Teenagers are the best! God begins to do such amazing things during this season of your life. I hope you can open your eyes to see all the work God is doing.
I’m so glad you are searching for how to get closer to God. And I’m really excited that you have found this website. Not because I think we have the answers and no one else does, but simply because I’m going to share what God’s word says about the subject.
These are not my ideas on how you can get closer to our Lord but come straight from God. Wow, take a moment to think about that. The Creator of all the world wants to be close to you and has provided a way for us to get close to Him!
1. Repent and Believe
The first thing that you need to make sure of, as you seek to be closer to God, is that you are one of His children. He promises to be present and close to His children, but that does not mean He is close to everyone, only those that belong to Him.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV)
So how can we know we are one of God’s children? How do we know if we are redeemed? How can we have confidence that God desires us to be close to Him? God is clear on how we become adopted into His family and it’s by believing that Jesus is God.
When we believe that Jesus is God, we will begin to recognize God’s greatness and our own inability to ever be perfect. The good news is though that we don’t have to be perfect because when we believe that Jesus is God we also recognize that Jesus came and died for our sins.
That doesn’t mean we can keep living in sin because Jesus covers them. Instead, we are called to repent of our sins. That means to recognize where we fall short of what God is calling us to and turn away from those temptations and turn towards Jesus and obey God.
As Christians we recognize our sins, we apologize to God for trusting in ourselves, and we begin to live a life that runs after God, rather than ourselves.
So to be close to God, you must repent (turn from your sin and turn to God’s way of life) and believe (believe the Gospel; that because of sin we are separated from God, but through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, He has taken on the punishment we deserve and it is replaced with God’s grace and love for us).
Your story of getting closer to God must start here. It is only by God’s grace that we can be called Children of God and have the opportunity to be adopted into God’s family and be close to Him.
So please, if you are not a Child of God do not be tempted to continue to read and attempt these next steps. I encourage you to pray to God and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
Reach out to an older Christian and ask them to help you as you surrender your life to Christ. Open your Bible and ask God to open your eyes to the only truth that can save you.
If you are a child of God; you have recognized your sin, repented of it, you long to live your life pleasing to God, and can not wait to get closer to Him, then I encourage you to read on. These next few steps are called Spiritual Disciplines and they are for you to use as you grow more like Christ and become closer to God.
2. Read God’s Word
We are called to put off our old selves and be renewed in the spirit of our minds. We can do this by being in God’s word.
“…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV)
Can I suggest that you begin in the New Testament? That is going to start with the Book of Matthew. This will allow you to learn all about Jesus and his ministry. Resist the temptation of reading just one verse or squeezing this into your busy life.
Be intentional about this step and read at least a chapter, daily. You may not always understand but pray that God will open your eyes. He is good to answer prayers.
2. Study God’s Word
This is different than just reading the Bible. Getting a study bible, listening to respected podcasts, and listening to Bible-based preaching are all great ways to study your Bible.
Reach out to an older Christian for help guiding you to good resources to study God’s word. God created the church and bodies of believers for a reason, and one of those reasons is to spur one another on, so be confident that asking for help will honor God and help you get closer to Him.
Studying is reading the Bible intending to understand the meaning of the text. We do this so we can know what God intended scripture to say rather than just reading it through our own sinful and cultural lens.
3. Meditate on God’s Word
Meditating on God’s word is not like, folding your legs and breathing in deeply, hoping to clear your mind. Rather it’s time to fill your mind with God’s word. So after you have read it or studied it, think about it.
Think about it throughout your day. Try and recall it to your memory while walking down the halls at school. Think about what you read before you go to sleep. Just fill your mind with God’s word. Think about how it challenges you or perhaps how it is calling you to repentance.
4. Memorize God’s Word
Memorizing may seem like a daunting task. Or may even remind you of something you had to do as a kid. It may even still feel like a task. However, this is a discipline that will help you draw closer to God. That’s because it puts the living word in your head and heart, where no one can steal it away.
There are some fun apps out there that you can download that can help you memorize.
5. Pray to Our God
Prayer connects us to God. It may feel weird at first. But just start like you were talking to anyone else. God loves you and wants to hear from you. We are also promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us, especially when we don’t know what to pray.
Share your thoughts, praise Him for who He is, repent of your sins, ask for guidance, and simply talk to Him.
6. Solitude and Silence Before God
This is a hard one in this busy world we live in. Jesus demonstrated getting away to be with God. Set apart time to be silent before God.
This can be before you pray, or after you read God’s word. It doesn’t matter when you do it but choose to be intentional about getting away and being silent before God.
It is a position of honoring God, give it a try.
7. Apply and Obey God’s Word
As you read, pray, and spend time with God you will become closer to God. It’s important not to just keep this closeness to yourself. As Christians we are called to glorify God with our lives, to love Him, and love others.
Applying God’s word and obeying what He calls you to do with help you get closer to Him.
There are resources like books and podcasts that are aimed at helping youth apply God’s word. They can help you to see how being close to God and the Gospel begins to change your life.
8. Youth Group and Church
Most teenagers are busy. It may seem like sports, band concerts, and school activities are more important than going to church. Be careful not to fall into this trap and stop going to church.
At this age, many of your parents are now giving you the option to go with them to church or not. Be intentional and choose to go. If your family does not go to church or you don’t have a ride, reach out to your church and see if there is someone who would pick you up.
There are so many excuses to stop joining together but resist that temptation and go.
I pray that you will begin to take the steps of getting closer to him. I pray that today you open your Bible, pray to God, and you allow Him to change your life.
I pray that you begin to live out this beautiful life God has called you to. You are never too young to impact the kingdom.
If there is a specific prayer you seek that can bring you closer to Him, please comment below so we can share more prayers with you and pray with you as you draw near to God.