Do you have any close friends? Ones you feel completely comfortable around?
Friends you can talk to for hours? If so, you’re lucky. Friends like that are awesome.
But chances are you have other friends too.
Do you have any close friends? Ones you feel completely comfortable around? Friends you can talk to for hours? If so, you’re lucky. Friends like that are awesome. But chances are you have other friends too. Maybe you grew up around each other. Maybe you work at the same job or go to the same school. It’s not that you don’tlike them. They’re great. You just aren’t that close. For most of us, our relationship with God feels like it swings between those two extremes. Maybe you can remember a time, after a retreat or a church camp, when God felt super real and personal. You were BFFs. But then, somehow, things drifted in the other direction. There was distance. And, while you’re definitely not against God, you wouldn’t describe yourself as “close” anymore. We all go through times when our relationship with God seems more “far” than “near”, but what do we do about it? Why does it feel so complicated? And is there anything we can do to keep the drift from happening? Thankfully, in His word, God makes it super clear that His desire is to be close with us. And as we journey back toward Him, we may just find Him running in our direction as well.
Session One: Confidence
Bottom Line: God is always drawing us in His direction.
Think back to elementary school. Who were you closest friends? Who did you hang out with all the time? Maybe you spent every single second with the same one or two friends for years, but then, as you got older, something changed. You can’t put your finger on why, but, for some reason, you just drifted apart. The same could be said for a lot of us when it comes to our relationship with God. At some point you used to be close to Him, but lately, you just aren’t. And even though you go to church and hear how much God wants a relationship with you, youfeel like being close to Him is difficult, complicated, and nearly impossible at times. This week, we’re going to take a look at Abraham and the lengths God went to in order to pursue a close relationship with him. And as you see how much God wanted a relationship with him, maybe you’ll begin to understand the lengths He’s gone to be close to you, too.
Session Two: Electricity
Bottom Line: If you want to get the most out of life, stay close to the Source of it.
Have you ever seen the show The Amazing Race? Sure, it’s one of five billion other reality shows on television right now, but it’s definitely one of the best. Every week as teams literally race around the world, they are given unique tasks to complete in cities they know next to nothing about—usually including the language! At some point in every episode, the teams find themselves having to ask for help. Some ask for help quickly and run off on their own to try and figure it out while others ask for more than that—they ask for someone to guide them as they go. Isn’t this how many of us approach God? We go to Him for help with big moments—impossible tasks—and then move on quickly without Him. We don’t remember that He wants to do more than just help us. He wants to guide us. He wants to go with us. He wants us to remain with Him. Even Jesus’ own disciples struggled to grasp what it looked like to stay close to Him. And as we look at how He explained it to them, we get a clearer picture of what it means to remain in closeness with God and the impact that can have in our lives.
Session Three: Distance
Bottom Line: Pick what you pursue.
Do you have a friend who is easily distracted? Like really easily. One minute you’re walking through the mall together and the next thing you know you’re by yourself because your friend got sidetracked. Or maybe there’s a little more to it than. The two of you were really close, but then they got pulled away by a new hobby, a new relationship, a new group of friends. And as you start moving in two different directions, the distance between you grows. In the same way, when we start to pursue other things more than God, without even realizing it we can move in another direction—one that leads us further away from Him. This isn’t a new problem. In fact, Paul spent a lot of time in the Bible talking to some of the earliest churches about the very same thing. As we look at what Paul has to say about chasing the wrong things, you may find yourself with a desire to turn back and pursue Him—the best thing.
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