Do you feel as though you are far away from God? Perhaps you recently established your relationship with Jesus and have been trying to draw nearer to Him but don’t know how. Or maybe you once had a great relationship with God but don’t remember the last time you prayed intentionally. I have personally been there.
There are various reasons that drive us away from God, from trials and tribulations to guilt and shame from our mistakes. Nevertheless, no matter what caused you to stumble, remember that Jesus loved you even while you were a sinner, and even now He is standing at your door knocking (Revelation 3:20). There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Therefore, I urge you to run back to your Father and draw nearer to Him today, and He will certainly draw nearer to you (James 4:8).
Similarly, let us take a look at five practical habits we can practise daily to grow and nurture our relationship with Jesus.
1. Be honest with God
The first step to drawing nearer to God is honesty. Tell God exactly how you feel. Whether you are heartbroken, disappointed with how your life is going, or struggling with certain addictions… No matter what it is, even if it’s simply how your day went or if there was something special that happened, share it with Him. He is your father, and He cares for you.
2. Pray consistently
Praying is simply engaging in an intentional conversation with God. Therefore, you can speak to Him while you are taking a shower, washing dishes, or perhaps on your way to school or work. Similarly, our relationships with God are highly personal; therefore, find ways to communicate with Him that work best for you. For instance, going on prayer walks or journaling. Talking to Him while washing the dishes or cleaning the house… You get the idea.
Ultimately, it is crucial, as children of God, that we pray without ceasing (Thessalonians 5:16–17).
3. Study the Bible daily
When it comes to reading the Bible, self-discipline is of the utmost importance. Nonetheless, much like prayer, you can make it fun and creative by going on solo dates, for example. BibleRef and Holy Bible are great apps that help with studying the word. Additionally, these apps, used in combination with an excellent Bible study method such as the SOAP method, are highly effective. It is crucial to remember that the Bible is unlike any other book, and we need to study it with the help of the Holy Spirit.
4. Spend quiet time in the presence of God
This can be done by taking time out of your day and finding a quiet place without any distractions—no worship music, no sermon, just you and God. During this time, you can read a devotional and the Bible. Similarly, quiet time is very important because most of the time we only focus on what we have to say to God in prayer, so use this time to actually listen to what God has to say.
5. Spend time with godly community
We may have individual and personal relationships with Jesus; however, we cannot run this race all on our own. In fact, where two or more are gathered, God promises to be there (Matthew 18:20). Consequently, regularly attending a local church is a great way to fellowship with other believers. Besides this, you can also join a Bible study group or a youth/young adult group that meets weekly. Consistently surrounding yourself with other believers creates meaningful, godly connections and keeps you rooted and grounded in Christ.
Undoubtedly, growing closer to God requires intentionality. This means that we should not just do the above habits merely for the sake of ticking them off our to-do lists, but because we wish to diligently seek the Lord with our whole hearts, and only then will we find Him.