Spend More Time with Him!
Over the weekend, someone very kindly reached out to me and asked a few questions about their relationship with God. I am still very honored and I cannot believe it, but oh well, the Lord is doing great things :) She asked very important questions that I believe we can all benefit from.
Here is an excerpt from her email:
At this point in my life, I won't say I am still struggling because my relationship with God has become much better and I can see the impact it has had on my life, but I know it can still be much better.
I want to focus more on understanding God's Word and building a VERY solid relationship with God and I am not really sure what to do and how to do it.
Sometimes when I pray, I don't really feel anything. I pray out of routine and I don't feel any spiritual connection but some other times, I feel something especially when I am praying to thank Him for something. However, worship gets me. I enjoy singing praises and worshipping and I feel the connection most times whenever I sing to Him.
I was wondering if there are any tips you could share to help me work on this. My ultimate goal is to build an unshakable relationship with God. Maybe I could start by working on my prayer life? (I'm not sure) but I would really like to hear what you have to say and your suggestions.
For my response, I have made a list of a few things that I think we should consider.
We have to be extremely deliberate about creating a relationship with God. If we want Him to fully come down and dwell with we, the environment has to be right. No, I don’t mean we need to be perfect, but remember that God is holy and righteous, and He cannot dwell in any environment that doesn’t glorify Him. Before we begin, it's important to ask God to forgive our sins and cleanse us. (I feel weird about saying this so plainly because I believe it deserves further explanation. I'll mention it here briefly, but I'll elaborate in upcoming posts).
We have to put away anything in our lives that is separating us from God. Make sure that all the pathways for the flow of His glory are clear and He will come down in full force. When God truly dwells with us, we don’t really need anyone to confirm. We’ll know. His presence if too powerful to leave any room for doubt. When we get rid of every sin in our lives and God comes down, we're left in awe and crave His presence the more.
That said, here are a few things that we need to remember.
The relationship with God is a journey that requires consistency. You have to set aside some time in your day to be with God. Don’t make it just a few minutes in the morning before you run and do other things. Deliberately set aside about 30 minutes to an hour and sit with your hard copy bible. A hard copy bible (and not a mobile device) helps you avoid distraction.
If you enjoy worship music, then play some in the background. Make sure the place is free from distraction. It’s just you, your bible, your music, and some magic is going to happen.
How best do you communicate? The prayer leaders in my bible study on campus introduced us to prayer journals at the beginning of this semester. Whenever we meet, there’s a prompt and we write accordingly. Sometimes, we write the things we are most grateful to God for. Sometimes we write our prayer requests. At other times, we write our worries and the things we’re anxious about. The point is that we’re prayerfully communicating with God. We’re telling Him what’s on our hearts. If you like to write, this may be an excellent way to begin.
Most importantly, spend some time in the word- If you have a bible devotional, use it. But don't let your devotional take away from your actual reading of the words inside the Bible. Do the bible reading for the day and read some more. It's great to read a devotional, but don't let it replace the time you spend reading the word itself. There is power in the word of God, and you have to read it for yourself. You can read about specific people in the bible. Are you trying to increase your faith in God? Read about the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8. Are you in for some bible adventure? Read about Elijah and Elisha- two remarkable men in the old testament. Elijah called down fire from heaven in 1 Kings 18, and Elisha had a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, so much so that when Elisha died, and was to be buried, the power of God still residing in his dead body brought a dead man back to life. Did you know that? The absolute best way to learn about God is to read the bible, the book that was authored by God's own inspiration.
If you like, read a chapter (or a story) from the old testament, read one from the new testaments, read a psalm, read a proverb. Add some flavor to your bible reading.
If you care to, use a bible reading plan. There are several of them online and on different bible apps. Some take you through the bible in one year, some are focused on a certain theme. Try them out, you can never lose because you’ll be reading the bible anyway.
One thing that has helped me is that I sometimes read the bible by stories. The bible is filled with stories of real people who knew God. Some of them saw God face to face (Moses), and others were called friends of God (Abraham). If I want to be like any of them, I need to read about their lives and see exactly what they did right.
I’ll continue this series tomorrow, ruminate on this, and my next blog post will expand further. As you can tell, this is something I care very deeply about because I know first hand that when we make out time to dwell with God with the intention of getting to know Him better, His spirit literally rejoices and join you in the party. He is a faithful God, and He can never lie. If you call unto Him, He will answer you and will show you great and mighty things which you know not!
With all my loveeeeeeee!