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Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. James 4:8 (NLT)

One day I was out doing errands when my wife called and asked me to grab her ‘a bite to eat’ since she was hungry. I pulled into the drive through and bought two hamburgers, two fries, and two sodas. By the time I got home I’d managed to finish all the food in the bag.

I walked into the house and my wife asked where the food was she asked me for. I was rather confused by this. I explained to her that she’d asked me to grab her food to eat. I naturally assumed she wanted me to eat it. I also was surprised she was still hungry since I ate the food for her!

Before you think I’m totally off my rocker, the above story is untrue. Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? No one can eat food and expect others to benefit from it. I can’t eat to cure your hunger pains. I can’t breathe for you. I can’t exercise for you. There are certain things in life that we have to do for ourselves.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. We can listen to good speakers. We can read a multitude of good books about the Bible or about the Christian life. But none of that compares to personally spending time with God. God can speak to you through good speakers, but he’d rather speak directly to you.

Suppose, for example, you had a crush on some person, we’ll call him Fred. Fred has a friend (Bill) who comes to you every day to tell you how much Fred loves you. Yet when you are with Fred he says nothing and does nothing to indicate any affection at all. Would you believe Bill? Probably not. You’d want to hear from Fred himself.

Sometimes we feel far from God. We feel he’s forgotten us or doesn’t love us. We hear all about His love but never experience it for ourselves. Hearing about God’s love but not experiencing God’s love is nothing more than religion. It’s empty, meaningless and cold.

Relationships aren’t built by hearing about someone. Relationships are built by learning firsthand about that person by talking with that person. To know God means we make the time daily to talk with him (prayer) and learn more about him (Bible reading). Good sermons and good books are great, but nothing compares to discovering God on your own through prayer and Bible reading.

Feel like God has drifted far from you? Guess what. He hasn’t moved. But the distractions of the world can make him seem distant if we neglect our relationship with him.

PRAYER: Father God. I know about you. I’ve heard about you and read about you. But I’m not sure I really know you personally. Help me to grow closer to you. I want to be your friend; to feel your presence; to know your love in a way I’ve never felt before. Help me to draw closer to you by talking with you more and reading the letter you sent me. In Jesus name, Amen.

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