Getting close to God
How do you get closer to God in order to feel his presence near you? What do you do to maintain a close relationship with God? How do you force yourself to stay on the right track that God set for you without swaying away from it? How do you reach a high status of spiritual and religious happiness? Please be specific because I need advice on this topic. Thanks!
The first step is to have the intention for closeness. Without that sincere intention, the path is usually more difficult because you won't notice seemingly small things which enhance your intention.
I get close to God through contemplation/meditation, through gratitude and appreciation, and through nature. From there I see God in whom and what I love, in my interests, in all that happens to me.
It all starts with the sincere intention, even if you have to keep affirming and reaffirming it.
Focusing on my breathing and being appreciative that I am able to breathe freely and easily puts me into a relaxed state; in that state, an awareness of a presence greater than ourselves emerges.
I would answer you from the perspective of the God of the Bible. Just like in any human relationship, to draw closer to the person, one has to know them more and more. It's a process and so it is with God. Through reading the Bible, I am able to learn more about God and draw closer to him. It's not necessary to "force yourself on the track set by God as you say" because it's a love relationship and you're human while God is supernatural. God understands your weaknesses, despair, desires, needs, fears etc. Just take one day at a time.
I hope this helps.
God is already close; God is already intimate with you. The 'feeling' that you speak of is often a gift from God, if what you mean is a special feeling of intimacy. To begin to feel the presence of God, we must learn to become quiet enough and patient enough to hear 'the small, quiet voice' of God within us. This takes self discipline and great patience. But this is not for the faint of heart, for when God chooses to come close during our times of contemplation, it can be an overwhelming intimacy that is so intense that we likely pull back and away from Him. Learning to tolerate this kind of spiritual intimacy with God is what those of ancient Christian times called 'ecstasy'. Pursue these things if you would be close to God: walk in grace, work daily at sanctifying yourself (keeping your personal integrity as a believer), engage in meditation and contemplative prayer multiple times daily, and study the spiritual classics.
The one greatest way that we have in getting close to God is through sincere prayer and meaningful meditation. God is always there for us and welcomes us with open arms and for all of those who have a difficult time in relating to this, an open mind. There are way too many"coincidences" in life to accept this as chance events, with no purpose or planning of a master creator. To me, it is like daring a huge creature the size of an elephant, to step on you while you lay in its bedding area, not to believe in a creator, that we regard as our God. Who are we that we might deny our own creation and a master artist that performs His great feats every day before our very eyes? If you want to get closer to God, close your ears to gossip and denunciation of God and open them to praising Him. Mankind is given the ability to deny God, yet this does not mean that no one will be judged by their actions at the time of all's passing! Believe with all of your heart and soul and you will be with God every day.
Yes, genuine intent to know is essential. Also, consistency in this intent, keep on keeping on...
This is, according to the late and famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, the ultimate desire once we've moved through the lower requirements of our basic needs. We move from self actualization to a wanting to know what and who we are: Self Realization.
God, or whatever the lable you wish to use for The All Knowing and All Loving, is not only near you but in you. If God is omni-present that means EVERYWHERE and you cannot be excluded from this. So seek within. You won't find God 'out there' until you've found Him/Her/It within.
You can use role models of the great religious founders as part of your guidance and many do. But remember these peope were/are Teachers. They realized their REAL SELF and point you to how you, yourself can get to that state.
But it all starts with intention.
God is always close to you no matter what ... all you have to do is to try to read and understand and follow your spiritual book whatever it may be. Always remember that God knows your every move ... try to maintain an awareness within you that God knows what you are doing even though no one is watching. this will keep you on the right path ...
read the spiritual books more and follow teachings of people less coz i've noticed most of the time there is about 5% inaccuracy which changes the true meaning of the words. you are gifted with the ability to read and write ... use it and apply the teachings in your everyday life. no use reading all the good and not actually following/implementing ... that will make you numb and take you further away.
spiritual happiness will come with time and devotion ... it will never come overnight, but it will come ... God is already closer to you (than your jugular vein [in our teachings]) so don't worry about God coming close to you... concentrate on the awareness i mentioned and try to really focus when you pray (close your eyes and imagine God is right in front of you).
you might notice ... the harder you try to get closer to God, the more difficulties are thrown at you in life ... these are little tests / hurdles ... (you will not be given an ounce more of hardship that you can endure) ... don't let hardships get in the way, remember to maintain your intentions.
