Here are four bad habits that will keep you from growing closer to God.
If there is anger that you can’t seem to rid yourself of, you are preventing your growing closer to God, but also from growing closer to those around you. It seems today that patience doesn’t go very far before many people just spill out their anger and frustration. Jesus warned about anger, saying “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matt 5:22). Anger ruins our Christian witness and it tells God that we’re not contented at all with life.
Jesus asked His disciples “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:27), and “if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith” (Matt 6:30), “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34). Worry is the opposite of trust. It says to God, “God, I am worried you won’t take care of me,” and that is not pleasing to God and it will stunt your growth in trying to grow closer to God.
Famine of the Word
What I mean by a “famine of the word” is starving oneself from the Word of God. When we avoid abiding in the vine, we are not getting the nourishment from the Word of God that we need on a daily basis (Matt 6:11). If you want to grow closer to God, then you’ll want to be in His Word on a daily basis. You can’t grow close to God by avoiding the words of God. God speaks to us through His written Word, but if you’re not in the Word, God cannot speak to you and you will be starving due to a lack of the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
I cannot find even one Christian who was going it alone in their Christian faith in the New Testament church. We were called into a community of believers and fellowship with the saints, but if we isolate ourselves, we lack the accountability of other brothers and sisters in the church, but we’re also cut off from the sheepfold, and outside of the household of faith, Satan roams around like a lion, seeking whom he might devour (1st Pet 5:8), and he will look for stragglers who are separated from the herd. Christianity is not like being a lone ranger because even the Lone Ranger had Tonto.
I have counseled dozens of people in my life who felt they were growing further away from God, so then I asked about their prayer life: not much of one. Then I asked, “What about your Bible reading?” They don’t read it anymore, so now you see their problem. If you truly want to grow closer to God, try to avoid anger eruptions; try to not worry so much; stay in the Word of God on a daily basis, and don’t isolate yourself because we need one another, and it’s safer together than being out there alone.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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