One of the most common questions I receive from new believers and seasoned saints is “how can I grow my relationship with God?” One of the easiest answers to give is simply to pray and read scripture, but this can be demoralizing because it only scratches the surface of how to expand your relationship with God. I am in no way downplaying the importance of reading scripture or praying, rather I am hoping to encourage you to expand your horizon on how you can experience God. So, below are five practical ways you can grow your relationship with God today!
1. Sit In Silence
When trying to have a moment with God we often rush through things. We are so eager to vent or express our desires that we often miss the peace we are looking for. Sometimes we need to be slow, sit, and dwell with the Lord. Some of the most powerful moments I have had with God were times when I was still and silent. So, try sitting in silence for 10-15 minutes and just be present with God.
2. Wake Up Early Or Stay Up Late At Night
Our lives are busy from the start of the day to the end. As much as we hate to admit it, there are times where we try to squeeze God into our schedule. Maybe you have been reading Scripture and praying, but feel like it is pointless, then let me suggest changing the time you do it. There is something special about spending time with the Lord early in the morning or late at night. When the world is quiet, and distractions are nonexistent it is incredible how God can speak to us when we listen. I don’t know why it works, but there is some form of intimacy being with the Lord before the world wakes up or after it goes to sleep.
3. Do A Lectio Divina
This is one of my favorites just because I love saying it. Lectio Divina. Boy, I just feel smarter saying it! This is a special way of doing a devotional. Lectio Divina simply means divine reading in Latin and how this works is you take a small passage of scripture and meditate on it. Rather than reading a couple of chapters from the Bible, you focus on five to eight verses. This is a great thing to do alone or with your family. The steps for this are simple:
1. Pick a passage. Try to do one that is smaller like Ephesians 2:1-5
2. Read the passage out loud, meditate for a minute, and then write down or say one word that stuck out in the passage.
3. Read the passage out loud, meditate for a minute, and then write down or say how the passage makes you feel.
4. Read the passage out loud, meditate for a minute, and then write down or say what you think God is trying to say in the passage.
5. Read the passage out loud, meditate for two minutes, and then write down or say a prayer based on the passage.
4. Pray With Thanksgiving
A lot of times our prayers can sound like a list of demands we want and we make God out to be our waiter in the sky. It is not a bad thing to pray laments (prayers of frustration, confusion, or hurt) and about things on your heart. In fact, those are extremely important, and God wants to hear from you. But my challenge for you is that you pray with thanksgiving and count all the blessings in your life. Instead of complaining, demanding, or telling God what you want, why not express how grateful you are for what God has given you. This can be more therapeutic for you because you are focusing on the goodness of God and not the circumstance you are facing.
5. Be With God Because You Want To Not Because You Have To
This one is the most important. Spending time with God is a gift. Think about this, we get to speak to the creator of the universe. Look outside and take in the beauty around you. We have the ability to talk to the one who created all of it! What an honor we have and we should cherish this opportunity. I want you all to be so excited to pray and be with God because of how awesome he is! Please, spend time with God because you want to and not because you feel like it’s an obligation. The moment we view spending time with God as an obligation is a moment we neglect who God is! If you want to grow in your relationship with God then stop making it a chore and start making it a reward.
These are just five tips that help me when I feel like I am in a jam and need to grow deeper with God. Maybe all five apply to you or maybe just one and that is okay. If you are searching to expand your relationship with God, then it truly all starts with a willing and obedient heart. I hope you can put some of this into practice and let me know how they are working, and which one is your favorite!