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DISCLAIMER:  This post is full of Scripture and references the Bible and God more than anything I have ever written before, but if you are currently looking for “MORE” in your life, whatever that is, I encourage you to read the entire post, just “try it on” and cease your judgement of it until the end.

Over the weekend per a recommendation of a friend I went and checked out Rick Warren‘s Church (Saddleback – in Lake Forrest, CA) He did a sermon on “How to Get Closer to God” and besides being incredibly moving, the sermon was like a biblical explanation for an experience I had about a year ago that hit so close to home I just had to share it with you all.

Now I must admit that at the time last year when I had the experience I not only would never have referred to myself as a Christian but I would definitely not be found quoting scripture or attempting to paraphrase any sermon as I’m about to, but I know without any shadow of a doubt that these steps Pastor Rick outlined (the exact same of which I took about this time last year without the Biblical explanation or understanding at the time) can make an immediate and profound impact on your life, so I hope you take the time to read and implement.

To preface:

“And do not conform to the pattern of this world, but BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2

The further away you get from God, the more your life is TROUBLED. The closer you get to God, the more your life is TRANSFORMED.

They referred to the story of the Lost Son & Loving Father or the Story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24) I won’t post here – but please read for reference if you aren’t familiar by clicking the link.

The sermon outlined 4 simple steps to get closer to God & therefor radically transform your life.

1. FED UP:   We must get completely fed up and discontent with our life first before things can change. Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change we will never change.

“You’ll find me when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else.” – Jeremiah 29:13

2. OWN UP:   We must own up to our sins (or mistakes & failures) We must have the courage to tell the truth about ourselves and accept full responsibility for the mess we are in. The thinking and way of being we used to get ourselves into that mess isn’t the same thinking and way of being we can use to get ourselves out of it.

“Your sins have separated you from God, and have hidden his face from you…” – Isaiah 59:2

“The Lord says, ‘No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.” – Isaiah 1:18

3. OFFER UP:   We must move into a place of surrender – and submit to God’s will and thus allow for God’s help.

“Because God is merciful to you, OFFER YOURSELVES as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. And do not conform to the pattern of this world, but BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:1-2

4. LIFT UP:   We must lift up God in praise, expressing gratitude and love and joy for life and all of God’s gifts.

“I will sing to the Lord because he has been so good to me!” – Psalm 13:6

Many of you have heard me tell my story of hitting a point of such  extreme frustration that after an urging of a strong Christian friend I broke down for the first time in my life and passionately and emotionally prayed and asked God for help. I have always believed in God (though more in the Universal sense than in the Biblical one), but never sought to have a relationship with him. However about a year ago I was desperate.  The say if you wanna get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

I had never heard any of the scripture I just quoted, and honestly I had never really believed much of the Bible, in fact I was very negative about organized religion and religious dogma in general. All I can say as that I got FED UP (I couldn’t take one more day of where I was at), then I OWNED UP (I admitted my mistakes and started taking actions to try to mend the relationships, people and situations I had hurt and wronged in the past), then I OFFERED UP (I broke down and prayed and asked God to help, admitting I couldn’t do it alone), then I LIFTED UP (my prayer was answered in such a quick, powerful and profound way that I was so overcome by gratitude, joy and happiness that I couldn’t do anything but give God the glory. There was no logical explanation for the surge of inspiration, hyper activity and events that followed other than that God had come to my aid.) I realized that the best things in life are free and we ALL have so much to be grateful for, but we also can so easily lose sight of it.

For someone who had never been religious I all of a sudden became very drawn to Christian music, started going to Church, reading the Bible and I even end up getting Baptized on Easter last year. I don’t have much of an explanation for this other than that I had lots of Christian friends telling me that I had been “saved” and I for the first time became open to seeing the purity whereas before all I saw was the negative. I’m learning and growing every day, and just like pressure turns diamonds to coal, my faith has been put in the fire and is refining me to shine brighter than before. This hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows, in fact there has been some extreme opposition to the new-found purpose and direction that I was given in my life as a result of taking a step closer to God, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the World.

