Our relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship that we will ever have and should be our number one focus. Because we serve the one true living God, we have continuous opportunities to communicate with Him. He allows us to ask questions, He answers in his timing and sends confirmations.
I grew up in “the church” but didn’t have a personal relationship with Him until a few years ago. Sure, I read my Bible every now and again and prayed every night, just in case I didn’t wake up the next morning, but I didn’t have a desire to do those things. It was just something I did to check my Christian boxes and give myself a pat on the back (as if I was doing something for God. Ha!) Back then, I was not intentional about spending time with Him. Reading His word or praying was not my priority. Jesus has always made me a priority and we can’t have a healthy relationship if I treat Him as an option.
If you are struggling to build a relationship with God, I have compiled a few suggestions to help you get started:
Pray – There is no such thing as praying too much (1 Chronicles 16:11). Jesus loves to hear from his children. Pray whenever you can. In your car, when you first open your eyes, when you feel like being petty to an aggravating colleague, when you are being tempted, before bed and whenever you wake up in the wee hours of the morning for no reason at all. God desires to hear from us. He loves to hear about our days, feelings, desires and dreams.
Read Your Bible – Learning God’s word is vital when building a relationship with him. He left us a handbook to follow. A masterpiece. Sometimes the Holy Spirit leads me to read certain stories, books or chapters and other times not. It can be a struggle to put down my phone when I don’t feel the tug on my heart but reading during those times are still important. You never know when you will need to recall a scripture for a friend during a difficult time or use it in your own life (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).
Be Obedient – As believers, we have to follow God’s direction. When he speaks we must listen and obey. Many people have asked how they hear God’s voice. For me, He will speak to my spirit. You may hear a person refer to the Holy Spirit as their first mind, their conscience or the universe (I really hate this) but it is really God communicating with them and guiding them through their day. To be obedient, you must read your Bible. How can you be obedient when you don’t know what is required of you (James 1:22)?
Build Your Faith – In some areas of my life my faith is on 1000 and in other areas of my life my faith needs plenty of work. God operates by our faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Run from Sin – Sin will kill us (Romans 6:23)! It is our job to abstain from sin and run to God whenever temptation comes our way because he is our way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). By no means am I saying that this is easy but we must love God so much that pleasing Him is more important than pleasing ourselves.
Repent – Whenever you hurt someone that you love, it is important to ask for forgiveness. Asking God for forgiveness for unholy thoughts or actions should be a part of our everyday lives (Acts 20:21).
Change – If you had a friend who “borrowed” one of shirts without asking, begged for your forgiveness and then “borrowed” another shirt soon after, you would be a tad bit annoyed. Now I am not saying that God gets annoyed with us but I am saying that we should consider this when we ask for forgiveness but run and commit the same sins over and over again. The wonderful thing about God is that when we are having problems changing, we can ask Him to change our hearts, minds, thoughts, habits and desires (Psalm 51:10).
I hope that these tips help you as you seek a relationship with Jesus! Please don’t keep Him waiting much longer.