1) Repent. “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, NLT). Repentance can be defined as a change of ways. When you repent, you decide that you are no longer going to live life your way, you are going to live your life God’s way. Matthew 3:8 from the New Living Translation says it best, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”
2) Confess. Psalm 66:18 shows us that un-confessed sin separates me from God. But, First John 1:9 assures us that when we “confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (NLT). “O Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help” (Psalms 86:5, NLT).
3) Pray. God wants to hear from us. He designed us to be in fellowship with Him and desires communication. First Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to, “never stop praying (NLT). “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NLT). Stay in fellowship with Him through a devoted prayer life.
4) Listen. While talking to Him is very important, God doesn’t want us to do all the talking. He wants us to listen for His voice. “Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there” Numbers 7:89, NLT). Now, the Lord speaks to us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit, Who lives within us. We should grow in our discernment to know and recognize His voice.
5) Abide. Some synonyms for abide are, stay, dwell, hang around, remain and tarry. Be determined to remain steadfast with Him, regardless of life’s disappointments. Life can seem brutal at times, but don’t push God away during the hard times, rather, draw close. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” John 15:4, NKJV).
6) Believe. Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” When we believe, we “accept something as true, genuine or real (http://goo.gl/DCgGMj. Belief brings trust. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT).
7) Serve. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12, NKJV). God wants to be #1 in your life, above all else. He will not share His glory (Isaiah 48:11). Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites lived victoriously when they served the One True God, but were defeated when they poured their worship out to idols. Serve Him only.
8) Obey. “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams”(1 Samuel 15:22). God loves our obedience to Him and He knows if our acts of worship are from a heart that desires to obey Him, or if they are simply lip service. We find blessing in our obedience and our obedience should flow from a heart of love. “If you love Me, you will obey Me” (John 14:15).
There is my list of eight ways to feel God’s love and for me to draw closer to Him. Your list of eight might be a little different than mine but He does promise that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). What would you add to your list? I think Prevention magazine might be on to something!. If I am faithful to repent, confess, pray, listen, abide, believe, serve and obey I will feel the Lord and closeness of the Lord, no doubt about it.