Summary: How do we get closer to God?
In this series, we will be looking at seven key areas of life and how God can make a difference in each one. Today we’ll consider how we might grow in spiritual health and get closer to God. Now, one might not think we need a reason to understand why getting closer to God is crucial to growing in spiritual health, but let’s just sum it up as follows:
The further away you get from God, the more your life is troubled; but the closer you get to God, the more your life is transformed.
I’m assuming we all want to be close to God, because we’re here today. But the Bible says “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” (Isaiah 53:6, NLT) In other words, like sheep, we tend to wander.
So today, we’re going to talk about how to get close to God, how to stay close to God, and if you’ve fallen away from God, how do you get back in close relationship with God.
Fortunately we have a story in the Bible on how to get close to God and stay close to Him. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son, in in Luke 15.
From this story we learn four things we need to do to get close to God. This is the pathway to spiritual transformation.
1. You’ve Got To Get Fed Up - V. 17 “When he came to his senses”
Nothing is going to happen in your life until first you get dissatisfied with things as they are. If you think you’re just fine, then you can sit out the next seven weeks because nothing’s going to happen until you recognize your need for change. You’ve got to get hungry. You’ve got to get anxious for a change. Nothing happens until you get fed up.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” - Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
Are you there yet? If not, just give it time. God will go to work to develop a holy dissatisfaction in you. He’ll let a little rain in your life. And if that doesn’t work He’ll let in a little bit more. And if that does not work He’ll send a storm. Why? Because though God loves you just the way you are, He loves you too much to let you stay that way. He will do what He can to keep you from wasting your life.
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. But you can salt his oats and make him thirsty.” - Anonymous
God often makes you thirsty by putting salt in your oats. Whether it’s to bring you to Him or to bring you back to Him, God will work to make you aware that you’re headed is wrong way. Now, He really doesn’t have to do much, because you’ll be doing most of the work for Him. When you’re going away from God, you’ll be your own worst enemy, just like the young man in this parable. But just know that when you get fed up, when you decide you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, that’s God knocking at your door.
2. You’ve Got To Own Up - v. 18 “I have sinned”