Do you feel distant from God? Like you need to hear God’s voice? Check out these 6 practical tips on getting closer to God. He wants to be close to you. James 4:7 says: “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you.”
Here are some ways that I have drawn close to God throughout my life. And when I am faithful in these practices, I can really tell the difference. You’ll feel Him drawing close to you in each method. (And the more you do them, the more natural they will feel.)
1. Spend time reading the Bible
2 Timothy 3:16 says that the Bible is God-breathed. The things that He wants you to know are written in the pages of this Holy book! Consider using a study Bible. I like to read a chunk of scripture (3-6 chapters or so) and read the commentary and re-read the scripture. I also like to use the New Living Translation and occasionally The Message. For more on why I like to read out of the Message, check this link.
2. Through prayer
Jesus said some pretty revolutionary things about prayer. It’s been 2000 years later and I’m still not sure we fully apply what He said. Does your prayer life look like this?
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (The Message)
3. Spend time listening while you pray
Did you know prayer is a conversation? In EVERY relationship, you’ll learn more about the other person when you listen. Sometimes when we pray, we often mimic our real-life conversations and just TALKTALKTALK.… with not much listening. In both person-to-person conversations and person-to-God conversations, we need to spend 50% or more of our time listening to others if possible.
For me, what this looks like is pausing between sentences in both prayer and in conversations. I know some who do this in different ways, including prayer journaling. If you have considered having a war room (prayer closet) in your house but can’t afford to lose the space, check out this post by Jo Ditt that features 7 creative ways to bring the war room out of the closet.
Listening in prayer is SO important. Check out what my fellow blogger, Christie at Heaven and Filth says about listening to God in her blog post:
Taking 15 to 20 minutes to reflect on what we’ve read is a great way to connect spiritually. It gives us time to apply His teachings to our life and truly understand what we’re reading. We can do this by asking God what He would like to say to us during this time or by asking if there’s anything He would like to reveal to us. It’s often in these moments where I hear God’s voice the loudest. I take time to reflect on what He’s saying to make sure I truly understand what is asked of me.
4. Spend time with mature Christians
God speaks through relationships as well! I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been SO lifted up by a seemingly normal conversation. This week, I had a small fender-bender. My car was undamaged but I somehow managed to mangle up the other person’s car. This person goes to my husband’s church. I let myself get really upset about the car and the money involved. For 3 days. On the 3rd day, my friend saw me at church and said “I think you’re overreacting about this. You need to let it go or you’ll hurt your relationship with this person”. She didn’t say it with condemnation but with grace. At the time, I could have promised that this was a heavenly voice. She was such a blessing to me.
5. Spend time in a local church
Sometimes I like to think about church as a team huddle. (It’s obviously a lot more than that but I’ll explain…)
In a team huddle, you hear the things you’re doing right and you’ll hear the things that need improvement. Except in the church, when you’re hearing these things not about a game, but about eternal matters. Sort of awesome when you think about it.
Have you ever went on a fast? My grandmother fasts during the day during every day of lent. She spends more time in prayer during the day because of this choice. That’s the point of fasting… to test your addictions and to rely more on God through prayer.
Let me make it really clear…
Sometimes you can’t hear God’s voice because you are hearing the voices of EVERYTHING else around you.
Sometimes it’s food. Or social media. Maybe it’s a Netflix series or shopping. Maybe you can take a fast from sweets or from other kinds of treats. You rely on some things more than you rely on God. Isolate those things and show them who’s boss. That’s the idea of fasting! You will hear God’s voice in this process.
What about you?
The world has a LOT to say to you. But so does God. Which voice will you listen to today?