How to Embrace the Christian Lifestyle and Draw Closer to God
Are you new to Christianity or a practicing Christian? If you belong to either category, this article will give you a clearer picture of what it means to devote your life to God and truly live a lifestyle that pleases God. Regardless of the ways you came to know God, believe and be thankful for the divine intervention that lead you to this path of enlightenment and great awakening of the spirit. Your journey towards the Kingdom of God has just begun and the road before you is slowly opening up as you discover the means of living and thriving as a believer. As the Bible reveals, God wants us to talk to Him and have a personal relationship with Him.
How Can We Have A Personal Relationship with God?
So, what is the pre-requisite of having a personal relationship with God our Father? God is very much aware of what is happening around the world and nothing escapes His scrutiny. He knows what is going on in every person’s life; the struggles, the happiness, the good, the bad, and basically every detail of your life. We do not have to ‘report’ to Him what is going on as He knows very well what will happen even before it takes place. Sometimes, we think that we pray to ‘inform’ God that certain things are taking place and He needs to intervene to change the outcome to benefit us primarily. This is the perfect case of putting our needs and concerns first and wanting a solution instead of prioritizing God and His expectations.
Praying is indeed the perfect medium to forge a close relationship with God. It serves as a platform to establish a relationship with Him but a deep and fulfilling rapport depends on the context of your prayers. Instead of making ourselves the center of attention, turn to God and ask Him what His purpose is in putting you in that particular situation. Next time you are tempted to barge in with your never ending problems, try shifting your approach by putting God first and see how different the outcome is. Our problems may seem big, but our God is greater. He cares about you and do not mind listening to you pouring your heart out about your problems, but, ask yourself if you even care about what God cares about? Similar like our relationship with our family and friends, we care about their feelings and stand by for the things they care about. So, why should it be different when it comes to God our Heavenly Father?
Prayers are really powerful and serve as the key to establish a channel of communication with God. When done right, it can totally transform your relationship with God and certainly your life. Most importantly, your faith will be reinforced and faith is a crucial element in the life of a Christian.
In addition to praying, there are also other measures that you can employ to facilitate the process of coming closer to God and having Him present in all areas of your life.
1. Ask God to Take Control of Your Life
What does it mean to ask God to take control of your life? Is God a controlling God that He wants to claim us and be our master? On the surface, this particular statement may come across as being too extreme. For the uninitiated, this could be red flag making you run the opposite. What kind of religion demands that your hand over complete control of your life?
Well, the subtle significance of this proclamation is in fact a call to believers that we ought to seek God and entrust our life to Him as He guides us along the way. God is aware of our past, present, and even our future. He reveals Himself through the circumstances that we go through life. We just need to be sensitive and in tune to realize that His hands is at work in our life. God works in mysterious ways that we can never comprehend. This is proven many times over in the Bible, where God delivers miracles after miracles over His people. If you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, regardless the nature of the circumstances, know that God wants to reveal Himself as the God that provides and bless. Surrender to Him and be at peace that He will bring you out of it eventually if you just trust in Him.
2. Be Thankful and Give Thanks to God
Be grateful for every good thing that comes to you and give thanks continuously. Have a heart of gratitude even for the bad things and activate your faith knowing that God will help you through. Take your scars from the things that had happened to you in the past as a medal from God proving that He delivered you from the hard times to be here today. Indeed gratitude is the best attitude. Always choose to begin your day by thanking God for the gift of life. It is bliss to be grateful for everything regardless how simple it is. It can be the simple yet important things such as the air you breathe, the clothe you wear, the food you eat, and access to clean water, among others.
Sometimes when we are facing a tough period in life, we find it hard to be thankful. Our senses go into overdrive and we start to panic and get anxious. When we get overwhelmed with no way out, we may sometimes try to find somebody to blame for the problem. If there is no one to blame for, we then blame ourselves or our fate. It is during this time, that it is even more critical to seek God and ask that He show you a way even when there seems no way. When you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, God will make sure you get through and be able to stand proud and testify of His grace and mercy in your life. If you are a firm believer in Christ, you know that being thankful is always the right thing to do despite not being able to see the logic behind what is happening. At times, when things do not go your way, take it as an intervention from God that He perhaps has something better in store for you. When one door closes, God will open a window for you to go through.
