Written by: Lauren Palmer
I was sitting at the table across from my best friends at our favorite coffee shop. I hadn’t seen my friends for a while, so we spent some time catching up on all the news going on in our lives. I wanted to have a good time with my friends, but for some reason, I just wasn’t enjoying myself. I felt empty.
In that moment –it dawned on me.
I felt empty and alone, despite being surrounded by my friends, because I hadn’t been nurturing the relationship that is the most important: my relationship with God.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt like this. It’s all too easy to get swept away and distracted by our busy lives to the point where we start spending more time on things that our culture values, instead of what God values.
As a college student, I’ve had my fair share of distractions. So, today I hope to share some of my tips on how you can get closer to God when He feels out of your reach.
1. Follow God’s Guidance
I know that when I feel far away from God, it is usually because I’m not living in harmony with His commands. God’s requirements for us are meant to help us live our best life. 1 John 5:3 teaches us that “his commands are not burdensome.” By following God’s guidance, we can have faith that we are pleasing to him and it will make us want to draw even closer to Him than we already are.
You probably knew this step was coming, but it is essential. Prayer is one of the fundamental ways for us to communicate with God. It can be hard to maintain a friendship with someone if you rarely talk to them. It works the same way with God! First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” This means that we need to communicate with God regularly. Prayer can also be a source of comfort in our hectic lives. If you’re feeling far away from God, set aside some personal quiet time in prayer to reconnect with Him.
3. Immerse Yourself in His Word
Sometimes reading the Bible may seem boring. The dates and places go in one ear and out the other! Reading the Bible in this state of mind will get you nowhere. Rather than just reading the Bible, get immersed in it. As you read, imagine the scenes being described. Researching the places and people mentioned in the scriptures can help you to picture what was going on at the time. It can be easy to forget the name of someone from the Bible, so knowing who they are and what they’ve done can also help you to follow along. Once you understand what is going on, you will realize why God included these records in the Bible for our benefit. Appreciating His Word more fully can help you feel closer to Him.
4. Get Involved with Your Community
You can get closer to God by helping others in their relationship with God. Being a mentor or leading a Bible study are great ways to learn more about God while helping others. Seeing how He is working in the lives of the people around you will strengthen your faith and inspire you to be a blessing in their lives too! Associating with strong, Christian friends can also be a great source of accountability and support. Being surrounded by people who are living their lives according to God’s standards will encourage us to live our lives according to His standards too.
5. Practice Gratitude
When I feel close to God, I am constantly reminded of so many of the amazing things He is doing in my life. When you are feeling distant from God, take some time to really think about and appreciate all of the blessings He has given you. Try thinking about the beautiful things He has done for you today alone, and eventually think about the big-picture things. Once you get started, it can be hard to stop! Of course, gratitude is something we should always strive for–not just when we feel far away from God.
In the comments, I’d love to hear:
- Have you recently felt like God was out of your reach?
- How do you maintain your relationship with God?