How to Get Closer to God




Do you stop long enough so that God can break through the noise of your life? Television, music, conversations, and the Internet – a constant flow of noise. It takes discipline to stop and compare God's words with our inner dialogue. Our inner thoughts guide our actions and our decisions. If it is not aligned with God, we can't identify areas of unbelief, make corrections or connect deeper with God.


Being still before the Lord means we stop fighting Him.


1 Kings 19:11-12

And He said, “Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And, behold, the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still small voice.

Some commentaries on this scripture compare the “still, small voice” to Jesus’ mild voice and gentle nature. The “still, small voice” in verse 12 literally means “a sound of soft stillness.” God is so much more than the terrors of external power. He often speaks like a “light breath” penetrating the inmost soul, just like Jesus who spoke, without words, from the cross.

  • What can you do to experience more of God’s stillness in your life?
  • Get comfortable in a quiet place, still your body and mind and ask God to meet you there.

Exodus 14:14

The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

The word for “fight” here in Hebrew is lacham, which means to “consume or devour.” At the time, the Egyptian army was a dominant well-trained army. The Israelites had few weapons and no training. They should have been easy prey, but instead, the Egyptian army was wiped out. God often requires us to stand still and let Him do the work.

  • Look at how God forecasted what He would do in this verse. Remember, He often does not work on our timeline, but He does What situation in your life do you need to give over to God?


  • Psalm 4:3-5 | But know the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto Him. Stand in awe, and sin not. Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
  • Psalm 27:14 | Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Yes, wait on the Lord.
  • Psalm 62:5-6 | My soul, wait only upon God, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved.



Humbling ourselves before God begins with the explicit recognition we have defied God by embracing the things He hates; things we were never created for. You know in your heart, “This is wrong. I have sinned. God is grieved.” (The opposite of this is often justification: “I was wounded. If you knew what I went through and how badly I've been treated, you would cut me some slack.”)


Bad news: The penalty for sin is death. Worse: We’re guilty and incapable of saving ourselves.


Genesis 3:9

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

Even when God called to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” He knew where they were. He knew they had sinned. He called because He is love. He was inviting them to confession. This was already a manifestation of the Good Shepherd, calling and looking for His lost sheep (Luke 19:10).

  • Where are you in your relationship with God?
  • Read the whole chapter of Genesis 3 through the lens of God’s love. Yes, Adam and Eve have sinned, but God still loved them passionately. Read between the lines about His goodness – He immediately promised them Jesus and His salvation.

Psalm 51:4

Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.

Here David declares in a heartfelt manner that he has sinned, not against Bathsheba, Uriah, or his people, but against God alone. If we are not genuinely upset by our sin, we are without remorse. True repentance is uncomfortable and painful but also sweet.

  • Reflect on this statement: Repentance is more than a feeling.
  • In what ways do I still sin? Can I honestly bring it all before God and pray for the grace to turn away from sin and toward the loving God?


  • Romans 6:23 | For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 1 John 1:8-9 | If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • 2 Samuel 11-12:23 | Read the passage »



We struggle to give everything in our lives to God because we are not yet grasping that we are accepted, valued and cherished by Christ despite our sin. It’s His image being restored in us. We are called to give the Master Potter full permission to shape us more than we allow the world or others to shape us. We don't get to retain certain rights: offense, self-seeking behavior and self-righteousness all must die. If you turn your life over to God, it is a complete surrender.


To choose Christ is to completely change how you think.


Luke 9:23

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Jesus said if we want to follow Him, we must take up our cross daily and follow him. This is something that must take place in your thoughts. Judging or dissatisfaction thoughts, for example, must be ‘put to death’ on an inner cross every day. Instead, you choose to deny the thoughts access to your heart.

  • What are the things I worship? What daily thoughts or activities do I need to take captive?
  • Where am I still reluctant to die to self?

Romans 6:1-12

Read the passage »

“...that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for the one who has died is freed from sin.” (v6-7)

  • Why not throw the old body away? Reflect on ways how you could do this.
  • How can I free myself to witness to God?

Malachi 3:10

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and put Me to the test now in this,” says the Lord of armies, “If I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

This is the only verse in the Bible where God says, “Test me on this.” This verse is about tithing and giving part of your income to God. Here God is not guaranteeing you will be financially prosperous or spared from material losses. Instead, God is saying that someone who cheerfully gives to God's work will be more blessed than those who do not.

  • Do I trust God to shower me with His richness? How am I still self-reliant?
  • Open-handedly tithing our time, talents and treasure is a measure of our faithfulness. How much do I care about God’s work?


  • Galatians 2:20 | I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
  • John 12:24-26 | Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
  • Matthew 6:21 | For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
  • Hebrews 13:5 | Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever abandon you,”
  • Romans 12:2 | And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.



