By: Katie Runnels
In response to my last blog, my husband asked me to do a follow-up piece on how to get closer to God.
Using the premise of the last blog that happiness comes from being close to God and acting on his behalf, how do we then actively get close to God? How do we practically know God intimately?
When my husband asked me these questions, I immediately began thinking of “my” response. However, this blog is dedicated to the words of Jesus Christ–and only my interpretation of those words. What does Jesus say and model in regards to getting close to “Our Father” ?
In Matthew 11, Jesus speaks of being “yoked” to him. We are to first “come” to him, then be at his side–connected to him. We have to take the first step and make the first move.
Read the following passage starting with Matthew 11:28
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
To get closer to God, once again, we have to take responsibility and get connected to him. God will not force us to do anything. He invites us. He guides us. He does not force his will. He gives us the choice…
You might be thinking to yourself: How do I get connected to someone I do not see?
This is a very good question. You do it by faith. You breathe air you do not see. Because you do not see it does not mean it is not there. In that same way, Jesus Christ there. He is here. He is everywhere. GOD IS. JESUS IS.
Think of it like this: Jesus is your best friend. Nothing can change that. Now, you want to get to know him more… What do you do when you want to know a friend better? You spend time with him or her. You reach out. You talk. You ask questions.
In order to really get close to a friend, you must be vulnerable. You must open up your heart and be honest with him or her.
I challenge you to do this with Jesus. I challenge you to start talking to Jesus as your best friend. He is your best friend who is gentle, pure love, pure acceptance, pure grace. Get connected to him by getting honest with him. Invite his presence into your space. In faith ask him to come closer. And give him your worries. He will reveal himself. Remember, you must have faith. Just like the last blog stated, faith and fear do not coexist. Set your fears aside. Choose faith.
If you feel you cannot choose faith, then say this prayer: “Lord Jesus, I do not feel like I have any faith; however, I want to have faith. Please give me faith.”
This little prayer is one little step closer to God. Take one step at at time. Take one day at a time.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be honest with you. Break down the denial that has kept me in fear. I invite your presence into every aspect of my life. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen
On a side note, a few days ago I watched a movie called Heaven is for Real. It is the true story of a little boy, Colton, who had a near death experience and went to heaven. He claims to have seen and talked to Jesus. He said that he even sat on Jesus’ lap. As depicted in the movie, around that same time there was a little girl of four years old who claims to have also seen Jesus. She saw him in Lithuania. She painted Jesus. Colton saw the painting and said that that was the Jesus he saw in Heaven. The picture is posted at the top of this blog entry. When talking to Jesus, it might help you to look into the eyes of the man in the picture. Talk to him while looking at the picture, if you have to, and see what happens in your heart!