Yesterday, I wrote about a short story about my relationship with God growing up. It started off very oppositional and foreign, but has eventually become more natural and familial as I’ve gotten older. I’ve now gotten to a point where I want more. The question is how do you build a relationship with God?
A relationship itself is very fluid concept. Relationships differ from person to person. Relationships change even from time to time. A relationship with my first girlfriend was immensely different from my last. I honestly would have a completely different relationship with my first love today compared to years ago. I’ve grown, changed, and became a radically different man.
Similarly, now that I’m a little older, I’ve stopped looking at Christianity as a set of rules and decided to view it as a relationship with God. Similar to any other relationship, it takes time to build. I don’t expect it all to work perfectly over night. It’s going to take purposeful thinking and planning to be successful. Most of all, I have to be all in this relationship if I want it to bear fruit. I can’t be lukewarm with my dedication to us. Commitment is a must.
Like any relationship, you have to get to meet the person and get to know them. We often first come in contact with God via family members or church. This is a great way to see God, but it is often a scary and incredulous experience for new comers. Plus, like any relationship, you can hear what people can say about that person all day, but you never know for sure until you meet them yourself. How do you do this with God? Honestly, you have to look for Him in His works.
My first recommendation is the Bible. I know how hard it is to read the Bible consistently. It’s okay. Take your time. After over a year, I am a few weeks away from finishing the Old Testament. Sometimes I would read daily, sometimes I would go months without. The purpose is to be able to make a judgement yourself. We are force-fed the Bible and “what it said”, but a lot of those are opinions and other people’s readings, not scripture. Create your own understanding without depending on others. Think about it like this, could someone accurately understand who you are as a person if they only read chapter 9 of your autobiography and a couple of quotations taken from Chapters 23, 6, and 31? I hope not. Why do that to God?
Another way you get to know someone is talk to them. Whether it is on the phone or in person, you talk to someone to get to truly understand who they are. Prayer is the same thing. It doesn’t need to follow a certain format. Just close your eyes and speak from your heart. It may seem pointless but you find that God listens and speaks to you in many ways. Sometimes he gives answers days or weeks later, but He always listens. You have to listen and be patient.
Another way you build relationships is to go on dates. Make a date for spending time with God. I talked about my fasting before, but it is just my specific time during the week to talk to God and spend time with Him. I pray, read spiritual books, study my bible, listen to devotionals, sermons, and just be thankful about what I have. It’s good to just spend some alone time with the person that loves me.
Now, I haven’t mastered everything. I am still looking for a good Church home, a chance to go on group dates (Bible Study), and developing on how I communicate throughout my days with God. I am still developing Faith and trying to strengthen my confidence in my choice. Similar to when I went from single to a relationship, it took some time to get comfortable and confident in my choice, but so far I feel comfortable about my new relationship and am happy to see where it goes.
Turn My Brightness Up!
What advice do you have for developing your spiritual connection? How do you look at God? How do you build with Him? ( or whomever you hold high) Please let me know and share in the comment section below.