There is something abstract about the idea of getting closer to God. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of different ideas about how to do it—and some say they know how, but they also don’t seem to know God—so trying to figure out exactly how to get closer to God can be confusing and difficult.
I want you to know that I’m not writing this article to say that I have all the answers, because I DEFINITELY don’t. But I am writing in the hopes that you, the reader, can still find answers in my article.
Why I’m Writing About Getting Closer to God
To explain why I’m writing this, let me just say that I’ve had my life’s share of craziness up to this point, though I’m certain that to some people my mountain of troubles looks like a mole hill of mediocre problems.
But in those my experiences, I have learned a few things about finding God. They’re simple; but I hope they help you.
And believe me, anything that can help us get closer to God is needed in this upside-down, topsy-turvy, and considerably unreliable world.
Plus, I think that becoming a momma bear entails getting closer to God. We need Him in our mothering journey. (Or in anybody’s journey.)
So, I want to share my ideas and solutions for getting closer to God when life is hard, because I hope that in some way, the solutions I have found will help you.
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10 Ways to Get Closer to God
Way #1: Choose to Believe in Him
It all starts with choosing to believe. I think the best way to illustrate this would be to share a story with you that explains this principle.
I lived in Germany for a time as a missionary. The going was tough, and a lot of people didn’t want to talk about God or religion, or anything related to the two. And it started to get hard. I mean really hard.
A decent number of people there didn’t believe in God, and I started to think that maybe they were right. I seriously started to wonder if there even was a God. Or if there was, I wondered if He’d sort-of “forgotten” me.
But when I was down in the dumps about not knowing if God was even there, I realized that I had two choices. I could get stuck with my head spinning between all the arguments for or against God, or I could just decide that I was going to believe—in spite of all of my doubts—that there was a God, and I would go from there.
And you know what? When I chose to believe in God, everything changed.
I suddenly started to see the blessings He’d been giving me, the things that were right in front of my face. The things I’d been missing because I’d been stuck in my dark cloud of doubt and not knowing.
When I decided to let God in—even when I wasn’t sure if there was a God, I realized that of COURSE He was there, and I realized that I was seeing things on a daily basis that were so good they actually proved there IS a God.
So, if you want to get closer to God, it starts with belief. You have to choose to believe that He’s there and choose not to let doubt shadow your mind. You can still have questions, but. . . you just let them go to the sidelines. Because you’re choosing to believe.
And that belief brings you closer to God.
Way #2: Notice Not-Coincidences
Do you remember that time when you felt bad, but something happened at just the right moment to lift your mood?
Or do you remember that time when you prayed, and the answer that you wanted didn’t come, but something else came to answer or help you?
It might have been small. But I’ll bet that even if you can’t think of a time right now, there has been some point in your life where you had an experience that let you know you weren’t alone, or you were loved, or something else along those lines. And it wasn’t a coincidence. That was a not-coincidence.
You need to write those moments down to get closer to God spiritually.
Alternatively, you can record them on the audio-recorder on your phone.
When I was 14 or so, I started recording experiences like this. I wrote down the times when I was feeling sad and someone smiled, the moments when I prayed and warmth came, and the seconds when I felt something special looking up at the stars.
And because I noticed those things and chose to see them as more than coincidences (which wasn’t hard to believe, since there were so many of them), I realized better that God was there in my life.
Even though I couldn’t see Him, I could see the results of Him, just like how you see the leaves move because of the wind blowing. And I felt closer to Him.
I have used and loved journals like this to record these kinds of experiences. This style does have Bible verses in it, but that is part of what makes it so appealing to me.
If you want a simple audio-recorder itself, this one has excellent reviews and produces recordings of high quality.
Way #3: Talk to God
Did you know that one of the best ways to get to know someone is to talk with them?
Yup, I know. It’s breaking news. (Just kidding).
But when it comes to building a relationship with God, it sometimes is breaking news that we can and should talk with Him.
I mean, how do we expect to get closer to God if we don’t even talk with Him? That’s what we would do to build our relationship with someone else.
So, I’d suggest that if you want to get closer to God, you try praying (because that’s how you talk with God).
