My most recent piece about relationship with God is up at RELEVANT Magazine. I’d love for you to check it out!
“Having a personal relationship with God”—it’s a phrase that gets tossed around in many Christian circles. But what does it actually mean to have a relationship with the Savior of the Universe?
Knowing God is going to look different from any other relationship in our lives. We can’t see God. We can’t look across the table at our favorite coffee shop and talk with Jesus in bodily form. So, in a world where we cannot text God or send Him an email, what does it look like to be in a relationship—to be in a friendship—with the one who created all things (Colossians 1:16)?
No deep relationship happens apart from intentional cultivation. Even the relationships that seem to happen “organically” in our lives—those friends we click with immediately—need to be nurtured to one degree or another. We reach out to the people we care about, and we have to seek to be intentional in order to get to know one another. Determining that we actually do want to grow in our friendship with God—and then setting aside intentional time to spend with Him—is an important first step toward getting to know Him better.
No deep relationship happens apart from intentional cultivation.
But while we may be intentional about growing in relationship with God, it may seem challenging because we may not feel God’s intentionality toward us. Still, His intentionality in loving and knowing us is always, always there. The One who created us—the One who “knit [us] together” (Psalm 139:13)—has never wavered in His intentionality toward us. He made each of us specifically and with great love. We are worth a great deal to Him (Luke 12:6-7).
We don’t have to ask God to pencil us in to His calendar—He always has time for us. Whether it is 15 minutes in the morning where we read the Bible and pray, an hour-long jog while appreciating His creation, or a weekend retreat spent worshiping Him, consistent, intentional time spent getting to know God is one of the foundations of a deep relationship with Him.
But what do we do during the time that we’ve set aside to connect with God? As with earthly relationships, the hope is that we will communicate. Communication with God looks both similar and different from communication with earthly friends, but it includes what all healthy relationships include—sharing, confessing and praising.
We share our hearts with God through prayer and tell Him what we’re excited about, what we’re worried about, and what we are thinking about. We open up about the places we have fallen short and confess our sin to Him. And we praise Him for who He is and what we love about Him. We thank Him. We worship Him. Just as we tell our earthly friends how much we appreciate them and are thankful for them, we do the same with God—to the highest degree.
Read about another two aspects of relationship with God, Communication: Listening, and Acts of Love and Service over at RELEVANT!