I used to not want to draw closer to God. The people I knew who were super religious tended to always be a little strange.
Even though I had a desire to have a closer relationship with God, I didn’t want to become weird.
I was actually really scared of how it would change me.
Could I never wear cute clothes again? I guess c’est la vie to bikinis at the beach.
Could I never drink again? Being a lover of parties, happy hours, dancing, and general socializing, this was definitely a concern
As a woman, was I all of a sudden supposed to be meek and quiet and “know my place behind my male comrades”. As an opinionated person, the idea of submitting myself to a pre-1920’s lifestyle of gender inequality was out of the question.
But then it happened. I did draw closer to God in a completely life changing way (read more about my testimony here).
The shocking part is, none of it turned out to be what I expected it to be like.
Instead of feeling trapped by all of these things I was “not allowed” to do, I felt a sense of freedom I’d never felt before.
Instead of feeling like I needed to suppress my personality and identity, I discovered a whole new identity in Christ where I could flourish by using the talents and skills that God created me to have.
Instead of feeling lost and confused with the direction of my life, I felt a new sense of purpose, encouragement, and hope.
When I told people my story, I braced myself for awkward conversation, but instead I saw intrigue etched on their faces.
It turns out, drawing closer to God was freaking awesome! My hope and my prayer is that you experience it, too.
If you are nervous about what lies on the other side of having a closer relationship with God, don’t be. Unless you were a little off-beat before, drawing closer to God will not make you weird.
My only word of caution is you might become obsessed with God. You might become addicted to spending time with Him, to hearing what He has to say, and experience what He is doing in, and through, your life.
That my friends, is an addiction that is perfectly okay. 🙂
How to Draw Closer to God
What is Intimacy with God?
Moses, David, and of course, Jesus had an intimate relationship with God, but what made their relationship different than anyone else’s?
Something that’s helpful to realize is whether you’re intimate with God or not, God is already intimate with you.
God already knows your heart, your thoughts, and your most private, desires and dreams. (Psalm 139) Kind of a crazy realization isn’t it?
How often do we get frustrated with our parents, friends, or significant other because they JUST DON’T GET YOU?
You want to scream from the rooftops, DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHERE I’M COMING FROM? DOES ANYONE CARE?
It’s frustrating beyond belief!
Now, imagine for a second that there is a person who completely understands where you are coming from. That there was a person who always cares for you.
Not only does this person care about you, but He created you and carefully designed you to have your own unique personality, opinions, style, sense of humor, and so much more.
You’re His wonderful masterpiece. In a way, He’s a part of you.
THIS is what you gain when you have intimacy with God.
Someone who gets you. Who guides you. Who cares for you. Who loves you. Who always wants what’s best for you.
THIS IS GOD.
He is your friend. Your Father. Your counselor. Your mentor. Your coach.
Having a close relationship with God is unlike any other relationship. It’s deeper than any other relationship.
You can share things with God that you would NEVER share with anyone else. You can ask for help in your most distressed moments of weakness. And you can share with Him your highest moments of happiness and thanks when life is amazing.
God is always with you. Even when you are not with God, God is with you.
God knows you.
Now the question is, how well do you know God?
How to Build a Relationship with God
The foundation of drawing closer to God is to have a relationship with God. By having a relationship with God, we get to know God better.
God knows so much about us, but half the time we are clueless about Him. Because we don’t properly KNOW God, we create all of these false ideas of who God is.
But let me warn you, God is mysterious. There are things about God that we do not know, and might never now.
How many scholars have tried to figure out the purpose of life? I’ll give you a hint, it’s been studied and questioned since the beginning of time.
There are certain things we don’t know, and might not ever know, until we meet God face to face.
HOWEVER, there are tools and resources that God has given us here on earth so we can have a relationship with Him.
A relationship with God can manifest into many different forms, however, there are some tried and true mediums that God has given us so we are able to know Him, and His character, more.
