I have a few close girlfriends. One friend, in particular, has a beautiful relationship with Christ. We have known each other for years and years, witnessing one another evolve and flourish, which has been a beautiful blessing. In fact, she inspires me to continually dig deeper into my faith and make the Lord a larger part of my life than ever before.
She did not grow close to God by accident. Her relationship formed and is maintained by work, dedication and time.
From her Pilates workouts at the gym to planning a week’s worth of meals for her family to teaching her son new lessons, everything she does, big and small, is rooted in Christ, often leaving me to wonder, “How can I have a relationship like that with Christ, a relationship so close that I thank Him, draw closer to Him and rely on Him in every situation, big or small?”
Then, I realized—she is deliberate and intentional about her faith. She did not grow close to God by accident. Her relationship formed and is maintained by work, dedication and time, and so, I was inspired to increase my faith and become deliberate about my relationship with Christ. Here are three ways I have strengthened my relationship with the Lord.
1. GET IN THE WORD
If you want to know God and grow closer to Him, take time, every day, to study His Word. Do not confuse this with prayer time. Getting into His Word means setting aside time to study the Bible. Before you can grow in Christ, you must understand His Book. Do not feel overwhelmed by its size or unfamiliarity, and do not race through it, either. Instead, read it, one passage at a time, until the message of each book permeates your mind and heart.
God is not looking for a formal prayer with big words and fancy language. He wants your heart and authenticity. He wants your gratitude and honesty. He wants your time! Commit to praying on a consistent basis. From saying a prayer of thanks before you eat to talking with God before going to bed, develop a consistent prayer routine. Spending time with God through prayer will fill your soul with His truth, light and love, ultimately changing your heart to be more like His.
“God’s word is a light to our feet and a lamp to our path” (Psalm 119:105).
3. ACCEPT HIS HEALING
In order for you to grow in Christ, you must allow Him to heal you. Lay down your life of sin, pride, ego and greed for His grace and healing. When you welcome Him into your life through prayer, submission and quiet time, you are creating a space for Him to strengthen and transform you. Submit yourself to God to receive His everlasting peace. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, God will have enough room to work wonders in your spiritual life.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7–8).
A lush garden full of roses, tulips, sunflowers and orchids did not bloom by accident. A garden of this magnitude did not sprout by chance, either. Beautiful gardens are raked, fed, watered and cared for, on a regular basis. The way a garden needs to be cared for to transform seeds into beautiful bulbs and petals is the way your relationship with Christ needs to be spiritually fed on a daily basis, too.
Reading the Word, praying and submitting to His healing, every day, are deliberate actions that will bring you closer to God, increasing your faith and ultimately creating an unshakable relationship with the One who matters most—Our Lord and Savior.