type-A" personalities always striving for perfection. In Kingdom living there is no perfection. There is offence, the struggle with greed, selfishness, lying, pride and vanity--the list goes on. This makes us human, and Jesus experienced it first-hand when He walked on earth. If you want perfection, there is none in human frailness. The important thing is to get right with God by confessing sin and any struggles that keep you from Him.
You are not fooling God by being dishonest about what is going on in life. Be real by addressing the issues. You could be mad at Him for not answering a prayer, or letting things happen you do not like. If that is true, tell it the way it is. If you are upset on how you feel abandon, state it. Hiding behind pleasantries, just does not bode well for any relationship, and experiencing more of His presence will be impacted. It may feel blasphemous to have this chat that you are hurting. But this is not the case. Being upset with God goes back to the Old Testament, when David cried to God to save his dying son, and God did not answer. You can still respect God while being angry at Him.
Spend time with Him.
James was the brother of Jesus, who famously said to draw near to God. Since we already confessed, and poured our heart to the Father--now we must spend time with Him. This means talking with Him, and getting still to hear what He has to say. Start with opening the Bible or reading a devotional. Mark down how God has moved in your life. Write down His positive attributes. Like His love, justice, wisdom, power, holiness, and truth. "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people," James said. By carving out time with Him, you can tune into what He desires for you.
Receive His love.
It is hard to find someone to love us unconditionally. We have a hard time believing and achieving this kind of love as humans. God has this kind of love. It doesn't take a long time to look around and see exactly how God loves, and what He has done for us through the work of Jesus Christ. People will disappoint, but God will not. He knew who you were before you were born. He knit you together in your mother's womb. You were planned way before you even existed. God put thought and care into your design, just look at the amazing process of creation. Receive His love today.
Take a moment to worship Him, by putting on praise music or by creating your own. You don't have to experience this only in church, you do this at home, in the car, or vacuuming. No matter where you are, praise can be offered. When you come to God, approach Him with thanksgivings and gratitude. Not only does this strengthen the relationship, but it helps to get the mind to focus somewhere else. What happens is you become less stressed. Many people don't realize that worshiping is a powerful force and one that can move mountains and ease heartache.
Giving up a meal or sweets to fast is helpful in getting more into God's presence. We deny ourselves so we can a have deeper relationship with Him. We don't do it to prove our love for Him--we do it as an act of praise and worship. Think of it as a soul cleaning and think of fasting as having a spiritual and body connection. Fasting gives a more sensitive ear to God's voice. Guideposts reported that fasting is a "soul detox" as well it being a great way to renew the body and the mind. “God, the sustainer of all life, wants nothing more than a closer connection with us, and through fasting we can quench that new desire for more of Him in our lives," the site offered. By focusing on God and not food, fasting will also empower you to focus on God.
Finally, be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer. Get a hold of Scripture, study it, and live it in your life. The Word is extremely powerful. Find renewed hope in His Word. For example, if you are struggling with sin or temptation, you may find comfort in 2 Cor 12:9, which explained we are strong in our weaknesses.
No matter where you are right now in your Christian journey, remember it takes time to grow and mature in the Lord. When you are proactive, and have a plan to get to know Him--the target is established. This will set you up for success.