Have you ever wished for a closer relationship with God? Have you ever felt like there is more to Christian life than what you have found? Have you ever felt restless inside, wanting something but not knowing for sure what? I have. In my youth years and even beyond, I often had restless feelings inside and a real desire to have a closer relationship with God. But how? How do I go about it?
God created our natural bodies so that we need food to survive. Sometimes we take the edge off our hunger during the afternoon with junk food, but then when it is time for a “real” meal, we are not hungry anymore. In a spiritual sense, God created our spiritual bodies so that we need Him to survive. It has been said that each of us are made with a God-shaped hole in our lives. Instead of filling that place with God, sometimes we fill it with other things, like the junk food that takes our appetite for healthy food away.
What are you using to fill that empty place in your life? What are some of the things that are taking the edge off your hunger for God? We may fill that place with things that are not necessarily harmful, but it is causing our hearts to starve from lack of communion with God. I have been an avid reader, and God has shown me that this is one way I am filling the empty places in my life. It could be anything: many phone calls and texting, shopping, social life, etc., anything that keeps our minds busy almost constantly. I can say from experience that when you start replacing those “fillers” with time spent praying and reading the Bible and other good material, your hunger for God will grow. The things you filled your time with before now no longer satisfy, and you will look forward to your time with God. But you must guard that time and not let anything get in the way, because it is so important.
In Psalm 73, David writes of the struggle he was going through and how his steps had well nigh slipped when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. He couldn’t understand it and became despondent over it. Then in verse 17, he says, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” This sanctuary of God that we enter when we spend time reading the Word and praying does enlighten us. It fills that deep inner need and gives courage for the future. It helps you realize that the feelings of restlessness you had were really God wanting to commune with you. It also helps us to overcome the temptations Satan offers. It brings understanding to us in the things we have questions about, and it helps us know God better.
As I pray, I try to quiet my mind and spend plenty of time on my knees, so that I allow God time to impress my mind with whatever He wants to tell me. Many times a thought will come quietly into my mind, and I have been encouraged with knowing that it is God speaking to me. It always comes in a very gentle way, and the challenge is to quiet our hearts and minds enough to hear it. I have been amazed at what God does for a person when he spends more time in the sanctuary of God.
To those of you who want more in your Christian lives, a closer relationship with God is attainable. I say this because I have been where you are. God has changed my life, and I know He will do it for you. It is not something you need to wait for to achieve until you are older. Just make sure you are filling the void in your life with God and not some inferior filler. That is not the way to happiness and fulfillment.
“Then ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:12,13).
From Messenger of Truth, 2011, No. 12