By Anthony EdenMonday 20 Jan 2020
By: Brittany Ann
Do you ever feel like your relationship with God isn’t as close as you’d like it to be?
Recently I had a reader email to ask:
“I want to have a better relationship with God, but it’s been so long… I don’t know where to start!”
This is a great question!
And honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’ve walked away from God for a while, or if you’ve been seeking a good relationship with God for a while…
We ALL have work to do when it comes to having a better relationship with God!
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And yes, just like growing in any relationship, growing in our relationship with God DOES require “work.”
This doesn’t mean we can do it all ourselves of course. We obviously can’t earn our salvation or “fix” ourselves without His help.
BUT we also can’t just sit back and do nothing, while we wait around for God to fix everything for us.
You can see this all over the Bible: Jesus doesn’t typically just walk up to people out of the blue and heal them!
Instead, he waits for them to come to Him and ask for help, and sometimes he gives them something to DO, like wash in a pool or stand up and walk.
While sometimes faith is enough, other times, action is required.
So he said to the paralysed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. –Matthew 9:6b-7
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. –Matthew 12:13
And it’s the same for us today. We can’t just sit around and hope to magically have this strong faith and trust that we want. If you want a better relationship with God, you have to take action.
We have to do our part, while trusting God to do His part–that only He can do!
So, do you want a closer, more fulfilling relationship with God? Me too!
Here’s how you can get started:
Like I mentioned earlier, unfortunately, we can’t just “will” ourselves into being wonderful, loving, God-honouring people all on our own.
While we are responsible for taking some action, we also truly need God’s help if we are going to become everything that He wants us to be.
This is why the very FIRST thing I would do, if you want to grow closer to God, is to pray and ask Him for help!
Pray that God would soften your heart, and make you receptive to His prompting. Pray that He would help you love Him more. Pray that He would give you the wisdom you need to make right choices, and the courage you need to see them through. Pray that God would bring people and/or resources into your life that would inspire and encourage you to grow closer to Him.
These are prayers that God loves to answer!
You can also pray to ask forgiveness for times you have strayed, to thank Him for the many, many blessings in your life, and simply to share your day with Him. These are my favourite prayers to pray, as talking to God all throughout my day really does help me feel closer to Him 🙂
2. Read Your Bible
Are you in the habit of reading your Bible regularly? If not, this is another great place to start!
The Bible isn’t just some dusty, old history book. It is God’s Word to us, written down and passed down throughout the generations, and the more we read it, the more it changes us from the inside out!
In fact, reading the Bible:
- Teaches us more about God and what He is like
- Shows us where we are sinning or falling short and hurting our relationship with God
- Shows us how to have a better relationship with God
- Encourages us with stories and examples of those who have gone before
- Reminds us that this world is temporary — we have a greater purpose!
- and so much more…
Struggling to Get Into the Bible Reading Habit?
If so, you’ll definitely want to grab your copy of the Quiet Time Planning Guide.
This quick and easy workbook will walk you step-by-step through the process of creating the perfect quiet time for you — and it’s free!
I’d be happy to send you a copy. Just let me know where I should send it!
3. Listen to Christian Music
If you’re looking to start small, one of the easiest ways to grow in your relationship with God is to turn on Christian radio!
You can listen on the radio while you’re driving in your car, or turn on Youtube, or Spotify when you’re home.
Listening to Christian music is a great way to keep your focus on Jesus all day long. Not only will it help you remember to worship him and pray to him, but it has a way of changing the atmosphere of your home for the better as well (ask me how I know!)
Plus, it’s the sweetest thing when your kids start singing along too 🙂
Related: 5 Ways to Create a Home Where the Holy Spirit Feels Welcome
4. Attend a Great Church
Are you currently involved in a local church?
While I understand that there are a few instances when church attendance can be next to impossible (for instance, if you’re severely ill or can’t leave the house for any other reason), for most of us, there really is NO reason why we can’t get plugged into a good local church.
Yes, you may have to try a few different ones until you find a good fit. All churches are NOT created equal, let me tell you! (And I’ve been to a TON of them!)
But there are plenty of really great churches out there. Churches where you can learn and grow and find a warm, loving community that will help hold you accountable.
It is worth it to visit local churches in your area until you find one you can get connected at!!
5. Confess Your Sins and Failures
After you’ve done the easy work of praying, reading your Bible and finding a good church (and yes, those things are relatively easy), the real work begins!
Do you have any sin in y our life that you know of? Is there anything God has asked you to do, that you haven’t obeyed Him on yet? Is there anything God has told you to stop, that you’re continuing to do anyway?
If so, these are absolutely driving a wedge between you and God.
You may think they are no big deal, but God says otherwise.
So if you know of any sin you’re holding on to, now is the time to pray, confess your sin to God, ask for His forgiveness, and stop sinning. He will help you!
Or, alternately, if there is no one particular sin that comes to mind, I’d still pray and ask God to show you the areas where you may be falling short. I’m sure He’d be happy to show you!
6. Be Open and Obedient
Lastly, once you know what God is calling you to do, it’s time to walk in that path.
Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Even if you don’t know where the path will lead.
The truth is: God is God and you are not.
You can continue to do things your way, OR you can do things God’s way. He will leave that choice up to you, but you also have to live with the natural consequences of whatever path you choose.
And I can tell you with certainty: EVERY single time I have followed God’s direction for my life (even when I didn’t want to or it was hard), I have NEVER regretted it. Not once.
He really does know what He is talking about.
And if you want to be close to God, you have to walk with Him. It’s as simple (and as hard) as that.
Article supplied with thanks to Equipping Godly Women.
About the Author: Brittany is a wife, a mother of three, a writer, author, teacher, and lover of Jesus!