I don’t know where your relationship is with God as you read this. Personally, I was raised in a Christian home and came to Christ as a child. I had the privilege of attending church camps, national youth conferences, Bible studies and retreats growing up. I have spent the last 40 years striving to live out my salvation, ground myself in God’s word and deepen my relationship with Christ. And honestly, I have failed miserably more often than not.
I believe that the Bible is true; the inspired word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that man may be equipped.” Hebrews 4:12 goes on to say, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The Bible tells us that God created us for relationship with him. “We love Him because He first loved us,” explains the apostle John in 1 John 4:19. He also created us with a God-sized hole inside that only he can fill. This is a hole that cannot be filled by a career, or a husband, or children. It cannot be filled by anything that money can buy or an achievement you can earn. It can only be filled by entering into a personal relationship with Christ.
To build human relationships requires time and effort. Not just time liking a friend’s Facebook post or sending them a text but face-to-face time where trust and intimacy can grow. Building a relationship with Christ also takes time and effort. Not from his end – he has been waiting since the dawn of time to be in relationship with you – but from our end.
We need to carve time out daily to build our relationship with Christ. Start with the amazing biography/autobiography that he left us in the form of the Bible. Sit at the feet of trusted Bible teachers who can help you better understand the content between the covers. Join a small group Bible study where you have the accountability and opportunity to dig into God’s word together.
Commit to memorizing scripture. We need to get to the point where it is our automatic default in times of trouble and in times of celebration. Consider picking one verse a week that you want to commit to memory. I find putting the verse in a place where I can read it several times a day helps. A notecard on the bathroom mirror, a post-it on your computer screen or a pop up on your phone are all helpful.
And last but not least we need to be in conversation with God throughout our day. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray continually. Think of prayer as a constant discussion with your Creator. A healthy relationship has regular communication. Without it the relationship would wither and die.
What things do you need to add or change to create a stronger relationship with God? Please comment and share what works for you as a way of encouraging others – a favorite book or devotional, a time of day, a specific place, a practice that regularly connects you with God.