Warren first sentence in the chapter is "You are as close to God as you choose to be." Whoa! What'cha talking about Willis? If you really think about it, I am the reason I am not close to God. I decided not to make time in my schedule to pray, meditate, and focus on Him. The more I spend time with Him, I have no choice but to form a closer, tighter relationship.
Warren gives us four more ways to develop a relationship with God:
1. Choose to be honest with God
2. Choose to obey God in faith
3. Choose to value what God values
4. Desire His friendship over everything else
I love how Warren shows examples in the Bible with Job and Moses were candid with God and themselves about their feelings. God does not want us to give Him rehearsed or fake prayers and conversations. He wants us to be honest on how we truly feel. He wants us to express our anger, hurt, bewilderment just like we express our gratitude, happiness, and joy. Think about your best relationships. Don't you express all of your feelings and emotions to that person? Then why not God?
Key notes from Warren on honesty:
- Genuine friendship is built on disclosure
- It is likely that you need to confess some hidden anger and resentment at God for certain areas of your life where you have felt cheated or disappointed.
- Expressing doubt is sometimes the next step to intimacy with God
Choosing to obey God is not something you would think about doing with your friends, but if you dig deeper, you can find examples of it. When we choose to obey God, we are choosing to trust He has our best interest at heart. Isn't that what we do with our friends. We obey (or follow) what they say because we think they know what is best for us? Then we can definitely do it for/to God. God is not expecting us to go out and do great things all the time. What he expects us to do is great in the little things that is around us everyday! Hearing and obeying what He is requesting from us. That little small voice whispering in your ear. That is God giving you instructions.
Choosing to value what God values reminds me of the saying, "a man (woman) after God's own heart." Isn't that the goal? Now how do one do that? It's simple, we must genuinely care about God's people. We must be a witness for God and share His goodness with others.
Desiring God's friendship over everything else is a eternity friendship. It is a choice all of us are able to make. God does not want a passive lukewarm relationship with us. He does not want us to just go through the motions. He wants us to be passionate about Him. God will find a way to get our attention. Many people think God is punishing them BUT he is not. He is trying to get your attention. He wants/desires to have a relationship with you.....a deep friendship.