Hope this helps ... Good luck.
Your have received many good answers. I do agree with kirillo, stessily and Tusitala Tom. They are good answers. Yes meditate at least twice a day for at least 20 minutes with a sincere intention to getting close to God.
I would add that God lives within you. God sends you messages every day through what you observe, what you feel, and what you hear. But not every message from these sources are from God. However, there are signs when it comes from God.
God usually gives you one message at a time. God's message always comes with the grandest Love, grandest Joy and is also self evident that it is the grandest Truth. Now if a message has Love, Joy and Truth but not the grandest ones then it is not a message from God.
Therefore getting closer to God does not involve fear as others may have told you. Do not go astray with what religious institutions dictates about God. They have no authority to interfere or get between you and God.
God too is waiting for you to move closer towards God. Both of you will be pleased if you move towards God.
I started out picturing God as George Burns because I could work with that better. You know in the "Oh, God" movies from the 70s... Anyway, I pray as I go along with my day and if it is something important like I'm worried about one of my children I would literally picture myself in my mind's eye placing them in George's *God's* arms. I came to trust him more and more. The more I prayed the closer I felt. The more I turned things over to him the more peaceful I get. He isn't George anymore but if I need him to have skin on he could be and he wouldn't mind. I believe God has a sense of humor. I hope this helped.
Let us know what Jesus has to say about this. Jesus says when we pray we should enter our closet, close the doors and windows and pray to our Father in Heaven in secret. The meaning of this is that we are closest to God withing ourselves. The doors and windows are the doors and windows of our soul; our eyes and ears. We should close our eyes and ears and get withing ourselves where Jesus says we can meet God and speak to him privately.
to have a relationship with God this is what I have found daily prayer and reading scriptures.. learn all you can about God if he knows you are searching for him He will listen. Asking the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of my sins was the first step. He saved my life. You see I wanted to die. But He saved me from death... sometimes the wind brushing my cheek feels like the hand of God and the sweet birds singing to the Lord. I see things so different now.
Happy Easter to you
To begin with there was a time when my closeness to God was a void. I lost direction and could no longer feel His presence in my life. It was a scary time and a lonely time and I struggled to find my way back to Him.
I believe that as a result of that a renewed commitment to Him in my life. Since that time, which is over 20 years ago, now, I have felt His presence in my life and in the lives of my family every day and in a very real sense.
How is that possible? I trust and believe. Two words from a very old hymn I learned when I was growing up. Trust and believe. Two very difficult intangible things to do.
Daily fervent, spontaneous prayer is another way that I keep my connection with God. Prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of supplication keep me spiritually uplifted. Each day is another day to praise and thank Him. Joy fills my life each day as a result.
Do not misunderstand....I have struggles and burdens like everyone else but they are easier to manage because God carries me through the toughest of times.
I hope this helps you in your spiritual journey.
In my case it was during a comatose experience I had in 2003. That is truly when I felt closest to God (for the first time). Please keep in mind, that I am not sayng He was not beside me every moment of my life; actually I believe He was with me every moment (although I was not aware of this until after my comatose experience).
Since my coma, I have felt close to God on many occasions. Quite frequently after praying the Liturgy of the Hours and walking with one of our dogs on trails near our house (in nature's backyard). The tell-tale sign (in my experiences) that I was indeed close to Him occurs when you feel significant peace combined with revelations of thoughts or infusions of "knowledge" or insight that help you navigate through life's many challenges...
Perhaps also when you are in the middle of a "coincidence" you may recognize that as God's way of placing you in the right place at the right time. Keep in mind it may not appear that the coincidence is closeness to God. It may even appear like an unfortunate event; however, you may recognize that as a hidden blessing... If you read my hub titled, http://connorj.hubpages.com/hub/Gods-Pawn
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