The biggest ones are through reading the Bible and prayer. After that I would prioritize going to church regularly and building strong relationships with other Christians.
However, God doesn’t ever pigeon-hole His relationship with you. This goes back to God creating you in that special, unique way. God speaks to you in a special, unique way, too.
Read More: How to Hear from God
If you are drawn to nature, maybe you experience God through the peace and solitude of hiking and camping.
If painting makes you come alive, then maybe God is using this craft for you to draw closer to Him.
Ask yourself what captivates your heart? Whatever it is, I guarantee you God will use it to draw you closer to Him.
For me, I feel I was just born and designed to have a deep love for travel. It’s all I’ve ever wanted or dreamed about, even as a little girl. However, the more I pursued the freedom of a life full of travel, I also experienced God pursuing me wherever I went.
God is so cool like that. He uses what you love to bring you back to Him.
He is always pursuing you and calling your name.
Allow yourself the freedom to think outside the box when it comes to building a relationship with God. I have even taken spiritual retreats so I could really connect and spend time with God somewhere beautiful and tropical.
This is why having a relationship with God is so amazing. It’s not a marching order or a list of rules.
It’s a deep friendship.
Draw Closer to God through the Bible
Digging into the Word of God is so crucial for your walk with God. This post is all about how WE can draw closer to GOD, but God also uses the Bible to draw closer to US. Time and time again I have received an answer to prayer, or even a word of encouragement for someone else, through what has been written in the Bible.
The Bible is powerful
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joins and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Basically, the Bible is not just any ole’ book.
The Bible is in fact one of the key resources God has given us on earth to help us know Him more. It is designed to guide us so we know and understand God’s character.
I can’t tell you how much revelation I have received just by knowing God’s character through what is written in the Bible.
Just as an example, here are two common questions I have had:
- Why did women in Jewish culture (and many other cultures) have no rights? Does this mean God thinks less of women?
- If God cares, why does He do nothing for those that suffer?
You’ll find that these really difficult questions (that often times we like to ignore) are better understood when you read the Bible and truly understand the character of God.
Entire novels could be written regarding each of these points, however let me briefly break down some of these points just for context:
Does God think less of women?
What we do know from the Bible is God created both male and female in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Both males and females are saved by grace and fellow heirs to God’s kingdom (1 Peter 3:7).
Women were considered gifted, anointed, and spiritual leaders, even in the Old Testament. In Exodus 15:20-21, Miriam (Moses’ sister) was a prophetess who leads the women in song and dance after crossing the red sea.
We see in the Book of Esther that Esther was a Jewish queen who was used by God to display sovereignty and loving care for His people.
Men and women are created differently, but also given indispensable roles that complement each other in the achievement of God’s ultimate purposes.
For more on this subject, I encourage you to read Women of God: Hard Questions, Beautiful Truth by Kathleen Nielson. This book dives into what the Bible really says about women, and addresses tough questions like, “is God somewhat sexist?” and more. Click here for details and current price.
Why does God do nothing for those that suffer?
It’s easy to see this mess of a world around us and think God is heartless and does not care. However, what we see from the Bible tells us quite a different story.
Some of my favorite bible verses on this subject are:
- Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
- Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
- Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
- 1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
God cares about people.
God cares about you.
To think differently is to not truly understand the character of God. However, God does gives us free will.
Unfortunately, the majority of suffering experienced in the world is what people inflict on other people.
That is why one of God’s greatest commandments is the golden rule, to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:9-18) and treat others the way you would like to be treated (Luke 6:31).
It’s crazy to think that God doesn’t care about those who suffer because God not only shows us love, but God IS love.
1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
For more on this subject, I encourage you to read Why Does God Allow Suffering? by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The question of “why does a good God allow us to suffer” is an age-old question asked by millions. Does God not care? If God is so powerful, why doesn’t He end suffering? These are just some of the questions addressed in Dr. Lloyd Jones book. Click here for details and current price.
