In this article, I am excited to introduce a new series based on my book Be Still My Soul: A Practical Guide to a Deeper Relationship with God.
My relationship with God is the most precious gift in my life. Over a lifetime of walking with him, I have learned the exquisite power and beauty of prayer. God and I have taken many a long walks together down sleepy streets, through autumn-hued forests, and along sand-strewn beaches. God has kept me company as I have laughed, cried, and poured out my soul. He has spoken back to me time and again in the pages of His Word—words that have sustained me, comforted me, and guided me through every stage of life.
I did not experience this kind of close relationship with my Father overnight—not on the first day or even in the first year after becoming a Christian. It has taken years—even decades!—of seeking, devotion, and creativity in order to forge the bond we now share.
Over the years, I have experimented with many different types of prayer and Bible study that have helped me to connect more deeply with God. I wrote Be Still My Soul in an effort to share some of those strategies, to help us all become as close to God as He longs for us to be. Yes, God longs to be close to us. He has demonstrated that heartfelt desire from the first book in the Bible all the way to the last.
In Genesis 3, we find God reaching out to Adam and Eve, seeking them, even though they are avoiding him, hiding from him: Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9.
In the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, again we find Jesus reaching out to us, seeking relationship: ” Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me ” – Revelation 3:20.
God seeks us. He has always sought us—even when we have not sought him in return. He longs to have an intimate relationship with us, and in this new series of articles, we will explore ways we can draw near to him, ways we can respond to His love. Some of us focus too much on guilt and duty rather than on the grace and love of God. Yes, we need to be humble, obedient servants of God and Jesus, but the motivation behind our devotion is relationship. We serve and obey because we long to be close. Love and gratitude are far better motivators than guilt and duty!
In the articles to come, we will explore different ways we can grow closer to God, looking into practical ideas that will help us connect on a heart level, pray and study in new and exciting ways, and deepen our intimacy. Your walk with God can be the greatest, most fulfilling adventure of your life. Let’s get the adventure started.