Children have a purity about them that is hard to find in adults. A young heart is more open and ready to love and a young mind is more inclined to change. One of the best ways to be closer to God is to be like a child – ready to love and inclined to change.
Luke 18:16 (NASB)
“Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Adults tend to be rigid. Battered hearts become hardened. Too many wrong turns make many reluctant to turn at all. When looking for ways to be closer to God, an adult needs to become like a child. An adult needs to knock down the walls that surround their damaged heart and remove the blinders that keep them from seeing all the possibilities.
Matthew 18:3 (NASB)
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Of all the ways to be closer to God none is more precise than studying the Word of God. Children listen to Bible stories with wonder and excitement. Some adults look at Bible study as a chore. Moving closer to God requires that child-like faith.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Sincere prayer alone with God, offering your love and appreciation for Him, giving thanks for all He has done in your life, and seeking His guidance, will certainly move you closer. Children believe God hears their every word. Adults sometimes pray in groups and are more interested in the others in the group hearing their prayer rather than God. Prayer time alone with God will move you closer to Him and likely give you a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationship to Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Love is not simply a feeling, it is an action and a decision. Children show their love with hugs and gifts like a fresh picked flower. Taking the time to share that kind of heart felt love for those around you will go a long way toward moving you closer to God. Make a decision to respond to every situation with love and take action by seeking out those you’ve neglected so that you can give them special attention.
John 13:34 (NASB)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
There are many ways to be closer to God through giving. Children love to wrap things up and give them away as gifts. Adults often are more concerned with the sacrifice of the thing that is being given away. To move closer to God you will need to let go of whatever you are giving away with joy in your heart. You can give of your time, your money, or your personal possessions. In so doing, you will also be giving love which may be more valuable than all the other.
Luke 6:38 (NASB)
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”
Children often offer to help even when they don’t have the skills to do the job. Adults will make excuses and find multiple reasons not to help if they can. The devil likes to tell us we don’t have time to help or our help is not even needed. Our selfish side will listen to the devil and go the other way to avoid a disruption in our regular routine. The truth is we all have some time in our schedule that we can devote to helping others. Without question, helping others is one of the best ways to be closer to God. When those being helped smile and offer heart-felt thanks, you will feel the presence of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB)
“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to break up an argument between two children, you may have experienced how eager they are to put the negativity aside and get back to playing and having fun. Carrying a grudge sets up a wall between you and God that blocks a more intimate relationship with Him. Consider how good you will feel when you put down that baggage and walk away. Turning off negative thoughts about others is another good way to move closer to God.
Matthew 6:14 (NASB)
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
You don’t have to be a theologian or the pastor of a church to minister to others. What you need is the ability to listen and sincerely care about the lives of others. Children can minister to adults with a hug or a show of deep concern. That simplistic approach to ministry is precisely what’s needed. Simply asking someone in need how you can help is a form of ministry. Following through by providing that help directly or making a connection with someone more qualified to help is a form of ministry. Introducing someone to the Bible, prayer, or inviting them to your church is a form of ministry. You will feel God reaching out to you as you reach out to others.
1 Timothy 4:6 (NIV)
“If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”
If you take a little time to consider each of the seven examples given here, you will quickly discover they all expand out in several directions. Studying the Word of God can include helping others, and giving Bibles as gifts, and ministering to those in need. There are limitless possibilities as to how you can combine and multiply these seven avenues leading to a closer relationship with God. Simply taking the time to explore the possibilities is your first step closer to Him. Stay focused; keep traveling toward the light.
John 8:12 (NASB)
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
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