"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (St. James 4:8a).
The more I get to know my church family, the more I realize how different our ways are in drawing nearer to God. How do you draw nigh to God? Would you be willing to share?
For years, I have been trying to understand how best to serve God --how to know what to do with my faith. I recognized from the beginning that the goal of every Christian is to draw nearer to God as we follow the Way, but I didn’t recognize my bias about what it meant to draw nearer to God.
Only recently did it strike me that even though we all have the same goal, the way we work it out is very different. Not simply because we are different, have different jobs and interests, etc., but because our personal relationship with God is unique. The way we imitate Him, speak with Him, make petitions, and understand His answers and His will in our lives.
There are certain things we are commanded to do that can help us to draw nigh. There is the regular attendance at church services, there is personal prayer, the reading/listening of Holy Scripture, fasting, and tithing and almsgiving. These are all things a Christian is called to do, but there are countless other ways in which we can draw nearer to God that may align more closely with the gifts God has given us. A few examples that come to mind, and which I’ve seen at our church, include hospitality, art, music, asceticism, food ministry, care-giving, visitations, intercessions, and teaching.
It is relating to these individual, personal practices and offerings that I am eager to learn more. What do you do to draw nearer to God? How do you grow spiritually?
Think of it this way. There are many jobs that exist in the world. We spend a considerable part of our young life drawing nearer the occupation we are most interested in pursuing. Once there, we spend the rest of our working life getting better at what we are doing. How we go about doing that is very personal. There are parallels in our spiritual life, and how we go about drawing nearer to God and spending our life getting better at it is what I’m suggesting we can share with others.
If you're interested in sharing your way of drawing nearer to God, please contact the church office, either by sharing directly in writing via email or by requesting a phone call to share through conversation. The write-up can be as short or as long as you’d like, and should answer the following questions: What do I do to draw nearer to God? And how is my relationship with Him enriched through it?
Understandably, this is very personal, but it can also be a great source of hope and inspiration to others to learn how we draw near to God and how God in turn draws near to us, and I hope that this will be something the Lord places on your heart to share. We are planning to collect the responses and print them as an anonymous collection that can be made available to those who are interested.
Blessings to you and your family this Lent.