Are you seeking a deeper relationship with God?
If you believe in God you have probably wondered at some point in your life if it were truly possible to have a real relationship with Him.
Some of us think we have one. Some of us don’t think we need one. Some of us have given up, presuming that He is too far away, uninterested, or just “too busy” to really be part of the intimate details of our lives.
But, some of us are still holding onto hope, hope that one day we will discover how to have the relationship with Him that all the books and songs talk about.
It is probably fairly obvious to think that you need to dedicate time, and energy to building a deeper Relationship with God, but did you ever think that maybe you didn’t truly understand what it means to dedicate time and energy to your Spiritual Life? Maybe you’ve been doing it “wrong”!? Maybe you haven’t truly been doing it at all!?
Here are some clearer distinctions and examples to help you with this as well as 2 more things you need that you may never have thought of before.
What you need to build a deeper relationship with God – 4 Things
1 – You need to dedicate TIME to God
What “Time” is NOT…
The time God wants from you is not just those 10 minutes here and there “when we have time”, or the time you spend at church on Sunday. It isn’t just accidental moments, or self-centered moments. The time we spend with God needs to be Quality time in order to fit into this category.
What “Time” is… (4 things)
- Quality time
God wants us to give Him time that we intentionally set aside for Him. Time that we could have used for other things. Time that we chose to put Him before something else and to seek Him. It’s not at all the same to merely be with Him when we have nothing else to do, when we are forced to talk to Him, or only when we need Him (ie. praying only when we need something or find ourselves in an emergency).
- Listening as well as Speaking
When you are on the phone, you don’t just talk and hang up. When you go to a friend’s house, you don’t just vent and leave. No, you LISTEN. Attentively wait for a response in prayer. Believe that one will come. (This does not mean that the response will be instantaneous). Spend time with Him even when you aren’t talking. Just think about Him. Reflect on the Gospels, Reflect on how you have seen Him working in your past. Get to know Him better by studying how He works.
Allow God to work and speak in His time. Also, don’t expect to have a deep relationship with God instantly, but have patience and trust that it is building with time and proportionate to the effort you invest in it. He will give more to those who are steadfast and consistent – it is your way of “proving” that you are truly interested in this relationship.
“Those who are trustworthy in small matters will also be trustworthy in great”- Luke 16:10
- Time of Day
Yes, the 10 minutes here and there are important and your relationship can’t be built without them. Just make sure they are also meeting the “specs” for the rest of this time category. The more QUALITY time you spend, the quicker you will feel your relationship deepening. The busier you are (ie. the more responsibilities you have) the MORE time you need in prayer per day (20 min, 30 min, 60 min…, morning, night, midday, etc). There is no such thing as too much prayer. Do not make excuses not to pray. Make it the most important thing you do…. and you will start to see how important it is.
In the end, the idea is to give Him ALL your time – so that eventually we will be able to “Pray without Ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) . Don’t worry, He will give you back 100-fold whatever you need for the rest of your life.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28
2- You need to dedicate ENERGY
ACTIVELY PURSUE GOD. A deeper relationship with Him doesn’t just happen because you say you want it to. What do your actions say? Are you making Him a priority? Are you spending quality time together? Are you allowing Him to affect the way you think and act?
In the end, the idea is to give Him ALL your ENERGY – Don’t worry, He will give you back 100-fold whatever you need for the rest of your life.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:31-32
3 – You need to dedicate SPACE
Prayer happens more easily for us as human beings if we first dedicate a space for it, for God, in our lives.
Your space becomes a habitual place that, upon entering, your mind and body are more quickly transitioned from the chaos of the “world” to the rest we find in prayer.
Examples of “space”
The most obvious example might be a “war room“. But, you can also just make a chair in a corner, a small desk, or a table your dedicated prayer space. This space could be decorated with items or pictures that help you pray, or cleared out to be completely empty so that you don’t feel distracted from prayer.
Maybe it is just a specific place at a specific time of day – like a particular seat at the breakfast table as the sun shines in before anyone else is awake.
Your space is not limited to indoors either, it could even be a specific path that you like to walk on your lunch break at work.
A prayer journal can also be a space for prayer when we cannot dedicate a specific location.
The point is that your space should be somewhere readily accessible for you on a regular basis that reminds you to pray. Ideally, it would be your entire home.
In the end, the idea is to give Him ALL your SPACE – He wants every last inch of our hearts and our homes so that eventually we will be able to pray everywhere and in every moment. He will give you back 100-fold whatever you need for the rest of your life.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. ~ Matthew 19:29
4 – You need to Dedicate ATTENTION
He speaks in a quiet whisper to your heart (1 Kings 19:11-13), He knocks gently (Revelation 3:20), and He shows himself in the unexpected. We have to be constantly paying attention in order to notice the subtle ways He works in our lives.
“My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me” ~ John 10: 27-28
- Dedicate quiet time without cell phones, TV, Radio or people
- Spend quiet time in church, your prayer space, or in nature. Go for prayer walks.
- Don’t be afraid to pray at weird times of the day, like the middle of the night.
- Take unexpected moments of free time as opportunities for prayer.
In the end, the idea is to give Him ALL your attention and He will direct you toward what you need to do – in addition to giving you the time and energy to do it. This is how our work too, in the end, can become prayer.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~ Psalm 119:105
In a deeper relationship with God, God wants EVERYTHING from you so that He can give you everything. (Read also: The Reward for Giving your All – Is it worth it?)
Because, in the end, all God really wants, is YOU!!!!
PS. What you DON’T need to build a deeper relationship with God
- Fancy words (poetry, eloquence)
- Fancy times (that pretty much never present themselves)
- Fancy places (ie. trips to the Holy Land)
- “Fancy” (“Contrived”) Effort/Show – Trying TOO hard
Disclaimer: Note that I did NOT say that the aforementioned items are necessarily bad – just not required for a deeper relationship with God. It would be like a husband who thinks he can only love is wife if they go out to a super fancy and expensive dinner… Fancy dinners are not inherently bad, but true love and depth in a relationship are best expressed in the little things everyday.
#ParticularlyCALLED #Togetherinthetrenches #IamCALLED
- Why should I Prioritize my prayer life?
- What does a True Relationship with God look like – Is it worth pursuing?
- How to know if you are Truly Seeking God in your life
- How to Invite God into your Mess – Overcoming Perfectionism
- 10 ways to know if your Relationship with God is Genuine
- The Reward for Giving your All – Is it worth it?