For Christians, it's fairly simple to notice other people filling their God-shaped void with all the wrong things. It's much harder, though, to see that same error in our own redeemed lives. We all too easily get busy for God-serving, singing, teaching, preaching, and going to the mission field. None of these things are wrong; in fact, they're all good. But they're often a misguided attempt to create a false sense of intimacy with God.
Why would any believer choose artificial closeness with the Lord when He wants to give His children the real thing? Two reasons: first, being known by God requires intense vulnerability and the humility to receive His grace. There is nothing we can do for the Lord or give to Him that will atone for our sins. Second, all successful friendships require hard work, and that holds true for our relationship with God as well.
To really know the Lord, you have to read the Bible-all of it. And you cannot maintain a close relationship with your heavenly Father if you ignore His principles. You must, therefore, fill your mind with godly things and forego worldly influences. In addition, a vibrant prayer life is essential to intimacy with God. These things don't just happen; they require intentional effort.
Simply put, when we satisfy our thirst with living water, we're no longer thirsty. When we live in intimate communion with God, the temptation to strive for saintliness in our own strength falls away. And our service, offerings, and worship, stripped of any self-serving motives, genuinely glorify God.