I will say that this post has been on my mind for the past week. Since I wrote the last one, I have been praying about this one. I even started doing research on the Internet about “the how.”
Let me just say…I was starting to stress out.
Then, my friend posted the following on Facebook:
After reading this, it hit me – This entire blog has been about my journey. So, this post should be about my “how.” There are many other opportunities to read what others say about “how” to build a deeper relationship with Christ.
So, here are the three ways I started to build a deeper relationship with God: Reading, Listening, Praying!
Reading: If we want to “know” Him, we need to learn about Him!
When I first started this journey, I wasn’t ready to jump in with both feet and read The Bible. I wasn’t sure I would understand it. So, I started with a few book series:
The Left Behind Series by LaHaye & Jenkins
The Firstborn Series by Karen Kingsbury
The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews (this is more of a recent find – and it’s a great one!)
These were great starts that read like novels and pull you in. They have great messages that are shared in ways that anyone would love the books.
Some authors I found later in my journey that write amazing books are:
- Chip Ingram
- Living on the Edge
- God – As He Longs for You to See Him
- The Genius of Generosity
- Andy Stanley
- How to Be Rich
- The Principle of the Path
And, here are three other great finds:
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – a great daily devotional
- Pocket Prayers by Max Lucado – another great 40-day devotional I just found
- YouVersion Bible (found in any App Store)
- Here, you can change versions, set up reading plans, etc.
Regardless of the amount of time we have each day – five minutes or many hours – there are endless options to help each one of us gain a greater understanding of God…and what He wants for us!
Listening: We are surrounded by messages on consumerism. We should want MORE, BIGGER, FASTER, NEWER, SHINIER, etc. And, we should want all of that NOW! Actually, we should already have it. And, if you don’t have the money, there is a payment plan, a credit card, a financing deal, etc.
Not only that, but think about what we watch on TV, read about, hear on the radio – most of it is not fit for eyes & ears of little ones. So, what does that say about adults? If kids shouldn’t see it, why should we? Just because we can – does that mean we should?
Does this make us more likely to make good decisions or bad ones?
Does it help us stay on the narrow path or make the wider, easier path more acceptable?
When we are surrounded by those messages all day, every day, it is difficult to understand that this is not what God had intended for us.
Romans 12:2 (GNB): Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
There are several ways to start listening to other messages:
- FM Radio: K-Love or Air1 are both great Christian Contemporary Radio stations with great songs!
- XM 63 – The Message (plays the same songs as the stations above)
Great Pastors to Listen to:
- FM Radio – these are usually in the high 80’s or low 90’s on FM
- XM 131 – Family Talk
- TV Stations: CBN, TBN, others
- I love listening to Andy Stanley, Chip Ingram, Joyce Meyer, Dr. Charles Stanley, Beth Moore and many others.
When I started to spend more time surrounding myself with Christian messages – either in the form of song or through Bible teachings – I realized how much time I spent filling my mind with things other than what God had wanted. And, I saw how those things effected my decisions and my attitude.
The more I heard, the more I wanted to hear.
The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
The Bible became the Living Word – not a book written thousands of years ago.
Praying: To truly be in conversation with God. To seek Him first in all you do and ask for His guidance and direction.
This is truly a place where I long to get better. A friend and I were joking the other day about how easy it is to pray BOLDLY for others, and how difficult it is to pray BOLDLY for ourselves.
And, it is easy to pray when things are good and to give God praise. But what happens when everything isn’t going well?
Here is a great song about that: Fall Apart by Josh Wilson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKISYTwnn0A
From what I read, God wants us always. In the good times and the bad. In the easy time and the hard times. He longs for us to talk to Him like we would talk to our Earthly Father. And, here is His promise:
John 15:7 (GNB): If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.
I started the Pocket Prayers by Max Lucado because I want to deepen my relationship with God. And, I know the way to do that is through prayer. So, I’m on day 5 of 40 – working on deepening my relationship with God.
All this being said – there are many ways to build a deeper relationship with God. My ways were reading, listening & praying. And, I say all this with that Facebook post in mind…
“I am not holier than thou. I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace – somehow!”
I am so very thankful for the ways You have helped me draw closer to You. I thank You for the many gifts You have given to Your children:
- The gift of writing about You so we can know You
- The gift of song so we can hear of Your Greatness
- The gift of delivery so we can know The Bible is The Living Word
- The gift of connection so that we can see how glorious a life with You can be!
I pray for Your continued help, support and guidance. I pray You help me to seek You first – always. And, I pray You help me to see all of the amazing wonders You have given us on Earth that prove Your existence and Love!
In Jesus’ name,