Getting closer to God: A documented journey
Step 1. Pull Out Your Bible
Sometimes I wonder why, on an average day, this step can be so difficult. After all, it’s so easy to pull up my Facebook and Twitter app and read away – but it can seem so very difficult to move my fingers 3 apps over to the Bible app.
Why do we avoid the Bible at times?
I’ve thought about this a bit, and I think we avoid it for a number of reasons, but the main reason seems to be: It’s hard to change, and it’s even harder to want to change.
The Bible… is a reminder of where you want to be. Everything else is a reminder of where you already are. I think that’s why it’s easier to open the Facebook app than the Bible app.
I know this may be a silly thing to point out, but I’m very serious. There have been so many times, in the past, that I’ve avoided the bible.
At one point in my life, I was dating someone that was bringing me down the wrong path, but I did NOT want to give him up. So, I shut off my mind, made excuses for my actions, and avoided the bible; for me, it was a sad reminder of how far I was from where I wanted to be. And that wasn’t all I avoided. I avoided church, bible studies, Christian radio stations, you name it… because I didn’t want to change and I didn’t want to be reminded of why I needed to.
What’s silly about this? I thought that life-style was making me happy. It wasn’t. Sometimes we look at God as this Man that takes things away from us. But it’s not true. Not true at all. He loves us and wants to protect our hearts, but I just couldn’t get that. Instead, I allowed my heart to get crushed by this man I was dating; I found myself so deep in a hole and so far away from everyone I deeply cared about that I became overwhelmed with feelings of emptiness. In that moment, I wanted to talk to God and I finally opened my Bible, but I was afraid that I was no longer welcome – I felt ashamed to come back.
This is SO wrong. Wrong on so many levels, but it’s the lies we tell ourselves. The Bible repeatedly talks about forgiveness, no matter how many times we fail. But for some reason we feel like we’re just not good enough to come back. And to complicate things, we also feel like we don’t have the strength to give up the things that are hurting us. It’s not until we hit rock bottom, that we know the only way out – is up! And the good news is that God is always there to extend His hand, to pull us back out.
My lesson learned: The right guy and the right way of living will make us so much happier, because we won’t have to give up on who we want to be.
A lot of times, in this culture, we feel like we have to make a decision: a relationship with a guy or God? It should NOT have to be that way. The right guy will choose God with you and pursue Him with you. We shouldn’t have to water down our faith to keep a guy around. And if you feel like it’s right – no matter how difficult it is – you need to end the relationship. It will hurt at first and then you will be free to be who you really are, and who God meant you to be.
Although relationships have been a big cause of why I’ve strayed from God in the past, now that I’m happily married, I’ve realized something…
As much as I’ve blamed men. It wasn’t their fault. It was mine. Because the truth is: You can’t be close to God unless you’re pursuing Him.
I was making bad decisions with relationships because I wasn’t pursuing God – If I had, I would have made the right decisions. And if I was close to God, it would NOT be painful to make the RIGHT decision.
When I met my husband, I was pursuing God, and so was he. Our common faith became the passion and the glue in our relationship. And let me tell you… our relationship was not some kind of boring, churchy, dating experience that some may imagine. Maybe from the outside looking in, but for the two of us, it was exiting, fun, amazing – and new. I’d never experienced something so “REAL,” as dating someone that 100% got me and understood where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. There wasn’t a boring moment because we had constant communication. And today, if someone asked me what the best experience of my life has been so far, I’d say getting to know my husband. It actually makes me sappy just thinking about it.
So with that backstory, here’s my confession… Recently, I’ve strayed away from God again. I’m not reading the Bible like I used to, I do not pray as often as I should… the list goes on. And now, I’ve got only one person to look at: myself.
I’m always on the go, and I haven’t prioritized my time like I should. I pretend I can do life without God, but I can’t.
I guess my question is… How much more happiness could I bring to my life if I just slowed down for a minute and spoke to God? And then what if I added a minute, and another, until it became as easy as talking to my closest friend? How would it change me?
I’m sure a whole lot. And so the journey continues…
The Benefits of Wisdom
2 My child,[a] listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.
13 These men turn from the right way
to walk down dark paths.
14 They take pleasure in doing wrong,
and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
15 Their actions are crooked,
and their ways are wrong.