When you begin to read and study the Bible, things begin to make more sense. You begin to understand who God is, and His character.
Bible Study for Getting Closer to God
I already know what you’re thinking, “I’ve tried reading the Bible and I just don’t understand it”.
First of all, don’t worry – you aren’t the only one. This is the biggest complaint I hear when it comes to drawing closer to God.
Thankfully, resources have been made to help us along in our Bible reading journey.
As you study the Bible (especially in the beginning), you may find yourself with more questions than answers. This is why I recommend you read with a study Bible that helps you understand and interpret major themes and concepts as you go along.
The Life Application Study Bible
The exact Bible that I use is the Life Application Study Bible which is truly amazing. I honestly feel I would be lost without it.
What I love about this Bible is there is opening information for each book of the Bible. This information includes a few paragraphs of the major concept and theme of each book, who wrote the book, why the book was written, the time and setting in history the events occurred, maps with modern names and boundaries to show where the events occurred, the original audience the book was written for, key people and bible verses for each book, and so much more!
It is truly an amazing Bible!
If you want to spend more time in the Bible but find it difficult to read and are constantly confused, this Bible is definitely the one for you. 🙂 Click here for details and current price.
She Reads Truth Bible
Another resource I would HIGHLY recommend is the She Reads Truth Bible. In addition to everything mentioned above from the Life Application Study Bible, the She Reads Truth Bible also provides a reading plan with helpful notes so you can easily move from one Book of the Bible to the next without feeling lost.
This is important because it addresses one of the key problems people have when reading the Bible. They start at the beginning (Genesis) and happily make their way through Exodus, but get stumped at Leviticus because it is SO HARD TO READ.
Then they give up.
Don’t do this.
The She Reads Truth Bible has easy to understand reading plans showing you what to read each week to stay on track. Click here for details and current price.
Another great way to read and understand the Bible is to get plugged in with a small group or bible study through your local church, but more on that later!
Bible Verses about Getting Closer to God
Bible verses about getting closer to God all have a similar theme, we move first, we take the first step.
When we draw closer to God, God also draws closer to us.
When we seek the Lord, God promises us He will be found.
Like what is written in the last bible verse listed, Revelation 3:20, “I stand at the door and knock”, God is always seeking us, however it up to us to open the door.
“Opening the door” takes the form of everything that is mentioned in this post; reading the Bible, praying, going to church, and creating community with other Christian friends.
As you read these bible verses I hope they fill you with encouragement for your own walk with God. 🙂
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.”
“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.”
Getting Closer to God Through Prayer
Prayer is a wonderful way to draw closer to God. Having a consistent and strong prayer life is something that might take some work (at least in the beginning) until it becomes a habit. However, I promise you it is worth all the effort a hundred-fold.
But still, I totally get it when people say they struggle with prayer.
Do you feel a bit silly like you’re just talking to yourself?
The funniest thing I’ve read on prayer was from Liz Gilbert in her book Eat Pray Love where she says, “Speaking to God was such a foreign concept to me I swear I almost began with, ‘I’m a big fan of your work’”.
Praying regularly can definitely feel like a foreign concept until you get used to it. The real beauty however is when you feel connected to God through prayer and you start to listen to that still, small voice.
I’ve written a few blog posts on prayer that I think you’ll love! Here are my favorites that will help you draw closer to God so you can have a more intentional and purposeful prayer life.
- 5 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Pray
- How to Pray for Beginners (I know the title says for beginners, but honestly, it’s a great read no matter how far you are in your walk with God)
- How to Pray Effectively in 10 Simple Steps
- 4 Simple Prayer Tips I Wish My Pastor Had Told Me
A Prayer to Help You Get Closer to God
If you are unsure of what to say or where to even start when it comes to drawing closer to God, let this prayer be a guide for you.
