The 7 Secrets To Getting And Staying Close To God

Have you ever wanted a closer relationship with anyone?

How about God, have you ever wanted to be closer to him? I know that I have!

Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive deeper into how I established my relationship with God.  What I do to make sure that I stay close to him and the things I feel have been instrumental to growing in Christ.

To do that I have to give you a little background on me.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

As you already know I was blessed to be raised by parents who cared and provided for me very well. I didn’t have everything I wanted, but I had everything I needed.

We had family dinners almost every night. We spent time together doing things as a family. We traveled together. My parents did their very best to raise a stubborn child that bucked the system and always looked for loopholes.

My brother probably did WAY worse things than I did, but I was the one who got caught for everything.

I mean EVERYTHING.

In every school, I knew the entire office staff.  Yes, all of them from the secretary up to the principal.  And we were all on a first-name basis. All the way from third grade till I graduated high school.

Shout out to Mr. Gene Giddings, the principal of my middle school. I’m pretty sure he retired when I left 8th grade.  Lol

I was blessed to know God from a young age.  My mom would take us to church every Sunday while dad would go and work.

Then when we got to a certain age she gave us the choice to go to church.  I chose to go when there was a cute girl I knew was going.

I know not the right reasons at all, you can lecture me later.

I was present in the building but mentally I was checked out. I’ll bet you know that feeling.

Anyways……

Jenna and I started dating our Junior year of high school. 

Now Jenna went to church every Sunday with her parents.

So, guess what?????

I started going to church every Sunday too. Even if it was a different church than she went to.  When you want to be close to someone you do the same things they do so you have something in common to talk about.

Or at least that’s what I did.

Even though I believed in God and knew that he existed I was not close to him.

I would tell jokes where a trucker would say, “Hey, hey, hey, watch your mouth there are mechanics in here.” lol

In other words, I knew God but was choosing not to be close to him.

I HATED Christian music, I didn’t read the Bible on my own, I prayed when I needed help, I blamed God when things went wrong and took credit for everything that went right.

Jenna and I had Billy and Nathen already and thankfully they were young enough not to remember just how I acted and carried myself.

Then it happened, God slapped me in the face and said it is time to come closer to me.

I just couldn’t hear him say that.

So, he humbled me over and over again with many different situations.

He was breaking me so that I would turn to him.

He knew that if I continued down the path I was on that not only would I suffer, but so would Jenna and the kids.

I am so grateful for those humbling moments that happened and still happen.

I was 24 when I really turned to God and started getting close to him.  You might be thinking, wow you were still such a young guy when it happened.

But you see by that time I had already been married for 5 years, had 3 kids, built a house, changed jobs 4-5 times, moved a couple of times and so much more.

I might have been young, but in today’s world, it is the equivalent of being 30 – 40 years old for life experiences.

Here are my 7 secrets to getting and staying close to God.

  1. Pray, multiple times a day
  2.  Read the Bible daily
  3.  Listen to Christian music
  4.  Look for God’s hand in everything
  5. Talk about God
  6. Proclaim your faith publicly
  7. Surround yourself with believers

There you go, those are the secrets that keep me close to God.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to dive deeper into each secret so that I can give you the exact tactics that I use in my life.

Take Action

Today I simply want you to take a few moments to ponder on each of these to see if there are any that you would add to my list.

Don’t stop there though.

Go onto our Facebook page and post a comment about what you do differently.

Prayer

Lord, you are so amazing. Thank you for giving me the strength to share things in life that are so personal and close to my heart.  Things that when others read them might cause them not to think so highly of me.  Like not being close until I was 24, or the fact that I knew all of the office staff in all of my schools. Or the fact that I was not a strong Christian for so long. God, I am also thankful that you have reformed my life to make me closer to you, and I pray that you would help each and every person who reads this to come even closer to you. I know that there are others who are closer to you than I will ever be, I pray that you help them continue to grow closer to you. God today I would like to ask one more favor.  I pray that you give everyone who reads this to share it.  help give them the strength to share your message with the world.

We ask all these things in your precious Son’s name.

Amen.

A Little More

Today I am going to take you back to grade school, or at least my grade school.

You see, I grew up in rural Colorado. The closest grocery store was a 30-minute drive. And that was about 30 miles. That right there tells you just how much traffic there was. Lol

Our local grade school went from kindergarten to fifth grade. Then you had to go to town for 6th-12th grades.

You should also know that in grade school we had a lot of combined classes. Like 1-2, and 2-3, and 3-4, and 4-5. They did this because there were not enough students or teachers to have full classes of just one grade.

I did pretty well up until about 3rd grade. That’s when I really started to get to know our staff members at the school.

In third grade, we sat in groups.  The teacher would arrange our desks in groups of 4-6 kids. We stayed in those groups for about a month, then he would mix up the groups. 

Looking back this was a great idea because it caused us to have to work fairly close to everyone in the class for a short period.  If we didn’t get along with someone in our group then we only had to be “close” to them for a month.

Honestly, our class was so small that you were close to everyone in it. 

Anyways…..

This teacher, MR Morris. Would award points to groups that were able to achieve certain things first. You know like being the quietest, or who could get quietest the fastest. Things like that.  The really important things.  Lol

I was not really and am still not really competitive. But I liked (and still do) to be good at what I do.

There was this one group that I was in, and they were not good at winning any points. So finally, after about 2 weeks of losing every extra point that Mr. Morris awarded I look around the table and said, “If you F*** pansies don’t get quite the fastest. I am going to lose it.

Well, my little (horrible) pep-talk worked. We won the points.

I thought well that worked, let’s just keep up those pep talks to see how long they will work.

The next morning, I gave another one to our group and a few more bad words for more encouragement.

Hey, it worked the first day. It should work even better with more encouragement.

Well…..

Just after lunch, the principal came into the room and Mr. Morris did his thing and said whoever gets quite the first gets extra points.

While I was “encouraging” my table to get quiet. The principal walked over to the teacher and they had a quiet conversation.

I could remember how the look on Mr. Morris’s face went from smiling to concerned.

Then in front of the whole class, the principal said, “Mr. Greer, please come with me.”

I had never been so embarrassed.

We walked down to his office, (which I would get to know very well over the next few years. No I’m not bragging.) There we talked about my actions and how to “motivate” people without using bad words.

We called my mom on the phone. Such a fun experience. NOT

I didn’t realize it until just the other day, but that experience shaped me into the person I am today.

I constantly remember how it felt to be singled out.  And getting called out of the class was humiliating. The principal thought that it caused me to not act out again.

The truth is that it caused me to do it more.

The way it changed me was because now when I have an issue I NEVER call people out in front of anyone. I very discreetly have a conversation with them that no one else ever knows about.

And then there is a bigger issue that affects others. I address the group it affected, and we never talk names or anything.

My entire point of this is that God was working in my life, and I didn’t even know it.

You should know that today I try my hardest not to curse and have developed better ways of helping others get motivated.