How to Turn to God
Our sovereign Lord is in control of all things. He knows your real needs and, with every resource at His command, delights to meet each one. His throne of grace is by far the best place to go when you lack something. But after setting aside time to be alone with God in a distraction-free place, how do you begin to appropriate what He longs to provide?
Be honest about your feelings and shortcomings.
Since God knows what your thoughts and emotions are, there is no need to pretend. Tell Him your doubts, fears, disappointments, and failures.
- After his decisive victory over the prophets of Baal, Elijah heard that Jezebel planned to take his life. What did he tell the Lord in his despair (1 Kings 19:4, 14)?
- In what two ways did the Lord encourage him?
- Are you real with God, even when you aren’t feeling particularly “spiritual”? Why or why not?
Part of being honest with the Father is confession. Admitting your sins to the Lord is a vital part of being healed.
- According to Proverbs 28:13, what are the benefits of confession?
Declare His greatness through praise.
One way to experience God’s healing and uplifting presence is to worship Him. Read psalms of praise out loud, sing a song to Him, play worshipful music, or look for biblical passages that declare His greatness.
- What attributes of God prompted the writer of Romans to praise (Rom. 11:33-36)? Be specific.
- Why do you think praising the Lord changes our attitude and perspective on the problems we are facing?
Read the Word.
Through Scripture, God may give you insight into your situation, reveal an area of unbelief or wrong thinking, or give a promise you can claim. He may also offer you hope even if there isn’t any change in your circumstances.
- What does the Word of God have the ability to do (Heb. 4:12-13)?
- What do you think this means?
- How has reading the Bible done this in your life?
Reading and memorizing Scripture also helps us have a “vocabulary,” so to speak, for hearing the Lord.
Allow time to listen for God’s voice.
You may think you know why you’re suffering or what would solve the problem. But God may want to redirect you to His solution or speak to you about another area of your life entirely. Make sure to allow quiet in your time alone with Him so that He can speak to you. Ask Him questions and listen for the answers. Also, read Scripture prayerfully, expecting Him to speak through it.
- Jesus sometimes referred to His followers as “sheep.” What promise did He give in John 10:27?
- How does God lead His sons (and daughters), according to Romans 8:14?
- What can we expect if we search for Him wholeheartedly (Jer. 29:12-13)?
Of course, we should never demand that God speak to us on a certain issue. However, when it’s difficult to hear His voice, continue asking, seeking, and knocking (Matt. 7:7-8). Remember that our Father’s desire to communicate with us is far greater than our desire to hear from Him.
Be prepared to participate in the solution.
Many times, the answer to our prayers requires some action on our part. For instance, someone who wants employment will probably need to apply for some jobs and go on interviews. However, we should always act in submission to the Lord rather than attempting to handle situations apart from Him.
- Describe the role each person plays in receiving God’s blessings:
- Think of a problem you are facing right now. What is your natural response to it? How is God directing you to handle the situation?
Look for His answer to come in His way and timing.
Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing does [the Lord] withhold from those who walk uprightly.” This is a general principle that God blesses those who live according to His commands. Of course, the Father doesn’t always meet our needs in the way we expect. Instead of a gift of cash from a wealthy relative, God may provide extra work for you. Or, He may allow you to lose your home, but will provide a new place to stay and supernatural peace through it all.
- Have you ever felt that God didn’t meet your need in the way you anticipated? Explain.
- Looking back on the situation, how would you say He was working in that circumstance?
If you haven’t yet understood, ask the Lord to reveal to you how He was there for you during that difficult time.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the promise that You are always with me. I never have to face life’s problems all alone. Even when I feel helpless and hopeless, Lord, remind me how to turn to You and receive grace to help in time of need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.