In keeping with some of the ways I've been reading about for improving a blog, I've decided to to try one out this morning - the "how to" type of post...
There are many ways we can draw closer to the Lord, but I am going to discuss three of the most common ways. As you know, by reading previous posts, I had/have been going through a dry spell where I seemed to have strayed of my path with the Lord. Oh, I still believed and all - didn't lose my faith - but I just couldn't seem to draw close to Him. These are ways I am using to get back on track and back on the path of my walk with the Lord.
Read the Bible: The Bible is God's Word. We read in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This is, of course, referring to Jesus. How do I know this? In verse 14, we read, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."
As Christians, the Bible is very important to us; it is about Jesus (and it is Jesus), and it is a way to help guide us and our walk. God can still speak to us through His Word; therefore, we need to immerse ourselves in the Bible, and we need to set aside time every day to read it.
While I was struggling in my walk, I had talked with my pastor and he told me that it's OK to just sit and read it for the sake of reading. Every time we read, it doesn't have to be a time to study the Bible; sometimes we need to get back on track and just simply reading a chapter or two (or more) is enough to jump start our walk again. This worked for me. It has been over two months since I got back into reading my Bible every day, and may have only missed a reading once.
Studying the bible is important, but there are times when we find that we can't study it. At those times, we need to remember to not stop reading, to not get away from His Word. At those times, simply reading the Bible is OK. God can still speak to us through the Bible, even if we are just reading it.
Meditate: I am not talking about the Eastern tradition of meditating whereby one sits with legs crossed in the lotus position, hands turned upright, eyes closed, and saying "ohm" over and over. No, what I am referring to is simply thinking about what you have read. Taking our Bible reading a step further, we should meditate on the passages that speak to us, and think how it applies to our lives.
After reading your chapter(s) take some time to think over what you have read. How does what you have read speak to you? If you have been reading about repenting, is there anything you need to repent of? If you've been reading the Psalms where David is praising God about something, do you need to offer praise to God?
Pray: Prayer is key in a Christian's life. It's how we communicate with God. The different types of prayers is a whole other post, which I won't get into here. I just simply want to state that our God is a God with whom we can communicate. We can lay before Him our cares and concerns, our praises and thanks, and anything else in our hearts.
Prayer is communicating - it's talking with God. Don't worry if your prayers don't sound fancy; that's not what counts. What counts is that you talk to the Lord. Even though He knows everything, He still wants us to talk to Him and tell Him what we desire, what is troubling us, etc.
As with communicating to our family, friends, co-workers, and everyone, during prayer, we need to also listen. If we pray to God and simply do all the talking, and don't offer Him a chance to speak to us, it is like calling your best friend and spewing out all your news and information without giving him/her a chance to respond, and then hanging up. That's not communicating. Communicating is when all parties involved have a chance to speak.
There you have it - three little ways that can help you draw closer to God. By reading our Bibles, meditating on the Word, and praying, we can, and will, draw closer to the Lord. It is important to practice these things daily. It might take a little time to get to a point where we do things things on a daily basis, but don't be discouraged if you miss a day or two or more. Just start over and keep at it. And remember, if you are trying to draw closer to the Lord, the enemy will do what he can to prevent that from happening - be on your guard, and make sure to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
How do you draw closer to the Lord? Is Bible reading, meditation, and prayer a daily part of your life? Can you list other ways of drawing closer to the Lord?