Experiencing the goodness of God fully requires we forgive others. Forgiving others takes away bitterness, anger, and revenge. Forgiving is choosing to release resentment and allow God to heal us. In short, we must forgive because God has forgiven us. Jesus even forgave those who falsely accused, arrested and tortured Him as He hung on the cross.


As He forgave us, we forgive them.


Ephesians 4:31-32

All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

These are harsh words! This verse says, “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander…” In short, we are to cease everything we do to hurt others. Made in His image, we are to be kind and compassionate.

  • Pray that God gives you the grace to forgive someone today.
  • Think about this statement: Forgiveness is a way of life.
  • How can I implement forgiveness in my life?

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.

If we don't forgive, God won't forgive. When we see injustice, we may feel God is letting people get away with things. Isn't He just? Of course, God is just! And no, God is not letting people “get away” with bringing evil and suffering. God loves us, and He doesn't take offence against us lightly. Justice is, however, not in our hands. Proverbs 20:22 says that God will vindicate us Himself.

  • Can I have a genuine relationship with God if I still hold unforgiveness in my heart?
  • Do I trust Him to fight for me?


  • Colossians 3:13 | ...bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also.
  • Luke 6:37 | Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.



Confession and faith are two sides of the same coin called transformation. When we confess our sins, we turn from sin to Jesus, and through faith, we embrace Him as our only hope. As Christians, we believe there is one mediator between us and God – Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). However, the process of forgiving implies heart-felt confession. Confession to others may be in-person but may also be done privately to release yourself or others in when you have been separated by time, distance or physical death.


We must confess our sins to release ourselves.


Luke 18:13-14

”But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to raise his eyes toward heaven, but was beating his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other one; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In Jesus, we have access to the Father. We don’t have to appeal to others to be forgiven because only God can truly take away sin.

  • How often do you do things because you think others see you?
  • Ask God to pull you into an honest relationship with Him, where your only goal is to please Him.
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past, even if they are not in this life anymore. God is all-powerful. He can work across time and space and help you heal.
  • Forgive yourself.

James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

In the everyday life of a Christian, honesty, and purity of heart means that we will not keep our sins in the dark from the people in our lives. If you stay silent about the terrible things you have done, it physically affects you. One can only have peace once you've given it all to the Lord. The principle here is yes, we must confess to God, but dishonesty and hiding our sin brings further spiritual and physical misery. God wants to spare us this and teaches us to confess our sin also to one another.

  • Is there someone I need to confess to get free from misery?
  • The bonus of James 5:16 is that the one you confess to can help you by listening carefully, sharing Bible passages and praying together. Can you be such a friend?




Walking the walk of faith means walking it with others, not in isolation. We are designed to fellowship with others and share our lives. It is within the context of these relationships that we express and receive love. You’re meant to be part of the Body. God gave us a community of believers to experience the give-and-receive of love.


In the kingdom of God, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Hebrews 10:24-25

...and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another...

Fellowship with others challenges us to be more like Jesus. Therefore, we should encourage each other as we pursue God and His Kingdom. Within the context of community, we are refined as followers of Jesus.

  • How can I encourage someone in my community today?
  • What holds me back from helping others?
  • Am I ready to honestly pray for my fellow brothers and sisters?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return on their labor. For if either falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat, but how can one be warm alone? And if one overpowers him who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

In times of trouble, two are better than one. You multiply strength, stamina and talent in a community. Our gifts and talents can bless others within the body of Christ and without. As believers, we're part of something special.

  • Define your specific role in the body of Christ.
  • What talent do I have that I can bless my congregation with?




Love can be a powerful weapon in the Christian arsenal. We believe Jesus works through us, so if people are acting ugly or the issues in your life seem too difficult, you can ask Jesus to love the person through you. With His love as supernatural assistance, you can keep from striking back in word and deed. Another basic principle for a blessed life is giving back to God and to others what He freely bestows on us.


How we love God is seen in how we love others.


Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Our reaction to situations and the unkind things people say can determine if the problem dissipates or escalates. A gentle and kind answer will soften the atmosphere, whereas retaliating with anger will only lead to more anger.

  • Do I often strike back in anger or without thinking? Ask Jesus to change your heart.
  • What words can I start using when faced with a deteriorating situation?

Romans 5:5-8

...and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s love (agape in Greek) is not based on emotions; therefore, we can love others even if we don't feel like it. Instead, godly love is given to us by the Holy Spirit, and His love shapes our will, leading to action and loving emotions.

  • Am I open enough to receive God’s love so I can give it away with abundance?
  • Pray that God will pour His love into you and make you see others through His eyes.

Matthew 10:8

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

God is perfect love, peace, joy, kindness, and patience. If we choose a life with Him, all these things can also be ours. However, as we receive these blessings freely, we must also be willing to give them away freely.

  • Love does. What do you do to share the blessings you've received?


  • 2 Timothy 1:7 | For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  • 1 Corinthians 13 | Read the chapter »
  • 1 Peter 4:8 | Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
  • James 1:17 | Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.