Pastor Rick said had something very profound during that sermon;

“If you feel far away from God, guess who moved?”

You know how they say before you die that life passes before your eyes? Well after I broke down and prayed, along with the purging of a lot of the negative energy and emotion I had kept bottled up inside, I was shown my life in all of its perfection from start to finish. I very powerfully saw the truth as it says in the picture at the top of this post that God had been with me during my storms and my peace. What was most profound of all is that I saw that no matter how many steps I had taken away from God; no matter how fast or far I ran or how long I moved away without even bothering to look back; I only had to stop and turn around and take one step back toward him before he rushed back to me, wrapped me in his loving embrace and welcomed me home. I didn’t come home to CONDEMNATION I came home to CELEBRATION. What an amazing revelation.

St. Irenaeus has been quoted as saying that “The Glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

Are you ready to give God that Glory and started to live the way you are intended? A human being fully alive, fully expressed and fully exuding all of the happiness, joy, love and greatness from which you came?

Give these steps a try and watch what happens, it will be glorious!

Realize you are Blessed so you can be a Blessing,

Jason Matthew Herrington

Join our Movement to help Change the World at www.facebook.com/e2gmovement

16 comments on “How to get closer to GOD

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Terri Herrington on January 28, 2014 6:05 am

I pray that you continue on your journey with God. We all stray because we are human and the obstacles can be great, but the most important thing is that we keep God at the forefront of our life and always ask for his guidance. Awesome post!

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 10:56 am

Thank you! I realize that I like everyone else have always been on my journey with God, though I didn’t always realize it at the time! When we keep God first things just work a million times better! How I wish I had learned this sooner!

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Darrell Barker on January 28, 2014 8:07 am

Jason, I read your blog and I think it’s awesome that Rick Warren’s sermon touched you in the way that it did. I am happy that you were able to draw closer to God and hope that your relationship with Him continues to grow more each and every day. I did notice that at the end of your blog you invite others to follow these steps and share in this transformation. The only problem is that this is a sermon on sanctification (already being a Christian).
In order for one to get closer to God they must first be saved before they can work on santification. They must accept the Son Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They must believe that they are a sinner that deserves hell but because Jesus Christ the Son of God came to earth as fully man and fully God to pay for or sins on the cross. He was beaten an whipped and left on a cross to die and then 3 days later He rose conquering death so “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) God is a perfect and Holy God and can have nothing to do with sin thats why we cannot even think of drawing closer to Him unless the blood of Jesus Christ has washed us white as snow so that when God looks at us, He no longer sees sin and filth but rather He sees a sinner saved by grace.
I felt I needed to write this because I didn’t want anyone reading your blog to believe they can approach God and draw closer to Him if they don’t know His Son. But I do highly encourage them to become saved and then follow the steps you have blogged about so that they can continue to draw near to God. Because you and Rick Warren, if we feel far from God…who moved?

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 11:13 am

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and reply Darrell. Obviously you know and I’m the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to the Bible, however I am being given more and more discernment on a daily basis. I wanted to thank you and Stacie for the Tony Evans book, which I really enjoyed and I am also finishing the C.S. Lewis book you gave me over the summer as well, which I really love. Honestly my first reaction to your post was to say that I wasn’t a Christian when I went through these steps the first time, I didn’t pray in Jesus name, I just prayed to God, without even fully knowing what that meant. Yet despite that my prayer was answered in such a swift and powerful way that I can never again even consider that God is not real.

However after reflecting for a moment this morning I realized that I had prayed and asked Jesus to come into my life many times over the years going to Church in a sporadic fashion, and about 4 years ago I went up to an altar call at a service done before an ACN convention with 10,000+ people there, which I had never done before. With that being said that would make your refinement to what I wrote here 100% true.

To anyone that reads this post and most importantly this comment I invite you to at least “try this on” as I have said before. I realized that I am far from understanding everything in the Bible, and just barely starting to understand the relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ, but what is exciting is we don’t need to understand it all to access the power and promise of God’s grace. I don’t understand how electricity works either, but I can flip a switch and enjoy it’s benefits. Even being a negative and cynical person in regards to many of the aspect of these things I was still able to benefit because I had the courage to try and give these things a shot even when I did not understand them completely. It’s certainly not a coincidence that right after I prayed I found myself enthralled watching Nick Vujicic (http://youtu.be/XKTg_INHgpc) and being moved, touched and inspired in such a compelling way, for he too is a minister and travels around the world preaching the Gospel.

