I want to be close to God -- but where do I start?!
It felt like hunger pangs at first. I was about 12 years old and had been exposed to Christianity most of my life. But I was teetering between commitment and simply going through the motions. One day I met a girl about my age who had truly committed to her faith. She loved talking about Jesus and the Bible. She had verses posted on her bathroom mirror and she was always sharing about what she read in her devotions. There was such a passion and joy in her life. It seemed real. And something in my heart began to hunger for Jesus. But I didn't really know where to start. I was afraid I would do it wrong and someone really godly would pass by and say, "Uh, what are you doing? That's not how you do it." I felt paralyzed even though I had such a strong desire to know Jesus for myself.
Maybe you feel the same way?
Or maybe you've gotten out of practice or slipped into a rut and need some new direction in your time with the Lord.
Welcome, sister! Welcome.
Here are a few super simple ways to begin nurturing that desire to move closer to God. These aren't "rules" or "the only way it can be done"... they are just friendly nudges in the right direction.
Yeah, it's pretty simple, but if you feel those "hunger pangs" for God -- ask Him to meet with you! If you want to know God better, ask Him to make Himself known to you in ways you can see and understand. I love hearing how God answers these simple prayers! If you want someone to pray with you and for you -- reach out to me and I'd be thrilled to pray for you. Ask Him to meet with you. Ask Him to give you a hunger for His Word.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
2. Start where you are -- but have a plan.
The Bible is a big book and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. I recommend choosing a book of the Bible (like Psalms, or John, or Colossians) and commit to read the entire book. Start small, read one chapter and reflect on what you've learned. It's really helpful to grab a journal and begin to write down one or two verses that stuck out to you and ponder on what God is saying.
Here are a few simple questions to ask as you reflect on what you read:
- What does this passage reveal about God?
- What does this passage reveal about us as humans?
- How is God responding to us?
- How is God calling us to respond to Him?
Remember, small bites at first. Chew it up slowly. And continue to pray about what you read. Ask Him to help you understand His Word.
3. Press in.
For me it was easier to begin than it was to keep going. But trust me, press on! Don't quit just because you missed one day or one week -- remember that distractions are always going to be there. Don't let the distractions win. And pay attention to the benefits Jesus is giving. Are you noticing more joy? more peace? more wisdom? Is your relationship with Jesus growing?
I'll tell you, even after walking with Jesus for 20 years, the distractions don't let up. But the rewards are always available. Press into the Lord. Press on as you read Scripture.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth. (Hosea 6:3, ESV)
4. Find big sisters & little sisters.
If you aren't plugged into a church, start praying that God will show you one. Do whatever you can to get close to God's people. Find a big sister (or several) who love Jesus and His Word -- and hang out with her. Ask her questions. Pray together. Study next to her. This will change your life -- I promise you. There is such joy and protection in community. Again, pray for God to show you a big sister in the faith. Don't just sit on your rump and wait for them to show up. Seek them out. Send the email/text. Go sit next to them. Don't let the awkward discourage you. Commit to building relationships.
Eventually, you will be the big sister. There is such a need for this kind of discipleship in our churches and communities and campuses and homes -- pray for God to grow you up in the Lord so that you can pour into others.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior ... And so train the younger women ... that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5, ESV)
Still have questions? Need prayer? Still confused? Please reach out. Contact me here.