Have you ever secretly been jealous of someone who seemed to have an intimate relationship with God and hear from Him all the time, as if they had some sort of supernatural direct phone line to God?
Have you ever wondered why you often feel disconnected from God, and assume you could never be as “spiritual” as that person you admire?
I know I have, and chances are you have too. We often tend to think feeling truly connected to God is out of reach, or only for other people, but God longs for that closeness with every one of us – not because of who we are, but because of Who He is. If we are willing to make a relationship with Him a priority, we will eventually begin feeling His closeness.
In my Proverbs 31 Devotion today, I talked about the spiritual junk food that often prevents us from focusing on our faith or feeling close to God, and you can read that devotion here. Here on my blog today, I wanted to offer a few tips for spiritual nutrition – those things we can ‘consume’ or do to help us build a more intimate relationship with God and feel connected with Him in heart, soul and mind.
1. Make daily prayer a must, and don’t be afraid to be honest with God. Psalm 139:2 says “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” God already knows our thoughts, fears, imperfections, and mess-ups, so when we open our prayers with honesty, repentance and seeking forgiveness, our minds are cleared to praise God and begin hearing from Him. Keep in mind that prayer isn’t like a phone call – we don’t have to hang up and try back later. Consider just never saying “amen” and keep the conversation going all day!
2. Spend quiet time with God. How often do we hear how important this is? But how often do we really make it a priority? Life is busy and we all have routines. But I have learned when I start my day in prayer before I even get out of bed, and then spend at least a few moments reading my daily devotion or daily scripture verse, I have a much better day overall and am more alert to God’s whispers.
3. Read your Bible. If you’re not sure how to get started, or it seems intimidating or boring, seek out some tools to help you get started and stay focused, such as a Bible reading plan or a Chronological Bible. If reading the whole thing over a year or so seems overwhelming, commit to digesting it in smaller portions, possibly reading one chapter or one book a week. God speaks through His Word, so if your goal is not only grow closer to God, but to begin hearing from Him with spiritual clarity, spending time reading what He has written will open up doors for spiritual growth. For additional info on getting the most out of reading your Bible, click here to read a past blog post which shares tips and questions for deeper bible study.
4. Spend time with other believers. Seek out friends, support groups, or bible studies where conversation will fuel your faith, not squelch it.
5. Attend church regularly. Not out of obligation but out of a desire to worship in the Lord’s house and be encouraged. Of course, we don’t have to go to church to be a good Christian, but getting a weekly dose of music, prayer, worship and fellowship is often just we need to stay focused on Christ after a long hard week, or before a hard week ahead. Hebrews 10:25 says “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” This verse reminds us not only can we gain much needed encouragement in our spiritual walk by corporately worshipping our Jesus, but we are also called to be an encouragement to others.
6. Live out your faith. This might sound like the hard part, yet when we make the first five tips a priority in our life, then living out our faith become a reality. A heart on fire for Christ transforms our inner thoughts and desires and results in not only the desire to live out our faith, but the inspiration and motivation to do whatever it takes to do so. Living out our faith doesn’t mean never messing up, it just means we are better equipped to handle the times when we do. And not only we do benefit in wonderful, blessed ways as we live according to God’s instructions, but our life can become a shining witness to His goodness and power, and other people might long to know Him as well.
A close relationship with our Savior is possible for all of us. If we ask for it and work towards it, we can feel confident we will receive it, just as we are told in Luke 11:9-10 which says, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
These are just some tips I have found to work well in my faith walk, but I would love for you to share what tips or daily practices you make a priority in your life to keep Christ at the forefront of your daily activities and to keep your relationship strong. Consider sharing your words of wisdom in the comment section!