How Do I KNOW I’m Growing Closer?
How do I KNOW that I’m growing closer to God? This is our next reader question. In some ways, it’s related to the previous one. “Am I growing closer to God the right way?” asks about the process. We answered that question last time.
Today’s question focuses on the results. Am I getting the right results from my effort? How do I know that? How can I measure the results?
It’s a question we all ask. You want to grow closer to God. And you want to know you’re growing closer. Are there certain evaluation criteria you can use? If so, what are those criteria?
In my experience, there are four main measurements you can use.
You become more like Jesus.
First, when you grow closer to God, you become more like Jesus. So one measure is how much like Jesus you are becoming.
This assumes you know what Jesus is like. You have to study the Bible to learn His characteristics. Start with the gospels. Systematically study His life with an eye toward the 12 Principles of Oneness.
Then measure yourself. Are you becoming more humble, more loving, more sacrificial for God’s purposes? Do you spend more time with God? Do you serve Him more?
In short, how much like Christ are you becoming? Are you growing in humility, commitment to the kingdom, self-sacrifice, serving others, a strong prayer life, joy, peace, fulfillment, assurance, and so on?
This is a very important measure. It’s unlikely that you can grow closer to God without becoming more like Jesus.
Your desire for oneness grows stronger.
Oneness with God is its own reward. One thing that means is: The closer you grow to Him, the more you’ll desire to grow. The process feeds itself.
It’s a lot like loving your spouse. The more you know your spouse, the more you want to know them. And the more you want to love, serve, and do things for them. That’s one way love grows between spouses.
Love can also grow between you and God. The more it grows, the more you want to see it grow.
It’s like the gravitational pull of the sun. The closer a planet is to the sun, the larger the force it’s pulled with. The farther away, the less the pull.
Is your desire for God increasing? Then you’re growing closer to Him.
You eliminate the opposites.
As you build a closer relationship with God through exercising the 12 Principles of Oneness, both of these will happen. You will become more like Jesus. And you will want to grow closer.
And one more thing. As you exercise the principles, their opposites diminish in your life.
What’s the opposite of love? Indifference. As you grow closer to God, indifference will diminish. You’ll become more concerned about God and about other people. You’ll care for them more.
Growing in Confidence means reduced anxiety. When you depend more on God, and less on yourself, there’s less reason for worry and stress.
Your other relationships improve.
Finally, you will see others relate to you in a new and better way. It may be your marriage partner, or someone else in your family. It could be a friend or coworker. Or someone else at your church.
Perhaps you see one of your relationships taking on a more loving tone. Or, someone’s belief in your motives improves and so the relationship is more trusting. Those would be positive indicators that you are growing closer to God.
Why? Because your relationship with God impacts your relationships with others, for better or worse. The closer you are to God, the more you become like Jesus (see the first measurement above), and that change impacts all your relationships.
You can know you are growing closer to God.
So check yourself from time to time.
- Are you becoming more like Jesus?
- Is your desire to be closer to God growing?
- Do you find the opposites going away?
- Are your other relationships improving, too?
When you see these changes in your life, you can be confident that you are growing in oneness with God.
Question: What are some other measurements of growing closer to God that you have found useful?
Be sure to share your answer in the comment box below. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!