God's truth for today's world

Today I’m going to talk about “How To Get Close To God.” Why would you want to get close to God? Think about it for a minute, why do people want to get close to other people? Some people want to get close to other people because they love and care about them. Other people want to get close to someone else because that person has power, money or influence and they feel they can receive a benefit by being close to them. Another reason someone might want to get close to someone else is to learn from them, to follow their example, to become like someone. All of those reasons are also reasons to get close to God.

When you are close to God, you benefit from that close relationship. NCV Psalm 73:28 But I am close to God, and that is good. The Lord God is my protection. When you are close to God, you receive God’s protection. When you are far from God, you’re out of His protection. That’s just one example of how getting close to God benefits your life.

Some people think being close to God is just for pastors or other spiritual leaders, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Regardless of your career, you can get close to God. Getting close to God does not depend on some special gifting from God, getting close to God depends on you. If you want to get close to God, if you follow God’s principles to get close to Him, you can become one of God’s best friends.

NLT James 4:8 Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. This verse is both a command and a promise. God commands you to draw close to Him. He also promises that if you obey that command to draw close to God, then God will draw close to you. God is waiting for you to respond to Him. He has issued the invitation. He is calling you this morning to draw close to Him, you need to answer His call.

God is calling you to draw close to Him. If you ignore His call, if you ignore His command, if you ignore His direction, you won’t build your friendship with God. You won’t get close to God, you’ll miss out on all the benefits of living life in the presence of God. In fact, if you don’t live a life close to God in this life, you won’t spend eternity with Him. Heaven is reserved for friends of God, those who have a growing close relationship with God. So today, let’s look at some biblical principles to discover how to get close to God.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my message entitled How To Get Close To God

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  1. Dear Pastor Dan,

    I am confused as to what you mean about accepting Jesus. When you say that you must accept Jesus into your heart aren’t you turning the Gospel into Law? Because in John 1 verse 13, the bible states that coming to Christ is “…not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” How do you deal with that verse?

    Also, i read that you said Grace is a free gift but that we must first accept it? Isn’t that contradictory? How can it be free but conditional? And how is that different from work’s righteousness in glory theology in that we must first do something in order to gain salvation from God?

    Anyways, I’d love to hear your answers and I hope you have a blessed day!


    1. God opened your Eyes so u could take time out ur busy schedule to say hello and thanx for the beautiful day but no he won’t force u to do anything free will is that initial step to come to him n if u allow him he will take the wheel. But god is god and he has the power to show u who he is and if he wants you for something greater then what your bad actions are leading u 2 best belive he will yoke ur little self up and put u on his golden tracks that he bult n layed out for you. But no he’s not gonna take from the ones who are trusting n waiting n believing in him to answer our why questions. If u don’t want the golden trail n u want the bent outta shape track to walk on he’ll let u til uve had enough. He made our lives before we were born there’s the life he made n the life wehelp the devil create for us. He knows the true desires of ur heart n if your lost he will guide u if u want him to.

    2. To get close to GOD to me is to forget about yourself, and surrender to God all your hurts, pains, and disappoints. Pray God give you strength to forgive, and to come into your life and change you, and fill you with HIS HOLY GHOST. First admitt you are a sinner and you pray HE wil Pardon your sin and repent that you will for give every one that you hate, and everyone that hurt you. Do it everyday. and ask God to show you a new way to live by going to the house OF God AND TALKING TO THE PASTOR

    3. Gods grace is a free gift. And you have to recieve it. I see no contradiction here, imagine if you will that I hand you a check for……amount of money. I tell you that you didn’t earn this and you don’t owe me anything for it! You have to extend your hand and take the check 🙂
      God Bless

  2. God’s gift of salvation must be accepted to be effective. Faith is the requirement to receive salvation. For example, NIV John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” You must believe to have eternal life. To believe is give your whole life to God, to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord of your life. There are many other verses describing the necessity of faith to become a believer and have eternal life. Grace is offered freely, but it can be accepted or rejected.

    Let’s look at the whole sentence from the verse you cited. NIV John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

    Here you have what I was saying in a nutshell. You must receive Jesus, you must believe in His name, in order to become a child of God. The part of the verse that says chidren of God are not “of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will” simply is saying that being a child of God is a spiritual birthing not a physical birthing.

    One more verse, to illustrate what I have been saying is NIV Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  3. Dear,Pastor I’m only sixteen and I’m trying so hard to get through life and to become bestfriends with GOD . I just need some valuable tips on how to stay connected with GOD becasue in this day and age is really hard and I’m not trying to make up an excuse but its really challenging at least for me it is . I been through so much in my life and only GOD knows that and not my family . I’m sort of lost and I need help ? please be thee one to help me !

  4. Ashley,

    First you need to begin a relationship with God, if you don’t already have one. Read my post about Beginning A Relationship With God.

