Get Closer to God? IMPOSSIBLE!
For a number of years, I yearned to be and feel closer to God. I struggled to spend a sufficient amount of time with Him in prayer or reading my Bible. Often I fell asleep during the endeavor. I even struggled to pray without ceasing like the Bible commands. I came reasonably close to doing it for one day (laugh out loud). I struggled to think and say the “right things.” I wanted to look, to my church friends and the unsaved world around me, like a strong Christian who was close to God.
I went to church two or three times a week, sang and praised God loudly and felt “happy and closer to God” while doing so. I thought I was a spiritual leader at my church–someone who could encourage and counsel others. I visited an elderly woman once a week and even cleaned the church. I received praise from my pastor and church friends for these things and I ate it all up. Inside, I experienced emotional ups and downs that I thought reflected how close I was to God. I soothed myself by working hard in “Christian” endeavors and also by arrogantly comparing myself to those around me. None of this worked.
The Good News and the biblical answer is that we cannot get “closer” to God since He already lives in us. (This is only true, if you have been born again.)
The Bible tells us, Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corin. 6:19). No separation there. In John 15: 5 Jesus says, I am the Vine, you are the branches…. No separation there. Again: He (Christ) is the Head of His Body, the Church (Col. 1:18 & I Corin. 12:27). No separation there, either.
We were not even separated from Him on the cross. In Galatians 2:20 (Amplified Bible): I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the Life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Truth is not what we feel or even what we think about our “relationship” or “closeness” with God–it is what God tells us in the Bible. Since the Bible says we are joined with Christ and He lives in us and through us, it is then actually Christ-as-us living out in everyday life—whether reading my Bible, or teaching a Sunday school class, or working at my job, or eating a meal!