Here is #29 of 31 Questions in 31 Days! To learn more about this 31 Day series, just search "31 Questions" in the search bar above or click here!
Q #29: I have fallen away from God. How do I, now that I am trying to get closer to God, and leave my past behind me, have a better relationship with God? I don't want to hurt or fail him again? How do I not allow that to happen?
A: This excellent question from a sincere seeker is something I've heard countless people ask in my more than 20 years in Christian ministry.
Part of what might be going on in this question is emotional--the perception of the person asking the question. One thing I think is helpful in getting square with emotions is deciding that God's word is true, regardless of what I'm feeling inside. This is one of the most basic, yet elusive, spiritual lessons to learn. Apart from that issue, I think there are 4 important steps to take when you want to draw near to God.
- Believe God. It may seem simple, but believing God in what he has to say about forgiveness, your worth, his faithfulness in the midst of our unfaithfulness, etc. is key in drawing near to God. After all, if you don't believe what God says about himself, you, sin, righteousness, etc., you won't really be able to get anywhere in terms of spiritual growth. When I read the question above closely, I'm wondering if that is part of what is going on--a need to draw near to God in faith that he accepts them and forgives them.
- Read the Bible and pray daily. These simple disciplines are powerful in bringing us closer to God, fixing our perspective and nourishing our capacity to believe God and know what he says about many things. One of the best tools I have found is online. Click here to see a tool that will help you read through the Bible in a day. Also, I have a quick and familiar method for Bible reading and prayer if you click here.
- Join a Life Group. If you've been at our church for the last three years, you've heard the importance of joining a small group many, many times. One of the benefits comes from the fact that authentic relationships between believers should result in some kind of accountability. Hearing from other believers about their struggles with sin or prayer or applying their faith to life can be one of the most powerful and effective paths to growing closer to God.
- Remain faithful in worship. One of the things I see people do that weakens them spiritually is that they let other things crowd out church attendance. Hearing God's word, worshipping, praying and being in the "epicenter" of God's grace in the church setting is indispensable for growing closer to God and feeling it!
You know, God does want us to grow closer to him in countless other places in the scriptures to come close to him. My hope is that by taking these three steps, you'll find yourself feeling closer to him soon.
Check out more posts from the 31 Questions series on subjects as varied as marijuana, infidelity, 666, the eternal destiny of children who die, dealing with discouragement, cremation, co-habitation, baptism, suicide, prayer, the origins of scripture, hell, work, the third heaven, tithing, Old Testament salvation, giving in the Old Testament, reading Proverbs, recovering from failure, taking the Bible literally, understanding the parables, universalism, Bible credibility,disappointment with people, recovering spiritual direction, fasting, and even speaking in tongues!
This coming Sunday at First Assembly Community Ministries, we will be changing the regular format for our service to accommodate questions from the congregation! I can't wait. Join us there on Sunday, February 1 for a morning of discovery on what we call Q Sunday for two unique services 9 and 11 AM.
Labels: 31 questions, Bible, discipleship, grow, life groups, prayer, Q Sunday, Question and Answer, spiritual disciplines, spiritual growth, spirituality