I thank you so much that you want to have a closer and more intimate relationship with me. The Bible says in James 4:8 that when I draw near to you, you will draw near to me. Today I am drawing near to you. It is my desire to seek you, your truths, your guidance, and your words for my life. I want to know you more, hear you more, and experience you more.
I pray for wisdom and strength to seek you clearly and consistently today, and every day. Please fill me with a joy to seek you daily and give me eyes to see and ears to hear and understand your truths.
Help me to draw closer to you and to fall more in love with you and your righteousness every day.
If Jesus’ name I give you praise forever.
Go to Church Regularly
Does going to church regularly already sound like a pain?
Have you tried going to church but you left feeling hurt by the church?
Do you feel people who go to church are hypocrites?
There are many reasons why people are wary of going to church. I went through a stage where I was like, “God, you know I love you and I’ll pray and read my Bible regularly, but I don’t want to go to church”.
I think there’s many people who feel this way. It took me a while, but I finally understood the value of church and community.
The church is, has been, and always will be flawed.
There, I said it.
But the reason why the church is flawed is because people are flawed. At the end of the day the church is just a gathering of people. God’s people.
One thing I have learned throughout my life here on earth is that people are only human and they’re bound to mess up, regardless if they are Christian or not.
If you have been hurt by the church, I sincerely say I am sorry for what you have experienced, but know that you are not alone. Myself, and countless others, have also been hurt by the church.
My prayer for you is that you try again, and are able to get plugged into a healthy, loving, and life-giving church that cares about you the way God cares about you.
If that description of church is far from the one that you attend (or have attended), pray to God and ask for His divine intervention to guide you towards the right church for you.
This is exactly what I did.
Through a series of amazing events I started to attend an incredible church that helped me grow by leaps and bounds in my walk with God. PS: if you live in San Diego check out C3 San Diego! It might not be for everyone, but I flourished there. 🙂
Join a Small Group or Bible Study
I promised we would return to this topic, and here we are. 🙂 Once you find a church that you love, do not hesitate to get connected and join a small group or bible study.
Especially if you struggle with reading the Bible, I highly recommend you find a bible study to help you make sense of God’s Word.
Not only do small groups help you feel like you are a part of your church community, it also allows you a safe space to discuss topics you are struggling with.
This can be questions from the Bible, questions about your walk with God, and even just questions about your life. It is ridiculously helpful to be able to just discuss things with other believers because you already have a similar interest and foundation in your love for Jesus Christ.
Small groups also help you to process and understand things better, and gain perspective in a fresh and real way.
Make Christian Friends
Remember how I said I was nervous to draw closer to God because most people I knew who were religious were weird?
PS: I hate using the word “religious” but for a lack of finding another acceptable word, I use it sparingly.
Well, as you can imagine this also impacted my desire to make Christian friends.
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to be their friend, I was more concerned that I couldn’t be myself around them.
I felt like everything I said would lead me to feeling judged or condemned in some way. I couldn’t tell them I drank because they would judge me, and I couldn’t joke around with them because…well..they would judge me.
I felt like I just didn’t belong. Couldn’t I just love God and that be enough? Did I really need to make other Christian friends?
If you have ever felt these fears too, be encouraged. Yes, there are Christians who fit the description mentioned above, but that doesn’t go for all of us.
A real and honest Christian community is one where people don’t treat you like they’re superior or “holier than thou” but instead where you can mutually and equally share, encourage, and up lift each other’s faults in a truthful and loving way.
You become a support system for each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says this beautifully, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help the up.”
We aren’t meant to go through life alone. We are stronger together.
If making Christian friends is something you struggle with, pray for God to put someone in your path.
Praying for friendship was something I prayed fervently over, and because God is just so good, He brought the most amazing, encouraging, funny, and loving ladies into my life.
I met one girl through a small group, one girl through Instagram, and another from Craigslist (and no, I didn’t put up out an ad for someone to be my friend, lol). This just proves you really never know how God will provide.
