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4 Ways to Strengthen Our Relationship With God
By Jingnian, US
As time passe by, have you ever felt your relationship with God growing more distant and unfamiliar? Do you often have a feeling of fear or worry? The Bible records, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). When we have a normal relationship with God, we will have peace and joy bestowed by God; on the contrary, when our relationship with God becomes abnormal, we will often feel fear and worry as if we are lost in the fog. It can be seen that it’s quite important to have a proper relationship with God. So how can we achieve that? Here are 4 ways to help you strengthen your relationship with God:
Firstly, Learn to Give Your Heart to God
If we want to have a proper relationship with God, we must first give our heart to God and make Him our sovereign, have true prayer and communion with God to gain the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Because man’s heart is the temple of God, the most significant rule of practice is to quiet our heart before God in establishing a proper relationship with Him.
Today we live in a busy and crowded times. The fast paced life lets us be occupied by a variety kind of people and things, so that we seldom have time to quiet our heart before God and draw near to God and contemplate Him. Because our heart is always distant from God, in real life we live in a hurried status, and we exhaust ourselves dealing with varying people and things each day, weary both physically and mentally. However, we must have once experienced this: When we quiet ourselves before God, with His guidance, we are able to see through many things, and we will yield twice the result with half the effort in doing things. From this, we can see the key to establishing a proper relation with God is to give our heart to Him. To achieve such effect, we need to pray to Him actively and often contemplate His love and grace on us. Then we’ll be touched by His Spirit unconsciously and we can live before God constantly.
Secondly, Read God’s Words and Apply God’s Word to Your Life
Only if we often read God’s word, fellowship about the truth and practice it, and perform our duties well to repay His love, can we establish a normal relationship with God. The Lord, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). God’s word is the truth, which can guide us in our way. If we can understand the truth and put it into practice, then His word will be our life. In order to attain such result, we firstly need to read God’s word often.
But most of the time, we may ignore reading God’s word because of our busy work, so that our life in spirit will wither with time. Without the guidance and provision of God’s word, we cannot see clearly things happening to us, like the blind seeking in the dark; yet things will be different if we read God’s word often and live under His guidance. God’s word is the light in our way, with His word, we will have the direction to walk. Just as what God says, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We can know from God’s word that He requires us to be the honest for only those who are honest can be the real man, be saved by God and enter into His kingdom. In addition, to those words of God we do not understand, we still need to fellowship with those who understand the truth, so that we can understand and practice the truth. In a word, we can understand the truth clearer and clearer and know God better and better only if we read, ponder, communicate, and practice God’s word often. With such an effect, we will have a proper relationship with God.
Thirdly, Set Our Intentions Right and Obey God’s Arrangements
If we want to have a proper relationship with God, we should set our intentions right in all things and accept God’s observation, not thinking of ourselves, but obeying God’s arrangements. Though many people follow God, few of them can truly act in accordance with His intention. Many people believe in God with their own aims and intentions, and few can make them presentable before God and accept God’s observation. Take dedication and service for example. We know that genuine dedication should be established on the basis of repaying the love of God, and it is to willingly dedicate what we have, which includes money, time, our entire being. But it’s undeniable that we have much intent and impurity in our dedication. Take myself as an example. I pay tithes very actively after I see God’s words which say, “Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). This is because I think they should be paid by my own, and because I should repay God for His giving them to me. And there’s another hidden intention that I would be given more by God if I satisfied Him with enough offerings. Like what Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). I was all for Paul’s word. I thought: What is it that I sacrifice and pay a little bit now if I can gain the glorious crown in the future?
I don’t believe there are only one or two people who think so. But we should also think over this: If our devoting, running around and expending ourselves are not for performing duties as a creature, but for obtaining more grace from God, it is our deceit on God. In this case, is there any meaning even if we paid a lot for the service of God? God looks into the bottom of people’s heart, so with such deceit, how can we gain God’s approval? And how can we establish a proper relationship with God? Therefore, to have a proper relationship with God, it brooks no delay that we should cast all our impurities and incorrect intentions away in believing in God.
Finally, Seek Truth in All Things and Pursue Loving God
Our life is full of uncertainty. Unknowingly, we fall into darkness because of a certain thing. However, as long as we seek truth in all things, pursue loving God from our heart, and practice love for God, letting God decide all things for us, we will be able to maintain a proper relationship with God. It was just like one thing I had experienced recently: I failed in an executive election of our company, which let me lose face. It rankled in my mind, and I couldn’t calm down before God when I thought of it. After that, my friend told me, “Since the failure in the election came upon you, you should seek God’s will in it! There is God’s good purpose behind everything. You have to seek the truth and find God’s good purpose from it.” Through my friend’s reminding, I began to have prayers and undertake self-reflection. After praying to God and reading God’s word for many times, I finally saw that there is indeed God’s good purpose in that lost election. Since I made some achievements for my company, I had been occupied with ambitious desires, seeking greater developments in my company. In order to realize my plan, I worked all day for a long time, so that I didn’t have time to pray, read God’s word and attend meetings. My heart was getting far away from God, and sometimes, I was even overcome by sin. Seeing that I lost in pursuing fame and profits, God pulled me out through my failure in the election, so that I reflected upon myself and understood His will and returned to Him. Then I finally found there was indeed God’s good purpose in it! So, seeking the truth in all things is one of the key practices in establishing a proper relationship with God.
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