How to Get Closer to God
“I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’” (Luke 15:18-19, NLT)
The closer you get to God, the more he will transform your life.
Throughout Scripture, we see transformed lives. When Isaiah got close to God, he was transformed from being depressed to standing courageously. When Paul finally met Jesus Christ face to face, he was radically transformed from a persecutor of Christians to spreading Christianity throughout the Roman world. And as Moses grew closer to God, he transformed from a privileged son of Pharaoh to a humble man leading God’s people out of Egypt.
Jesus told a story about transformation—the story of the prodigal son. It’s a story of spiritual transformation, about getting close to God after wandering away.
Here’s the short version of the story. A young man takes his inheritance and wastes it on careless living. Then, when things go from bad to worse, he finally says, “I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant’” (Luke 15:18-19 NLT).
The prodigal son reminds us of our tendency to wander away from our Father who made us and loves us. But more than that, his story reminds us of God's faithfulness, forgiveness, and compassion. When the son returned home, his father saw him from a distance and “ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20 NLT).
This is how spiritual transformation begins. The moment you say, “God, I’m tired of living the way I’ve been living,” he runs out to meet you. He takes the initiative. He even celebrates, like the father did with his prodigal son: “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him . . . We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life” (Luke 15:22-24 NLT).
You may be closer to God than you’ve ever been before. Or maybe you’re feeling like the prodigal—you’ve wandered away and need to renew your relationship with God. No matter where you are—near or far—you can get even closer to God and experience transformation in your life.
Your Heavenly Father is always ready to deepen his relationship with you, ready to greet you with open arms, and ready to bring transformation into your life.
Talk It Over
How does the father’s welcome of his prodigal son help you understand how God feels about you?
When have you experienced spiritual transformation? What were the circumstances that made that transformation possible?
Where are you spiritually today? What kind of spiritual transformation do you need?
If you've never invited Christ into your life, you can pray this simple prayer today: "God, I realize I need you. I want to be born again. I confess I have sinned against you, and I ask that you forgive all my sins. Jesus, I receive you into my life as Lord and Savior. Today, I’m turning every part of my life over to you. I want to follow you and do what you tell me to do. And I want to see your vision, purpose, and plan for my life. Please accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen."
If you’ve already accepted Christ into your life, then you can pray, "Father, help me to see life through eyes of faith. I want to follow your vision for the things you want me to do. I’m going to trust you as I step forward in faith to attempt great things for you. I’m committed to your plan for my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.