But I won’t make you believe that. I’d just suggest that you just try and talk to Him and find out if He listens and answers for yourself.
Oh, and if you’re crazy busy, remember that you can pray to God anywhere. You can pray in the shower, when you’re wiping up the food your kid spilled, while running to your important meeting . . . yup, you can pray anywhere. God just wants to hear from you. Seriously.
Way #4: Share a Hobby with God
What else (besides talk) do you do if you want to get to know someone?
Well, you probably try to find hobbies that you have in common, and then you go and do those things together.
If God were here on earth, what do you think He’d be doing?
Well, I believe that God and Jesus Christ would be serving and taking care of people if they were here right now.
So, if you want to get to know God, you should share a hobby. Try and serve people just like God would if He were here. (And if we’re being honest, God is serves us all the time, in spite of us not seeing Him down here with us).
You are probably still crazy busy, especially if you’re a Mom. But just remember as you go along that there are simple ways to serve.
For example, you can take a split second to smile at someone. That’s serving! And you might just make their day!
And if you feel like your day is already so jam-packed with service that you don’t know how to stuff one more thing in, try and improve the quality of service. Make it more sincere. If you’re a mom serving your kids, make the service extra-tailored to your kids needs (this doesn’t need to take more time; it can just take a few more seconds of thought).
Way #5: Read Scripture
Maybe opening up a book like the Bible sounds as difficult as prying up the Barbie shoes that the toddler glued to the floor (either because you don’t read scripture or because you have no time), but I can assure you that once you start, it will get easier.
You see, I believe that scriptures are a part of our two-way radio with God.
You pray to talk to God, and you read your scriptures to hear what God has to say to YOU.
That’s not a perfect way of explaining it, but it does help.
When you read scripture with the intent to learn, you open yourself up to build a relationship with God and get closer to Him.
So maybe you don’t read scripture, or you do, but you need to read more to help open that communication up a bit better.
Do your best. You’ve got this.
Also, I should address the fact that maybe you aren’t sure what qualifies as scripture. That’s okay. I think God understands when you do your best to find what you think is scripture and start there. He has a way of leading us to truth when we are really looking for it, even if we don’t start off perfectly.
Way #6: Be Grateful
There is a LOT of evidence out there to suggest that gratitude makes you happier.
This point is similar enough to the point about noticing not-coincidences that you might think of them as one and the same, but they are a little bit different. One is writing experiences, and this one is plain, good-old gratitude for things.
I believe that gratitude with God in mind helps you to become happier AND get closer to Him.
I mean, if you are thanking God for the stuff He does for you, how could you NOT feel closer to Him?
Of course, gratitude is one of those things that is obvious, but can be very difficult to put into practice. You have to be pretty mindful about it. That’s where something like a gratitude journal can make a difference. (This one is more generic, while this super-cute one has bible verses in it.)
If you want a very basic journal with three simple lines to write three things that you’re grateful for on every, the bible gratitude journal from up above or this simple gratitude journal are both arranged that way.
Way #7: Listen
Reading scriptures is a really good way to tell God that you are listening, but you can practice listening in other ways too.
Take a walk and listen to what God has to say to you. Look at the stars for a minute. Or maybe just take a moment to be quiet in the shower (if that’s all you can do).
Just give God a minute of your day and ask Him if there’s anything you should know or do in the hours ahead. Listen to the thoughts and ideas you get in your mind.
Some of the best ideas and thoughts I have ever had in my life have come this way.
Oh, and if you have kids that scream and yell all day and make it impossible to hear yourself think, try getting up a few minutes before they do (when you can) and take that time to listen, pray, and read scripture.
Way #8: Change Something You Know You Should
Sometimes it’s not so much something we aren’t doing that’s keeping us away from God. It’s something we are doing that we shouldn’t be doing.
You know when you know something is wrong deep down, but you do it anyway?
It’s like when, as a kid, you hit your sister and felt sort-of bad, but still did it again next time you were mad.
Well, sometimes there are things like that in our lives that “block” us from getting closer to God. They block us because we are knowingly doing something we know is wrong, and we can feel it. And because we are choosing to do something wrong knowingly, we are literally choosing to step away from God.
