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I have learned through experience and observation that the more intimate we are with God, the more perfect and powerful our lives become. With time, we begin to act and resemble those we spend our time with. Therefore, if we hang out with Jesus Christ, with time, we become more like him. The only problem is that most of us do not spend enough time with God.
Talking about our daily habits in Christianity sounds unchangeable. It sounds like adhering to religion instead of the relationship God has called us to. These daily habits are not a checklist, but steps that Christ modeled for us in his life or the steps that the Bible recommends us to be more like Jesus. 1 John 2:6 tells us that to be in a relationship with Christ, we should walk in the same way as He walked. The Holy Spirit is responsible for making us like Christ. When we emulate Jesus, we are drawn closer to our heavenly father. Philippians 1:6 tells us that the Holy Spirit began a good work on us, and He will continue to perfect it until that day when Christ will return. Did you know that there are steps that you can take every day to enable the Holy Spirit to through us and in us so that we are more like Jesus? James urges that to get close to God and He will come near us, James 4:8. If we confess our sins, transform our thoughts through the scripture, and practice humility, we will become more like Jesus Christ.
Even in our everyday lives, intimacy requires two things; truth and time. We Christians are afraid to find time to know God, or we are scared to seek His wisdom and guidance because of what He might tell us. It is as if we are afraid of being with God. And so, that mighty power that makes the devil nervous and scared when we wake up in the morning does not exist in us. Therefore, to be drawn closer to God, we must take time and be truthful so that our intimacy with Him grows.
The truth will always set you free. If you read through the book of Psalms, you will realize that one thing that David sought from God was time with Him. So to develop an intimacy that builds power with God, we have to face the truth that God shows us about ourselves. We must think about ourselves, where God has brought us from, our future, and even possess thoughts about God. The good thing is that God loves us very much, and He is never willing to leave us in a mess. God is always there to change us from the inside out.
You must understand that this cannot happen in a single day. First, we must see the truth about ourselves- which is the most challenging part and then pray to God so that He can change our circumstances. Also, we must face the fact that God wants to change us and draw us closer to him.
One of the ways to get closer to God is through the Bible. It does not matter if you are simply reading through the Bible or it’s your daily devotions, but spending time in God’s word will, undoubtedly, draw you closer to Him. You cannot be like Christ if you do not know Him, and knowing Him means you are a frequent reader of his word. 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul knew the importance of studying the Bible and encouraged his young charge- Timothy, to continue reading the Bible which he did from when he was a youth.
Sometimes we feel far away from God. Painful or discouraging circumstances batter us such that we lose faith and hope. Right now, you might be jobless, struggling with diseases, financial struggles, storms, civil unrest, among others. You feel overwhelmed by all these challenges and feel that you need God’s help, but how do you draw near God?
To answer this, I will retell you the story of Thomas- one of Jesus’ disciples.
- Draw near to God by simply showing up
Timothy’s story about despair and almost giving up on Jesus is told in John 20:19-29. Some men and women were close to Christ, but Thomas was the most immediate, being a disciple of Jesus. He had seen all the healings and miracles that Jesus performed. But also saw the terrible ending of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
First, Thomas saw Christ humiliated, stripped, and tortured. He also knew that Jesus had been declared dead and put in a grave. So, just like the other disciples, he went into hiding since he knew he was also not far from suffering the same ordeal as Christ. This fear made him wonder if there was anyone who cared anymore. His capacity to trust and believe was dead. Too much stuff had happened. The same thing is happening to some of us, thinking similar things in the present.
In the case of Thomas, perhaps he decided that he was good on his own. When the other disciples were gathered in a room, he was not with them, and fear was eating him up. However, Jesus showed up and proclaimed, ” Peace be with you,” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” They were pleased and transformed. Even after being dismayed, they met Christ, God the Son, alive by showing up in the community.
- Draw Near to God by always being yourself
Sometimes, the biggest doubters, the most gloomy, are the ones who fall in love with Christ the most. So, never give up on your colleagues who want to be drawn close to God, and never give up on yourself too. Just like Thomas, bring your heavy burdens and get in a place where you will find God. Attend a prayer group or go to church, just the way you are. The only way to draw closer to God is by encountering Him.
Although Thomas was reluctant, he finally agreed to join the disciples a week after the resurrection of Jesus. The ghost of hope was within him, and he was inspired that seeking God despite all the depressions might bear fruits. Once again, Jesus appeared to them in the locked room and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20: 26-27, Jesus told Thomas to put his fingers into His hands and stop doubting. Suddenly the world changed for Thomas, and the wonderful message is that ” When we reach the end of our path, God’s address is there.” We encounter our heavenly father not because we have been noble, godly, or spiritual, but because we have been broken and we are in great need. The good thing is that He comes for us.