Anyways – I hope 0ne person finds this helpful. And again Thank you Darrell for your comment. I encourage everyone to find counsel with someone who is more knowledgeable on these matters and go back and give Church a try, even if you have been turned off from it in the past! God is waiting for you to turn around and take that one step back towards him so he can lift you up and Celebrate your return!

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Darrell Barker on January 28, 2014 8:09 am

*You and Rick Warren are right.

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Kendra Justice on January 28, 2014 8:42 am

I enjoyed reading your post Jason. I’m excited for you that you found such an incredible journey. He began this work in you and will finish it to completion, the author and finisher of your faith–keep your eyes on Him. (Heb 12:2 & Phil 1:6)

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 11:15 am

Thank you Kendra! I’m excited too! This has not been an easy journey that’s for sure, but despite it all, the last year since this happened has been the best in my life, and I know the best has yet to come! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! Love you all!!!

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Tiffany Marie on January 28, 2014 11:26 am

Wow, great post Jason! Thanks for sharing. I kept thinking of this video as I read it…won’t let me link it, so had to copy and paste, but if you have 5 mins or so, check it out (if you haven’t already seen it). Brings me to tears every time! Enjoy your journey:)

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Tiffany Marie on January 28, 2014 11:27 am

Guess it did let me link it:)

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 11:59 am

Tiffany!! My first fan! so glad to hear from you! haha I just have to thank you again for your positive feedback and encouragement when I started this blog last year, it really helped more than you know! And a special THANK YOU for this! So grateful you took the time to read and share this!

Omg did I just lose it when I watched that! So powerful and moving, I can’t thank you enough. I’m so overwhelmed with how amazing God is right now, I have always loved that song, but I just realized I had never watched that video. Yet my little sister posted the exact same video on the comments of this blog on Feb 4th last year on the 3rd entry I did. I can’t believe I didn’t watch it, I didn’t realize it was a skit I thought it was just the song. I guess they say “when the student is ready the teacher shall appear” right?

What a moving addition to this entry, thank you for adding the value! I hope everyone that comes across this post reads the comments and sees this video! I hope all is well in your life, keep on being an epic human being!!! 😉

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Tiffany Marie on January 28, 2014 2:31 pm

Back atcha! Glad you liked it. That simple little skit is so powerful and so profound. So happy to hear how God’s moving in your life!!! It’s an incredible feeling:) Prayers to you and your family that this momentum just keeps building and your world is set on fire!

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 5:39 pm

Thank you again Tiffany! It is an amazing feeling that’s for sure! Prayers and Blessings to you and your family as well!!

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Andrea Lopez on January 28, 2014 10:51 pm

What a great post Jason! I absolutely love these steps in how to get closer to God and completely agree with them. It always warms my heart hearing of people who give their life to God and become born again! It’s such a beautiful experience! Remember, being born again doesn’t mean everything will be easy but it does mean that you have the almighty God there with you through all your troubles.
I remember seeing your baptism and it was amazing! I pray that you continue to seek God and never give up on His purpose for you. You have and will continue to do great things for so many people! You’re an inspiration!
Perfect song and one of my favorites!!

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jasonmherrington on January 28, 2014 11:14 pm

Thanks for the great feedback Andrea! Your support and encouragement means so much! Gotta thank Rick Warren for this post – I stole most of it straight from his sermon, I just repackaged it in my own way! Your added wisdom and comments add so much value to these posts! Thank you so much!

[…] After the spiritual awakening experience I had last year that I described in my last post “How to Get Closer to God” all I can say is that I started seeing the world a little differently. I started to see the […]

[…] contains instructions on how to do this, it starts with accepting Jesus, then moving closer to God himself. Take this step toward the UNSEEN, it will be the most powerful and exhilarating thing you’ve […]

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