I realized most of us are talking about building a great relationship with God during this time of social distancing, and I observed that there are people who really, really want to do this: to pray, study their Bibles, experience intimacy, and finally see God become real in their lives BUT they just do not know where to begin.
It’s like everything is suspended in the air, and they have no way to reach those dreams. If you are in that category, I wrote this blogpost for you. Just so you know, I wasn’t thinking about it at all. It came to me by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit a week earlier to this day, last Saturday while I spending some personal time with God, and here’s what God made me understand, “Until you help people understand that I can meet them where they are, you can’t help them see why they should go out of their ways to meet me.”
So, that’s the idea for this. It’s really not about you thinking up a thousand and one ways to spend time in fellowship with God, at least not yet, it’s about you just going to God as you are. A relationship with God never kicks off with how much you can do; it kicks off with the little things like conversations and quality time in each other’s presence as it is in every type of relationship.
So, what are these ABCs?
A. A genuine desire for intimacy
Think about your relationships at all levels. Everyone can attest to a time when s/he wanted a close-knit relationship with another person. It could be a parent or friend. It works the same way with God. In order to build your relationship with Him, it starts with a desire on your part. Now, we understand that efforts are two sided in a healthy relationship. God plays His part by being there not because you want to build something with him but because He has always wanted this friendship with you. Recently, I read Myles Munroe’s The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage. In this book. Munroe writes, “God is love, and love needs to give, so God created…a spiritual being like Himself – so He would have someone to love and give to” (131). In essence, we can say that God created you to love you. In James 4:6, the Bible says, “Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you…” (TPT).
Every relationship begins with a desire. How bad do you want God to be real with you? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? If you answered “yes” to the last question, then let’s move on.
B. Bask in His Presence
If I told someone how much I wanted to be intimate with them, but I seem to have time for everything else but them, then I shouldn’t expect that person to take me seriously. After expressing a genuine desire to know God, the next thing to do is to take time out in His Presence. How? The list is endless, really, but here are a few ways:
- Talk to Him: Yes, wake up in the morning and ditch the cell phone. Lie on your bed for a few minutes and just talk about how real you want Him to be to you. Talk about something you heard from church yesterday but you need clarity on. Talk about the things that hurt. Talk about your struggles. Talk about the things that make you happy. Talk about dreams. Talk about a verse you read in Scripture. Consciously carve out time to say something to Him. Take a minute off a long work schedule to say, “Jesus, I just want you to know that you mean so much to me. Help my actions align with my intentions.” My point? Don’t miss out on conversations with God throughout your day.
- Read the Bible: A lot has been written ahead of time so you can learn. They are in the Bible. Start with a verse, a chapter, a Bible plan on YouVersion maybe, and learn not to rush anything. Take it one step at a time. Don’t read for the sake of reading. (I have a post here about different ways to study the Bible.) Prioritize Bible Study time and at the beginning of that carved out time, pray for your eyes to be opened and for understanding to be your portion.
- Worship with music: Sometimes, we don’t have the right words. Music always helps. Create a playlist, if you can, of different worship songs. Lock yourself in for as long as you can and just sing along with full concentration on God.
C. Come to a place of conviction not condemnation
Guilt is one of the top reasons people find it difficult to connect with God. Notice I didn’t say “sin.” Jesus says, “the world’s sin is that it doesn’t believe me.” So, you believe God, you try to spend time with Him but there seems to be a constant barrier. What’s that? Guilt. Guilt of past or present sins, failures, inadequacies, mistakes, and the list goes on. Guess what? GOD NEVER CONDEMNS YOU! And that’s the truth. The Bible is filled with imperfect people. But here’s the striking truth: all of these imperfect people are positively changed from time to time to be people they never thought they could be – vessels of gold!
Do not be the person who spends time trying to be “perfect” before coming to God. No, no, and no. A relationship with God is not a candlelit date night; it’s a marriage. And in a healthy marriage, I don’t think you can hide most of your flaws even if you tried. The signs are always all over the place. Here’s something the Holy Spirit dictated to me recently, and I hope it helps you put things in perspective:
It’s never about you; it’s all about me – and that’s not me being selfish; it’s me helping you see that I do not love you because of what you do or don’t do. Yes, the things you do prove your love for me, but the things you do do not equate your love for me. Love starts and ends in the heart. I seek intentions before actions. I examine hearts before acts. I judge words spoken in the heart, not works done without heart. Never, and I say, never let the devil beat you up about something I don’t even care about. Remember, what the enemy meant for evil, I’ll always turn around for good.
So, now that you have seen this, are you ready to build the best relationship you could ever ask for? Take these practical steps and watch God move. He is waiting.
With Overflowing Love,