An Exercise To Get Close to God

Getting close to God.

Most of my conversations start out with these words from my mouth: I’m reading the best book! Since I call you friends, you will have to endure the same…

I am reading the best book, Anything, by Jennie Allen. Only a few chapters in, I’ve already highlighted sentences on almost every page. She says she asked one of her professors how a person knows God, and he responded with this statement:

“The only exercise that works 100 percent of the time to draw one close to the real God is risk.”

How does that statement strike you?

I agree with him.

I took a risk and went to scary Africa when God put it on my heart, and it changed my relationship with him forever.

For a few decades we have risked writing a check to our church for 10% of our income every month, and that has drawn us close to the Lord as we’ve seen him continually provide for our needs.

I took a risk to put my devotional soul online for you to read, and that has made me have to lean on God like crazy. My relationship with him has grown sweeter as I’ve labored in trying to describe it to you on paper.

The most dangerous and the most relationally rewarding words we can ever say to God: Whatever you want me to do, Lord.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 NIV)

Following Jesus is not cozy and predictable.

How much have you risked in following the Lord?

Have you risked your money?

Your heart?

Your time?

Your comfort?

Your pride?

Jennie Allen says her professor went on to say:

“To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch him come through. He starts to get real when you live like that.”

I’d love to hear from you today –what risk have you taken in the past that helped you grow closer to God?



  1. Alisha Smith says:

    It’s me again, your subscribing friend who is still 3 months behind on posts but enjoying every one! I love this post on risk. I hate that it’s true. We uprooted our family 8 weeks ago and moved from Florida to Texas, following God’s unmistakeable lead here for a great career opportunity for my husband. It all sounds so promising and adventurous. Enter a 16 yr old daughter, who is prone to mellow-drama, hormonal tsunamis and acne. Need I say more.

    God is drawing us closer to Him in this land where we are new, unfamiliar, and not being openly embraced, like we would like to be. (There was no parade on the block, no welcoming committee, and I’m not even sure people love in the houses on our street because I’ve never seen them).

    She is deeply struggling to risk everything to trust His plan for her here, and it’s gut-wrenching to watch. Even I somedays question, “Why in the world would you do this her junior year if she’s not gonna thrive?” I know there is a plan. I know she has a future. This desperate mama is risking major heartache and pleading with God to “be big” in a young daughters life in a way that she will never forget. Oh, and if its not too much, mama could use a friend too:)

    1. I am filled with sympathy for you! There’s nothing more uncomfortable than landing in a new place. I remember when we moved from Texas to Montana, and I missed my friends so much.

      What comes to mind is a phrase from Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” Bible study. He says, “Obedience to God is costly to you and to those around you.” Your move is costing your daughter something, and that’s okay. It’s a wonderful lesson that the will of Christ is supreme, not our feelings.

      I do echo your pray -may God show himself big to your family!!

  2. My needs. Even the ones that God has affirmed, I place in his hands instead of trying to plan out.

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