Which can make it hard to get closer to Him. So we have to choose to give that thing up.
And sometimes, that thing can be so hard to give up that we have to ask for God’s help—and even the help of other people—to give it up over time. But it starts with deciding that you want to give up whatever it is that you shouldn’t be doing.
Way #9: Discover and Keep God’s Commandments
If you want to learn about science, what do you do?
You learn and understand the rules and the ways that it works.
And to learn more, you have to typically know and apply other rules. For example, it’s hard to study microorganisms with a microscope if you don’t follow the intended rules for using a microscope and properly creating slides or samples to observe.
I would invite you to ask God for help to find out about His rules so that you can be close to Him. I can promise you that if you sincerely try to learn about and follow His rules, you will get closer to God, and He will help guide you.
Way #10: Forgive
This piece of anyone’s journey to get closer to God is perhaps simultaneously the simplest and the most difficult.
I don’t have a lot to say about forgiveness. All of you have heard about how holding a grudge and anger towards someone does more harm than good.
I can attest that forgiveness, and letting go of your anger or frustration, is freeing for you and the person in question. Forgiving someone else can be extremely difficult, and sometimes forgiving can take years of struggling and working through layers of emotions as complicated and dense as the many layers of an onion.
However, I do believe that we can ask God for help. I believe that His power helps us to let go of all the anger, hurt, and agony that otherwise would hang over our heads forever.
And I personally believe that this forgiveness is possible because of Jesus Christ.
Whatever your path for forgiveness, however, I do believe that when we forgive, it automatically helps us to get closer to God for two reasons:
- We likely need God’s help in the process of forgiving, and the experience of asking for and receiving God’s help to forgive brings us closer to Him.
- The resulting peace from forgiving someone helps us to clearly feel and see how God reaches out to us, allowing us to be closer to Him.
Bonus Way #11: Work Past Fear
When we are afraid, it can create a sort of static that can block out our ability to feel God’s love and guidance in our lives. It’s not that God doesn’t want to comfort us; it’s that (in my experience) focusing on fear can fill up our senses so completely that we don’t have room to feel the peace God is trying to offer us.
So, deciding that you are going to trust God instead of being afraid can go a long way in keeping you close to God.
When I’m struggling with fear instead of faith, I typically do may of the other ideas up above (especially prayer). Doing those things helps me to push out my fear, especially if I have made a conscious choice to have faith instead of being afraid.
So what if you have anxiety? That can be hard to control.
Well, I would definitely recommend getting professional help if your anxiety is bad enough that it seems to be blocking your ability to get closer to God.
If you aren’t open to that, try creating calming habits to help you work past fear. I do activities such as the following:
- Write down all of your fears and worries at a set time (otherwise you’re “not allowed” to think about them) and examine them objectively. Ask questions like “Is this really what I should be worried about?” and “Is this a worry I can control?” or “Am I wasting my time worrying about this (because I can’t control it)?”
- Do deep breathing exercises at a set time during the day and before bed-time (or when you’re stressed out).
- Exercise (this might sound like an overworked and over-used solution, but it’s one that works)
- Keep a gratitude journal (or an everyday journal!)
I know that doing things like prayer, scripture study, and walks to talk with God also do double duty for me. They help me to control anxiety AND get closer to God. It might be the same for you.
30 Day Challenge to Get Closer to God
That about wraps everything up. However, I want it to be easy for YOU to apply the principles in this article. That’s why I came up with 30 day challenge to get closer to God!
Just enter your info in the form below, and I will send you a link to my FREE 30 day get closer to God challenge!
I don’t intend this to be click-bait-ish. I really DO want you to have the chance to do this challenge for getting closer to God. In exchange, I will get your email so that I can send you the link to the file. I will also send you info about my blog later on. (Maybe there will be something else free that you’ll like!) But, you can always unsubscribe if you don’t want to hear from me anymore. (I know I can be annoying. Just ask my family.)
I hope you enjoy! Get your challenge or share YOUR thoughts down below about how to get closer to God. I might feature your ideas or add them to my article later!