Many of us want a stronger relationship with God. It often seems like God is so far away from us, but He is not. How do we do that then? How do you have a relationship with God?
Spend Quality Time with Him
Prayer, bible study and fasting are great ways to know more about God, and to destroy your own sinful desires. But also spending the day talking to Him helps you grow in your relationship with God. The Bible teaches us to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5: 17). Just like you text your friends or family members when something happens, talk to God about it too.
Watch movies or read books with Him! Include God in what you’re doing and spend quality time with Him. Make sure you take the time to listen, too. Sometimes we treat God as our therapist and just blab on and on about everything when God is waiting to get a word in. I’m guilty of this!
Give him that space to talk too. Prayer should be a conversation not a soliloquy. When you spend time in prayer daily, (mornings are best in my opinion) you start to recognize His still, small voice.
Jesus taught in John 14:21, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” And also in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
I heard a YouTube once says that Obedience is God’s love language-I believe that. When you obey God you’re acting in faith that you believe He is God, that what He says is true. Abraham was called a friend of God because He trusted God, obeyed God by faith, even to the point of almost sacrificing his own son (Genesis 22:1-19)! So, if you want to have a stronger relationship with God, obey what He says.
When you get closer to him, eventually He will tell you to do things that you won’t want to do. Do it! When you obey, your confidence and faith in God will grow too.
Tune Out the Noise
There is so much noise in our society. So many voices and opinions. Making it hard to tune into what God is saying to us. Learn to cut out the noise: cut out voices that don’t glorify God or His ways. This includes movies, tv shows, social media, Youtube, music, books. Back in the Bible days, it was easier to grow close to God because they didn’t have the distraction of movies, Instagram, Youtube or music.
King David said, “I will set no evil thing before my face (Psalm 101: 3).” The Apostle Paul said, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life] (1 Corinthians 10:23).”
Do you struggle with envy but love scrolling through for hours on end? Maybe take a break from Instagram for some time. Make sure you’re feeding yourself with things that glorify God more than things that do not glorify God. Know where your struggle areas are. Be attentive to what comes into your ear gate and eye gate. The eyes are the windows of the soul. What you watch, listen to, and read does affect you and how you view God.
“Be ye Holy as I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16
Being Holy means to be set apart. As Christians, we are in the world, but we are not of the world (John 17: 16). God called the people of Israel to be a light to the world (Isaiah 49: 6). When they got to the promised land, He told them to utterly destroy the surrounding nations who served other Gods.
This was because God knew if they were around things and people who didn’t serve Him, His people would do the same. And they did. Eventually the people of Israel became so depraved, they worshipped the Gods of the surrounding nations and became just like them. We have to be careful not to be like the people of Israel. We have to rid our lives of things that can destroy our relationship with God. We are called to be Holy as He is holy.
When we are filled with His spirit (Joel 2: 28=29, Acts 2: 38, Acts 10: 44-46) His spirit will help us to live holy. He will convict us if we are watching, or listening to things, or reading things that will hinder our relationship with Him. Don’t grieve the spirit by doing things He doesn’t like.
When you carry the spirit of the living and Holy God in you, He doesn’t want to be in places that are not Holy. And He doesn’t want to you to take in things that are unholy. Think about that. So when you’re filled with His spirit, you will feel uncomfortable because you have His spirit in you.
Are There Any Other Idols in your Life?
The final way to get closer to God is to get rid of any other idols in your life. God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He desires, and deserves complete and total devotion. Most people nowadays don’t worship idols from the bible days. But we all can idolize something without erecting an idol.
Jesus says in Matthew 6: 21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where are you putting your money? What do you worship? Do you worship your job? What about an entertainer or a sport? Is getting married your highest goal in life? Do you worship yourself?
God wants to be the only God in your life, He commanded don’t have any other gods before me. What gods are in your life? You’ll know based on how much time you spend on it, and /or how much money you give the idol.
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” St. Augustine
Having a relationship with God, like any relationship takes work and dedication. But also sacrifice. You have to be willing to obey God, and to surrender your life to God. But it is so worth it. No one else loves like God loves. When you fall in love with God, you learn so much about yourself and grow in so many ways.