    Then you need to maintain and grow that relationship. It’s pretty simple to say, but difficult for some to do. Read your Bible and pray every day. Stay away from sin. Find a Bible believing church and get involved. Most good churches these days have small groups, as do most good youth groups. Build relationships with other believers in a small group. Stay away from close relationships with people who pull you away from God. God will help you.

  5. dear pastor dan, im having trouble understanding how i feel.. sometimes i have no idea how im feeling, and i often feel like i have nothing to look forward to in life.. or like i have nothing to do.. all i do is watch t.v. but i really dont like watching t.v. i want to do something useful or artistic but im kinda lazy.. im almot always bored and im always asking people what i could do thats fun in my spare time but nothing sounds interesting.. i enjoy helping people and listening to their problems it makes me feel good but i can barley handle my own problems.. i give good advice but i dont follow my own. My realationship with god is always on and off i get close to god for a couple days then i start sining and i feel like i cant just keep making the same mistakes over and over again when i do i feel like i cant just say sorry again cuz im know im going to do it again. so i stay away from god for a while and when i start to feel alone again i try to get close with god but it never lasts. i know what i have to do to be close with god but i think im just to lazy to do it.. im so confused and i cant stop messing up ..

    1. Pray for God to forgive your sin and short coming. Ask God to come into your life and and change you, and fill you with HIS HOLY GHOST> Go to a pentocostol church and say I want to be filled with the SPIRIT OF GOD. Say this to the PASTOR. Look In THE PHONE BOOK and find a pentocostol church and get ready to have a love affair with GOD.

  6. I think you have what I have, Beth. I do not think it is laziness it’s just one of Satan’s attacks. I believe it’s lack of interest, you love God you just don’t want to go through with what you need to get close to God. You just have to push yourself and not procrastinate.

    Study the Scriptures, worship God with music, etc.!

    As for you finding something to do, well, once you get closer to God you’ll be more alive and more active, you’ll be able to discover your interests then.

  7. how are you daddy,hope all is well,but foe me i’m not i want to know for myself im tried playing church.i need your help.please talk to our father i will do the same.i keep falling i need help please.i want to get close to GOd

  8. I agree that many think that drawing closer to God is something that only is for preachers, pastors, etc, but they are so wrong!

    I began my quest to get closer to God last year. I have been a Christian all my life, but had not really accepted most of His gifts. Just like with other relationships, we gain “favorability” with God by spending time with Him, having conversation with Him, and by doing things that are pleasing to Him. You would not be great friends with someone if you did not spend time with them, talk with them and do things that were pleasing to a person. The same goes for God. He is there all the time, but getting close to Him is really the ONLY way to get the true benefits of His friendship.

    Getting close to God is easy. All you have to do is want to spend time with Him just like you would your best friend or your spouse. God loves your time with Him and will bless you amazingly for spending that time with him. It took me many years to make the “sacrifice” of spending time with Him. When I finally made the commitment I realized it was not a sacrifice at all. I love spending time with God. It makes my day go smoother, makes me think clearer, and makes me more patient with my children and others around me.

    I spend time with God every evening. (I am not a morning person, but I hear that is better.  I start with music and worshiping God, then I thank Him for all He has done.  I spend time asking God for my needs and then I actually spend QUIET time with Him so that he can actually talk to me! ( I have been told a lot that when you are talking to me, you can’t get a word in edgewise LOL)  So I give God time to talk to me.

    Just spending quality non-multitasking time with Him everyday and reading His word is all it takes to get closer to God. 

  9. I thank everyone who reminded me of Christ’s love here. I have been stumbling so much lately. I think “what is the point to all of this life?” I have been born and raised a christian for 33 years and I think I just “lost the flavor” of Christ and started to drift. It is scary for me as I homeschool 5 kids and have them in the word of God everyday. I guess I just let “life” take me on and I haven’t spent time with God like I used to. I was scared that I lost my faith. I am trying so hard to get back where I used to be. How can I get Satan to leave me a lone? why would God allow me to stop feeling my faith?

  10. I’m only 17 years old last year in high school, my mom died when i was 5 years old my dad bein in prison most of his life , i barely know him but he writes me sometimes that mean alot to me 😉 MY GRANDMA is 77 and she raised me i thank her but some not right i been abused most of my life , its painful only god know my pain i been through so much nobody really understands me i pray eachday that everyday that things get better my grades had drop but i thank god for helping me out now my gpa is a 3.2 i just need some words of encouragement and somebody to look up, people talk about me that makes me feel down i feel like im nothing with god in my life .. GOD been byside even when i deserve it he never gave up on me so now its time to get close to him and im here to do his will whatever it is! ♥-Alicia

  11. Dear Pastor Dan, I came across your blog today, when i was searching for help on how to get close to God. Thanks for this wonderfull post, I believed practise makes perfect. So as I began my race just yesterday, going to church only does not make one perfect. Looking forward to your response