How to Get Closer to God by Fasting
Are you familiar with fasting? Fasting is a biblical principle used throughout the Bible by Moses, Elijah, Esther, Job, David, Daniel, Paul, and even Jesus.
I fast at least twice a year, but definitely more than that if I feel stuck or am really in need of hearing from God. Fasting honestly works when nothing else will. It’s truly amazing.
The basic idea behind a fast is for you to restrain from eating either all foods, or just certain foods, for a period of time out of a practice of self-discipline.
Our body, mind, and soul is all connected. The foods that we eat affect our bodies, which in turn affects our minds and souls.
By denying yourself certain foods while simultaneously drawing closer to God through a more fervent prayer life, you become more sensitive, clear, and level-headed so you are able to hear God’s voice better.
I have had the most amazing breakthroughs during a fast. I highly recommend you give it a try.
For more detailed information on everything you need to know about fasting, read my guide Everything You Need to Know About the 21-Day Daniel Fast.
Intimacy with God Books
If intimacy with God is something you truly desire but are finding yourself constantly struggling, I definitely recommend purchasing one (or all!) of the books mentioned. They are so helpful in learning more about what it is like to have a relationship with God and to dive deeper into this life that He has given us.
Drawing Near: A Life of Intimacy with God by John Bevere
If you aren’t already familiar with John Bevere, he is a best-selling author and amazing public speaker. I’ve actually had the honor of hearing him and his wife, Lisa Bevere, speak live and they were both incredible.
His book, Drawing Near, is a great read to help you explore a life of intimacy with God. John Bevere emphasizes the need for obedience and how to improve our communication with the Holy Spirit by understanding that prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue. There’s also a “how to draw near to God” section which offers practical tips towards developing true intimacy with God. Click here for details and current price.
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Hear For? by Rick Warren
Rick Warren is an incredibly gifted pastor, speaker, and writer whose book, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold over 25 million around the world. The success of this book honestly speaks for itself.
I have read it multiple times, the first by itself, the second with a workbook, and the third with a small group. It’s a great read loaded with helpful insights in our walk with God and our unique purpose here on earth. Click here for details and current price.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
To put it plainly, I am obsessed with this book. If you’ve ever thought that surely there is more to this life that God has given us than to go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss, then Crazy Love is for you.
Francis addresses our heart’s longing to break free from the status quo and have a true hunger for a real and authentic faith. As Francis writes, “once you encounter God’s love, you will never be the same”.
Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. Click here for details and current price.
Getting Closer to God Quotes
I love a good quote because it helps you understand other people’s thoughts in a quick and powerful way. I hope these quotes give you inspiration for your own walk with God.
“I had struggled so hard and so long that I had simply exhausted myself, only to find that God had all the time in the world to wait for me to allow Him to free me.”
Michelle McKinney Hammond
“Trying to know God and serve Him before we come to love Him is exhausting.”
“Real joy comes when we get the right desire met – the desire for God himself, for a life led by the Spirit, fulfilling not our material desires but our deepest need, which is to be in a close relationship with our Creator. That is the source of true blessing. The only source.”
Michael W. Smith
“Don’t just be a church goer, find God”
“Just as teenagers can live in the same house as their parents, yet choose not to live “close” to them in partnership, so we can choose to be children of God, yet live very distant from God in our hearts. On the other hand, we can choose to have the closest partnership with Him, in which we know what He thinks, believes, and acts and what is important to Him. In this place of intimacy, we also discover just how close He wants to be with us.”
I hope this guide helps you in learning how to draw closer to God. The biggest takeaway is to draw closer to God so you can have an intimate relationship with Him. Strive to connect with God daily so you can have a real and authentic relationship with your Heavenly Father.?
How to Hear God’s Voice
How to Pray Effectively in 10 Simple Steps
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Great article… Really had great time reading your spiritual story!