3. Cultivate Free Emotion
Embracing the Christian lifestyle does not have to limit you in living your life to the fullest. Some people have the misconception that Christians are constrained with living within set guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not according to the Bible and what God says. Indeed, we have to adhere to the 10 commandments and strive to lead a life of a saved believer. However, in you coming before God, He wants you to be transparent and just be yourself. He is fully aware that we are not perfect and we are prone to sinning. It is a fact, but God wants to see the extent of our desire and willingness to obey Him when He says we ought to do certain things and avoid the others. When we sin unintentionally, God does not shun us away when we come to Him and seek for forgiveness. That is the true love of God in wanting to forgive and offer us our salvation.
When we come before Him asking for an answer to our prayers, we have to approach the prayer with expectation that God is ready to answer. Have that faith and belief that God will deliver. There will be times when you will have doubts and wonder if God is really able to get you out of certain circumstances. Instead of doubting, let go of common understanding and logic; allow Him to take over control. You might be tempted to think that it does not make sense or it is impossible, do not allow your reasoning to restrict God’s hand from working in your life. Sometimes, we think exercising logical reasoning is the best way to get us out of a mess, but God works in ways we can never comprehend. Do not over analyze your predicament but let your emotions flow freely as you come before God asking Him to show you the way out. Do not underestimate your emotions because it is the key to bring you closer to God when it is free-flowing.
4. Pray About Everything that Happens in Your Life
Prayers are an important part in the life of a Christian. Prayers serve as a channel between God and us, in which we communicate with Him. The essence of prayers transcends beyond asking God for favors alone, but is in fact a way for us to ask Him about His will and purpose for our life. An effective prayer opens the door to allow us to know and hear God’s heart. Reflect on the times you prayed, whether the focus of your prayers are mostly centered around what God can do for you or what you can do for Him in return for all He has done for you.
God does not limit our prayers to only things that we seek solutions to. In fact, pray a bold prayer and ask big of the Lord. Most importantly, seeking God should not only take place during times of difficulties. Instead, we must seek Him at all times, be it through good and bad times. In times of comfort and ease, it is easier to pray and be thankful. Use this opportunity to be thankful and reinforce your faith of God’s goodness and grace, so that it will be easier to come to Him and pray through your tough times.
5. Ask Yourself Whether God is Present in Your Actions
God has given us the guidelines necessary for us to lead a life that pleases Him. He has outlined those guidelines in the Bible and even presented us with the 10 commandments so that we may be guided by Him in our deeds and works. It is now up to us to choose whether we obey and carry out His rules and guiding principles that will get us closer to Him. We are humans with a weakness of being attracted to sin, but God wants to save us from the detrimental consequences of our sins. Ever since the time Adam and Eve were evicted from paradise, we are cursed to endure pain and sufferings as a result of our sins. We no stranger to the temptations to sin but we have a choice when faced with the desire to sin. We can ask God to deliver us and help us to guard ourselves from entertaining the thought of sinning.
The difference of a split second indeed has an impact. When we are faced with the urge to sin, pause and call out to God. Ask Him for strength to overcome the desire to sin. It helps to begin the day with a prayer to God asking that He guide you through the day in all of your decision-making and actions so that it is in accordance of His will for you. Whenever you decide on doing something in which you are unsure of the repercussions, ask God to give you a signal whether you should pursue the matter further. It helps to always go through with God on your actions to determine if you are living a life of God’s favor or living on your own terms.
Let God Guide You
At the end of the day, God only wants the best for us and not to restrict us. When we come to God, do not let us fear Him for the wrong reasons. Instead exalt Him for the good He has done in our life and will continue to do as long as we maintain our faith in Him. God loves us and wants us to obey Him because He knows that is the only way we can be saved. However, He does give you the freedom of choice to choose whether you want to follow Him or walk the other way. If you so choose to believe in Him, proceed to enter into this relationship with God without bias or skepticism because these attitudes are counterproductive and will inhibit the true power of God from manifesting in your life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Athena Chan