I recently came across an article online written by an expert in behavioral science about how to structure a web page so that it is more intuitive and user-friendly. The author suggested that in order for people to understand that two items are connected to each other, those items should be placed in close proximity on the page, and unrelated items should be separated with larger spaces. In other words, the strategic placement of texts, pictures, and headings will help people see that certain things “belong together”: nearness would be an indicator of a relationship. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the words of James: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a). When I come close to Him, and He comes close to me, our relationship is evident, and the message is clear: we belong together.

There are countless blessings to be reaped from a close relationship with God that has been sewn in love and cultivated through faith. In Psalm 73:28, the psalmist wrote, “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare Your good works.” Why did the writer believe that it is good to be close to God? The answer might be found when considering the benefits of closeness in other situations. For example, we stand close to a fire so that we can feel its greatest warmth. We sit close to the front of the classroom so that we can hear the instructor clearly. We move close to the court or the field so that we can witness all the actions of the game. We position ourselves close to a window so that we can observe the beauty on the other side. We move close beside a friend so that we can share in conversation. Imagine being close to God and reaping the rewards like these, but in a much fuller, more powerful way: basking in His warmth, receiving His instruction, witnessing His activity, observing His beauty, and sharing in conversation with Him. Nearness to God is nearness to His divine nature, and that means nearness to love goodness, holiness, power, justice, grace, mercy, and kindness. Walking in the radiance of these divine attributes is good. They surround you, they fill you, and hopefully, they change you. Another psalmist, in Psalm 91:4, describes nearness to God as finding refuge under His wing, covered by His feathers, and protected by His faithfulness. It’s a picture of closeness. A picture of a relationship.

There are many other blessings found in Scripture that come from being close to God. In Matthew 11:28–30, we are told that we will have rest. In Hebrews 4:16, we find mercy and grace. We are guided in John 10:3–4, and in Isaiah 41:10, we are strengthened. In Psalm 16:11, we are told that in the presence of God is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures for eternity. Like the author of the 73rd Psalm, we can confidently say, “It is good for us to draw near to God.” But how does it happen? What must we do daily to bring ourselves closer to our Heavenly Father?

First, being mindful of our attitude when drawing near to God is important. James 4:8–10 explains that our approach to Him should be sincere and humble. Also, the writer of Hebrews tells us that those who come to God must come to Him in faith (Heb. 11:6). So, with a pure heart, a servant heart, and a believing heart, we ready ourselves to pull up close to the side of God. Here are ten principles for living that will help bring us near to our Heavenly Father:

  1. Talk to Him prayer
  2. Listen to His voice through His Word
  3. Live in keeping with His Will
  4. Discover Him in nature
  5. Serve Him by serving others
  6. Worship and praise Him
  7. Connect and Commune with other Christians
  8. Express gratitude to Him
  9. Imitate His Son
  10. Love Him and love people

The most wonderful thing about desiring a closer relationship with God is that He desires the same with you (John 14:23). If we seek Him continually as we should (1 Chron. 16:10–11), we will find Him (Prov. 8:17), and every day we have opportunities to draw nearer. Make it your daily ambition to position yourself in close proximity with God, so close that when others see you and how you live your life, they do not doubt that you belong to Him.

Lori Boyd
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Lori Boyd is from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and attends the East Main church of Christ.  She and her husband, Sam, were married in 1998 and have three children, Evie, Kate, and Briggs. Lori is a Registered Nurse and a high school teacher at Middle Tennessee Christian School, where she teaches Honors Anatomy and Forensics. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Scripture at Heritage Christian University.

  Lori has been a writer for Think, Tennessee Home and Farm, and Christian Woman magazines. She has written four books: Trailblazers, Walking to the Promised Land, Hope Island, and Praying Through It; all made available through Kaio Publications. She is part of the Ministry League team and a World Bible School board member. She loves public speaking and teaching Bible classes and presents regularly at workshops and ladies’ events.

Lori was born in Germany and grew up in the Air Force. She attended Abilene Christian University in Texas and graduated from the Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing in 1996. She moved to Nashville in June of 1997 and has called Middle Tennessee “home” ever since.