How can Jesus become your best friend?
His brother James puts it simply: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 a, ESV).
Seems pretty easy, right?
Well, if you know where to start. I mean, how exactly do you cultivate a relationship with the God of the universe?
I’m certainly no expert on relationships, but I know this: Before we can explore and strengthen a friendship with anyone, we have to first invite that person into our lives.
In the same way, we each have the responsibility of inviting Jesus into our lives. The Savior who took our filthy sins onto Himself and suffered shame—the death of a cross—to give us an open relationship with His Father.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).
His invitation for friendship is always open, and the gift of redemption, available to all.
Trust is a key element for a thriving friendship, and this one is no exception. To have an eternal relationship with Christ, we must trust in Him. In His saving work of death and resurrection.
“So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:31, NKJV).
Have you trusted Jesus to be your Savior? Your friend?
If you have, here are ways you can draw nearer 🙂
1) Read the Bible regularly
I didn’t read my Bible or pray very steadily until the beginning of 2015. I wish it didn’t take such a deep sense of loneliness and insecurity to shove me on the right track, but I’m so glad God guided me there eventually 🙂
I hadn’t even planned to spend time with God the morning I forced myself to get up and brave the cold for an early-morning walk. But, when I got home and snuggled down with hot coffee, nothing seemed more inviting than reading my Bible. For the first time in days—Maybe weeks.
That hour of solitude got me hooked.
Though I don’t really go on nose-reddening walks anymore, (I prefer summer mornings 😉 ) I still try my best to rise early for some quiet time with Jesus.
A friend of mine once told me something like, “God deserves the best of our time. If we just use our spare time to study the Word, then we are only being selfish. Spend time with God during your strongest point of the day.”
I’m way too wound up to sit still and focus at night, so morning is my prime focus time.
But, if early hours don’t treat you well, please don’t use them on God. Pick a good time of day and make a regular (whether twice a week, 5 times a week, or every day) habit of using that time for Him.
2) Talk to Him!
What better person to talk to than the One who gave you the voice to speak? The One who will hear you out and help you no matter the time of day?
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14, NIV).
Not too long ago I had ‘one of those’ weeks. It crashed into a brick wall. I didn’t know why I was grumpy, why everything seemed to go wrong, or why everyone around me seemed to be in a bad mood.
Until I had time alone. Time to realize it’d been a while since I had a long talk with God.
Sure, I offer up several short prayers throughout the day, but what close friends go without long conversations now and then?
I sank onto my bed and talked with Jesus for a good while–and the following week was much better 😉 Life just works properly when I release everything into His control. It’s amazing how simple communication with the Father relieves so much stress and worry, and invites peace into my heart.
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, NKJV).
3) Worship through music
Just a couple weeks ago I started adding music to my Bible study time, and I LOVE it. I’m a little obsessed with music, and a little obsessed with Jesus, so the two seemed to fit perfectly 😉
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 104:33, NKJV).
I’ve found that listening to one or two praise songs is an amazing way nudge my heart in the right direction before digging into Scripture. Singing His praises first thing has been such a happy addition to my morning 🙂 A grateful heart is the healthiest kind!
P.S. Need some new Christian artists to add to your playlist? Check out this list of my favorite artists! I listen to a few of them each morning and highly recommend their music.