Saturday, June 04, 2011

How To Get Closer To God


About two years ago I began a voluntary involvement with a very rewarding ministry, Global Media Outreach (GMO), which is an online program of Campus Crusade for Christ that seeks to provide millions of seekers everywhere with multiple opportunities to discover the Good News online.

They do this by maintaining a number of topic-oriented websites, and by driving traffic to these sites through search, widgets, email and a variety of online means. When people are curious or seeking information or struggling in some area, GMO tries to provide a website which will suggest a relationship with Christ as the answer to their questions. For instance, type "Who is Jesus?" into Google and the first listing that comes up is for a GMO website, Who Is Jesus -- Really?.

Millions each year are reading these websites and responding with a request for more information or indicating that they are placing their faith in Christ. GMO then connects these requests immediately with volunteer "online missionaries" like me. I reach out to the person, seeking to establish a relationship where I can pray for them, answer their questions, and help them grow toward or in Christ. Basically all it requires of me is an investment of my time, first in training, and then in responding to several emails each day.

Through this effort I have been able (so far) to help more than 850 individuals in their quest to get closer to God, and it's been a real blessing to me knowing that I can share my faith with others in a meaningful, authentic and relevant way, using my own gifts and skills.

One of the questions I receive very frequently is, "How can I get closer to God?" I love this question because it shows clearly that God is working in that person's life. God wants us to pursue Him, to get closer to Him, and this truth is echoed on practically every page of the Bible.

I thought I'd share with you a general outline of the response which I've developed to this question, because the truths it contains really work for me in a practical way in my life.

Interestingly, many of these requests are from individuals in Africa. They seem (to me) more interested in truly developing a relationship with the living God than people in many other places. Today's question was from a young man in Nigeria. I'm changing his name to protect his privacy. Jimmy asked, "How best to come closer to the Son of God?"

Dear Jimmy,

I'm thankful for the message that you have recommitted your life to Jesus! My name is Larry and I'd like to help you know Him better. Go to for your next steps.

You asked what I think is one of life's greatest questions: "How best to come closer to the Son of God?" Please be encouraged that, from a biblical perspective, God delights in our desire to get closer to Him. Jesus said: "All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away" (John 6:37).

Deut. 4:29 also says: "But if ... you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

So the answer is — come to Christ! Seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. To me that means: Pray daily and ask Him in faith to reveal Himself to you, to fill you with His Holy Spirit and to be the Lord of your life. Spend as much time with Him as you can, seeking to understand the heart of God. Read the Bible faithfully, discuss it with other believers, and pray that God will open its truths to your heart.

I also think a huge part of the answer is to pray (daily) for the gift of the Holy Spirit. This sounds simple, but Jesus admonished us to do it. He said: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

How can I pray for you? Do you have any other questions? Let's talk.

- Larry

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