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Throughout my life, I've been close to God sometimes and further away at other times.

This "distance" is present in both my emotions and also in my devotion. I mention both of those because there are times when I feel close to God emotionally, but far from Him in my devotions.

Conversely, there are times when I'm close to Him in devotion, but I don't feel Him present in my life.

So, what can we do to grow closer to God and feel His presence in our life?

Similarly, what can we do to increase our devotion to God and maintain our faithfulness towards studying His word and praying to him even when we don't "feel it"?

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I would love for this question to be on topic, but it seems incredibly broad, for a number of reasons. It seems akin to asking "How can I be healthy?" on Fitness.SE. I believe it is far too broad to be useful as it is, and will likely solicit "lists" (which are off topic), and it will be impossible to select a "correct answer". –  Flimzy Aug 27 '11 at 22:34
    
@Flimzy Yeah, I know. It isn't a cut-and-dry question (to my knowledge). I don't blame you for VtCing. It's just a question that has been with me for many, many years and I was hoping to get some insight. –  Richard Aug 27 '11 at 23:45
    
It's a good question, just not really a good fit for this type of Q&A. Stack Exchange is designed to create an authoritative collection of answers to canonical questions about Christianity. I can envision a congregation sitting around with this being the question of the day. It would likely result in lots of interesting discussion and revelation, but that style of reflection and communing isn't really what this site is about. I hope you can find such a congregation or online forum for your discussions, but Stack Exchange is not a good support group nor discussion forum. Sorry. –  Robert Cartaino Aug 29 '11 at 15:39
    
Being objective about it, I agree. It sucks that's the case because it's a good question. :\ –  Richard Aug 29 '11 at 15:58
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closed as not constructive by Flimzy, Robert Cartaino Aug 29 '11 at 15:39

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3 Answers

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Seek God and He will reveal Himself to you.

The Bible tells us what separates us from God and what brings us closer to Him. Sin separates us from God. We are commanded to purify ourselves of all sin. Reading the Bible brings is closer to God, through faith.

But alternatively to these things, Jesus says that if you obey my commands and my command is that you love, then I will go to the father and He and I will come and make our home within you.

Look at you life when you are drifting away from Him, have you been reading His word and have you been putting it into practice?

Lastley I want to encourage you to go and meet with God, seek him consistently and fast during this time, that He may present Himself to you. If you are able to talk with God you will have assurance, always.

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You should try to attend church regularly. I find that at church, I get an opportunity to learn more about God as well as myself, and that is, after all, another step towards becoming a true follower of God--to learn in what ways you and God are the same, and in what ways you are different.

Beyond that, to actively listen to what is taught at church--the Word of God--can help in so many ways. You can use what you are taught to further your faithfulness and advance on the path towards understanding what Christianity is all about.

And remind yourself that God is always with you. We sometimes forget this, but he is always with everyone. This fact should be all the assurance you need for His presence in your life.

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I like this. This does presume, however, that the Word of God is taught at the church you attend. You might find Quakerism's worship interesting. (Often the entire service is silent!) –  Richard Aug 27 '11 at 21:56
    
@Richard: Even better! The silence allows you to focus more on your own prayers. –  Arbiter Aug 27 '11 at 22:12
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I invite you to think of your question differently: "What can I do to know, more consistently, that God is close to me?"

The earliest followers of Jesus didn't call themselves Christian. Some of them called their movement "the Way." This is a helpful image, because it recognizes that nearness to God this side of the Jordan isn't a destination, but a path and a journey.

On this journey you can get lost. You can turn your ankle and need to heal for a while. You can get lonely. If you're like me, you can get irritated at how pointless the journey seems some days.

Why attend worship services? Because there you'll find other people on the same journey. Many of us are temporarily lost or injured. Some of us are lonely. A few of us are irritated. All of us need your company on the way just as much as you need ours. The Way is not a solitary way.

Why study scripture? Same reasons. You're spending time with the prophets and apostles, who have had the same struggles as you.

Why pray? Why pray even if God seems silent? Because it's a way to open up your heart to the peace of God.

May the peace of God that surpasses human understanding guard your heart and mind.

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