The most important relationship you can have in life is your relationship with God. God wants to know you, and He wants you to know Him. But just like any meaningful relationship, growing closer to God takes work. It doesn’t happen by accident. And it doesn’t happen by mistake. Cultivating your relationship with God takes discipline and intentionality. But the reward is well worth the effort.
Here are 5 ways you can grow closer to God.
#1 Read Your Bible Everyday
The first and most fundamental way you can grow closer to God is by reading your Bible everyday.
The Bible is a special book. It differs from every other book. What makes the Bible so unique is that it is God’s revelation. In the Bible God reveals to us who He is, what He’s like and how we can know Him more.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful…God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT).
Jesus found God’s word so essential to the life of faith that He said, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
The Bible is as important to your spiritual life as food and water are to your physical life.
If you’re going to grow closer to God, you must read His book every day.
Find A Translation You Like
A lot of people struggle to read the Bible everyday because they struggle to understand the Bible they own. But there are many translations of the Bible. Some are easier to read than others.
Check out my post on Bible translations to discover which translation might be best for you.
Find A Good Devotional Book Or Bible Reading Plan
One of my favorite Bible reading tools out there is the Bible App. This app has been downloaded more than 180 million times. And for good reason. It provides numerous translations, devotional materials and reading plans.
The Bible app allows you to customize your Bible reading to your specific needs. You can go as deep as you want to go. It even allows you to set up notifications so that you can be reminded every day to spend time in the word.
#2 Spend Time In Prayer Regularly
The second thing you can do to grow your relationship with God is spend time in prayer regularly.
Prayer is simply talking to God. When we read God’s word, God talks to us. When we pray to God, we talk back.
Prayer doesn’t have to be as complicated as some people make it. You don’t have to use fancy language when you talk to God. And you don’t have to worry about what to say to God. God already knows all your needs before they even roll off your tongue.
When I learned to pray, I used the acrostic ACTS to talk to God.
Begin your prayer by praising God. What did you learn about Him from His word? Praise God for who He is.
“God, you are holy.”
“Lord, you are good.”
“Father, you are eternal and all mighty.”
“There is none like you.”
When you read God’s word, you will experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That means you will recognize areas in your life that depart from God’s will.
When we become aware of how we are failing to honor God with our thoughts, words or actions, we should confess these things to God.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV).
Don’t be afraid to confess your sins to God.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1, ESV).
The best way to grow as a follower of Christ is to get in the consistent habit of confessing your sins and asking God to help you live differently.
God is the giver of every good gift. He supplies our every need. Every good thing we have in life comes directly from the generous hands of our good God in heaven.
Spend time in prayer thanking God for His provision and blessing.
This is a fancy word for “ask.” It’s OK to ask God to meet your needs. It’s OK to ask God to provide for you and to help you through the struggles of this life.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, HCSB).
What’s on your heart? What’s causing you fear? How are you struggling? Bring those things to the Lord in prayer.
#3 Go To Church Every Week
The third thing you can do to grow closer to God is go to church every week.
Church gets a bad rap in our culture today. So many people are turned off by “organized religion.” A lot of people prefer to keep their spiritual beliefs and practices to themselves.
But Christ followers simply can’t do that. Jesus saved you from your sins, and Jesus saved to Himself. And the church is His body.
The church isn’t simply an institution or a place of organized religion. The local church is the outpost of the kingdom of God. It’s the place where heaven meets earth. It’s where the people of God gather regularly to proclaim His Lordship and His grace before the watching world.
Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do (Hebrews 10:25, NLT).
To grow closer to the Lord you have to be among His people. That means finding a good church and attending regularly.
#4 Join A Small Group
The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation.
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment (Proverbs 18:1, ESV).
That’s why attending church regularly matters. But simply attending church on a weekly basis isn’t enough. If you really want to grow closer to God, then you have to get into a small group.
Small groups are vehicles of life change. As we spend time with other believers and grow closer together, we grow closer to God.
That’s true because in small group community you pray together, encourage one another, support one another and walk through life together as you each learn to walk closer with God.
#5 Serve Others
Someone once said, “You’re never more like God than when you serve.” I think that’s true.
The Son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life–a ransom for many! (Mark, 10:45, HCSB)
Service was a huge theme in the life and ministry of Jesus. It’s a call that he repeated over and over again. It’s way of living that He stamped on the hearts and minds of His followers.
As we serve others, whether in the local church or in other ways beyond that, our hearts become more aligned with God’s heart. And the closer our hearts align with the heart of God, the more intimate our relationship with Him becomes. And we grow closer.
Everyone who knows Jesus wants to grow closer in their relationship to Him. And these are five ways you can do that.
Question: Here are five things you can do to grow closer to God. What would you add to the list? Join the conversation clicking here.