Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Anne Graham Lotz's recent bookPursuing More of Jesus, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009).

Every day presents a fresh opportunity to pursue a closer relationship with Jesus – and the more you have of Jesus in your life, the better your life will be. So don’t settle for just occasional encounters with Jesus in some parts of your life. Keep pursuing more of Jesus until your whole life is saturated with His power.

Here's how you can pursue more of Jesus:

Go for the maximum, not the minimum. Choose to go after more than just the bare minimum God has to offer you. Make your faith about more than just trying to escape hell and get your ticket punched to heaven. Invite God to completely transform you: bending your will, awakening your conscience, breaking your heart, transforming your mind, overcoming your prejudices, soaring in your spirit, and conforming you into His glorious image.

Pursue more of His voice in your ear. Out of the many voices you hear speaking to you each day – through other people, circumstances, etc. – you need to learn how to discern what’s truly God speaking and what’s not. Keep in a mind that any authentic message from God is biblical (straight from God’s Word), personal (in the language of your own life), and powerful (resulting in lives either changed for the better or saved). If someone claims to have a message from God for you, test it by making sure that it’s in accord with and confirmed by the Bible. Remember Jesus’ promise that He would go ahead of you to guide you in every situation. Learn how to recognize Jesus’ voice by getting to know the Bible well (reading it, studying it, understanding it, applying it, and living by it) and then trust His guidance when making decisions.

Pursue more of His tears on your face. Jesus understands and cares when you’re crying tears of pain. Remember how much He suffered on the Cross, and see your own sufferings as opportunities to draw closer to Jesus. No matter what you’re going through – the loss of a job, a friend’s betrayal, a health crisis, a spouse’s unfaithfulness, a child’s rebellion – Jesus is crying along with you and will meet you in the middle of your suffering with His presence.

Pursue more of His praise on your lips. It’s easy to praise Jesus when your life is going well, but Jesus is still worthy of praise even when problems and pressures darken your circumstances. Make the deliberate, conscious choice to praise Jesus every day, no matter what, to honor Jesus and learn how to walk by reliable faith instead of shifting feelings. Praise Jesus for who He is by frequently thinking of one His many wonderful attributes and thanking Him for it. Praise Jesus for what He has done by thanking Him for specific blessings in your life on a regular basis. Real praise is affirming your faith even in the midst of desperation when you choose to cling to Jesus alone.

Pursue more of His death in your life. Death produces power that leads to more blessings in life. Just as Jesus died on the Cross so you could be spiritually alive, He wants you to die to your own desires and yield to His desires for you so you can experience the best life possible. God uses pressures, problems, and pain in your life as nails to pin you to cross of your own. If you submit to Him while you go through them, you experience what it’s like to die to yourself so God’s power can live through you. Every kind of brokenness you experience can lead to a corresponding blessing if you’re willing to die to your own: will, goals, dreams, desires, expectations, plans, rights, and reputation. If you choose to die to yourself, God will pour out blessings like a character that reflects His own, a witness that leads to other people’s lives being transformed, and rewards from God himself.