  12. Hi Pastor,

    Right now to be honest, I just feel like crap…..I don’t know what is wrong….I have been trying to get close to GOD..but he will not draw near….I am just feeling pretty hopeless right now….I don’t usually allow myself to be this open on blogs, or the internet, but I really need some help, and direction….Thanks

  13. GOD BLESS MY DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD,i want to encourage you today and remind you that the bible say in romans ch8 that nothing can seperate us from the love of Christ,trial,tribulation,anything,Gods love is greater than death,its life,His plans for you,are to build you up not destroy you in Jeremiah 29:11 the children of iserael were taken captive and sent away by God,to save them not destroy them,were ever you are in your walk with God know this “I know the plans i have for youv says the Lord,”

  14. Hello Paster,

    I am a 17 year old and recently I’ve hit a “roadblock” in my faith. In the Catholic church we have changed a few translations dealing with the prayers and what we as a whole congregation have to respond to throughout the mass. Its been very difficult for me to adjust to. I find myself not wanting to go to church anymore. I feel that as everyday goes by I am becoming more and more distant from God. Should I talk to my own priest about these feelings I’ve been contemptplating, or should I try and find God in some other way? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Dude!!! First thing, DONT CHANGE THE WORD!!! EVER!!! The catholic church is a BAD place now bud. Ditch it. Turn back to the king James Bible, read the words (i mean the red letters) of our saviour Jesus Christ and DO IT. Its NOT about Catholics or Jehovas Whitnesses or prodestants or blah blah blah. Where’s it say “catholic” in the Bible anyway??? Its a crock, Brother. Rituals and riches and BS ceromonies. Go BACK TO THE TRUE WORD. It’ll pull you back in line. The harder you try, the more God will give. He drifts when YOU let him. Get back in the game, dont listen to “the church” LISTEN TO JESUS. Its ALL about those RED LETTERS, Brother. Jesus wants keen and mean soldiers of FAITH. So pick up your cross (no, that doesnt mean wear jewlery) throw on your holy backpack, chuck your Bible in it and start walkin again. Not in the misleading dribble of any “denomination” of christianity, but in the PURE and CORRECT guidence of our MAGNIFICANT LORD Jesus the Christ. It will be HIS words that set you free from your insecurities and everything else. Not a “catholic church”. Let the church go for a while, or try some others? Speak to God and study that Bible like crazy!!! Get enthused again. Lean, mean, Rightous machine. Red letters, Brother. Its all there. Peace and Love.

  15. Hi Pastor!

    I started my close relationship with God when I’ve been lonely all the time, no one to talk to except my family. I was always bored and full of worries, fear and everything but because I love reading I then started to read some parts of the bible and I couldn’t stop reading until I was on the last part of it. Because of that, I then realized that I already started talking to God, like asking many questions about His words. It gave me interest in knowing more about Him and to gain more understanding about His words. I was so surprised that all my questions were answered through reading devotional books and surfing to the Internet. I spent so many time in reading books or hearing audios about Him. And I couldn’t stop talking to Him like I have the confidence that He hears me. I also have this feeling that God speaks to me in my thoughts and in my heart. He is now my heart’s desire and I’m afraid that he might get angry to me if I sin so I’m really careful about my works and doings. I want to make Him smile if He really smile. Whenever I got even a little mistake, I sorry to Him many times. My fears and worries are gone and I have this gladness in my heart, peace, joy and I can feel His presence. But I just want to be sure, is this a close relationship with God? I pray to him anytime and anywhere and I do not care about kneeling down or everything, I just talk or pray to Him when my heart feels to. And about praying it’s easy for me to pray with my own words because it’s my heart that speaks than reciting those created prayers. I spend time talking to Him more than to the people around me. God is my only desire, I’m letting Him to make plans for me and I do not worry about my future anymore, He is my only hope. Now Pastor, is this a close relationship with God or just a feeling?

  16. Hi, I am a Canadian Christian living in China. I have been using your messages to help English speaking believers understand God’s will. There is very little teaching here in China even though there is a good church in the city where I live. So many people become believers and go to church but have very little access to direction. Your messages are easy enough to understand and we only have to pause when there is a new term or for discussion. Thank you for sharing this with China. Karen

  17. Dear Pastor thank you for this beautiful message. I have missedmy Lord and my life has been so empty without Him. I come home and watch TV until I go to bed. I hardly read the bible. I hardly pray and I call myself a Christian. I am ashamed.

  18. God is good! He is the most amazing God anyone can have!! Trust in Him and he will always be there for you! Blessed be His Name!

  19. thanks you all my dear pastor and friends…!
    I have learn many good things from you…!
    but I need your suggestion every day as my daily bread..?

  20. i am going thru pain n mourning but am thanking the lord for everything…because am learning more about him and he is growing me in him…even tho’ i sin i go back tu hm n with a repetant heart n he forgives me…i love my God so much.

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