– by Kim Roberts
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22. The Scripture above talks of drawing near to God, but few people actually know how to practically ‘draw near to God’. Zephaniah 3:1-2 talks of woe for those who do not obey or accept correction; do not trust in the Lord and those who do not draw near to God. There is no better time to draw near to God than right now!
Here are some suggestions on how to draw near to our Heavenly Father:
1. Read at least one Psalm daily, soaking in the reality of how powerful God is, His nature and how much He loves His people. Our King rewards those who believe Him and live lives dedicated to glorifying Him.
2. Nurture a grateful heart and delight in the Lord. Keep a book of blessings that you fill in daily (perhaps at the breakfast table), of each wonderful blessing which God has bestowed on you, big and small.
3. Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, type it out, put your own name in place of the word ‘love’, print it and stick it on your bathroom mirror or fridge and read it once a day, while you are brushing your teeth or searching the fridge for a snack, and try to memorise it.
4. Memorise Philippians 4:8-9 and live it with determination. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence or anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in Me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
5. Spend time throughout your day with God. Use available time to pray and talk to Him, or recall Scriptural promises to mind when queuing, brushing teeth, travelling, or during lunch times. Perhaps pick a section of Scripture daily and mull it over in your mind for the day, let the meaning truly sink into the depths of your soul.
6. Listen to good praise and worship music with meaningful words that touch the deepest chord within you. Do this in the car, when everyone is getting ready in the morning, or while you are preparing dinner. Do take time, though, to simply sit and listen to it, join in and sing along. Allow the meaning of the words to soak into your soul. Be aware of the words, enjoy the praise. There are so many styles of Christian music out there now; you will easily find something to your taste.
7. Frequently bow down before God – on your hands and knees, with your face to the floor. Thank Him for who He is and praise His omnipresence and omnipotence. Be silent before Him in awe; be still and know that He is God.
8. Seek daily opportunities to do good to others. Return evil with good.
9. Smile! Realise that regardless of your circumstances, God is real! He is there and continually working (even if we cannot see results yet) to develop all Christians into mature, Christ-like people for His glory. God is in control and will work everything for the best (Rom 8:28).
10. Repeat to yourself wonderful promises given in Scripture during your times of trial. Believe that the promises are true, even if you do not have the evidence of them in your life at a specific moment. (Hebrews 11:1).
11. Embark on a committed, focussed Bible study programme. Learning more of the Word, and of God’s nature, will deepen your relationship. Fellowship with other believers, as this often helps to keep you motivated.
12. REMEMBER: Satan is the thief who comes to destroy anything good – recognise the deceiver and resist. Stay close to God in the shadow of His wing. Put on the armour of God and stand firm.
13. Trust that with men things may be impossible, but with God all things are possible. Read Proverbs 3:5-6.
14. Remember, dabbling in sin will ruin your appetite for God – you will feel guilt and instinctively feel unacceptable to God. Get rid if the habit of sin. God’s hands are extended, waiting for us to call to Him to help in our spiritual battles.
15. Accept that there is nothing in your life that is more important than getting to know God: no hobby, dream, nor accomplishment or even any possession you may desire. Realise that God is your designer and He knows all your hurts, needs, weaknesses, dreams and experiences intimately, and He knows how to work these things specifically for your good. Just obey, and delight in God. He will give you the strength if you truly seek to live for His glory. He blesses us with an abundant life.