Do you desire a closer relationship with God? As you learn how to build a relationship with God, you will have spiritual growth that affects your life in many ways.
Being closer to God is something you should strive for. After all, we will be spending our lives with Him forever; why not spend as much time with Him today as possible?
Don’t get me wrong; it is possible to get carried away with the afterlife and forget about the people in your life today. There must be a healthy balance, but if you seek God with all your heart, He will guide you on the right path (Proverbs 3:4-5).
Because this topic is so fabulous and there’s so much to say about it, we have decided to break it up into parts.
Part one [this article] will cover a few topics, but stay tuned to learn more about how to build a relationship with God so that you will get the full picture!
Future topics will include praise and worship, listening to God, spending time in His presence, offering God thanksgiving, trusting His plan for your life, prayer, serving others, church attendance, Christian fellowship, obedience, honoring the Lord, and much more!
Was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:10-13 (ESV)
Why You Need a Closer Relationship with God
#1 – The Lord will come near to you.
There are many benefits to having a relationship with God. For one thing, you will experience the Lord drawing near to you as you grow closer to Him! This is an amazing reward that you don’t want to miss out on.
He will surely bless your life in ways that words cannot describe. In fact, you’ll see a big difference in your life as you get closer to Him! Everything won’t be perfect by any means, but you’ll learn to deal with trials in new ways.
To see these blessings, you need to work on strengthening that relationship. And like any relationship, your relationship with God needs to be a two-way street. If you want to recognize Him working in your life, you need to get to know Him better through His Word and prayer.
Related: How to Pray for Beginners: A Complete Guide
#2 – Prepare yourself for heaven.
When you build a relationship with God, you are on your way to having a great place in Heaven. If you are going to spend eternity with God, wouldn’t you want to spend as much time now as possible with Him?
We are advised to keep our eyes on the prize, our reward in Heaven, rather than on earthly things. We are to live as citizens of Heaven (Philippians 1:27). That means that we are to enjoy life on earth but to treat it as our temporary home. Our ultimate, eternal home is in Heaven.
Aren’t you excited to see what it will be like to live forever with the Lord in Heaven one day? This is promised to happen when the Lord returns! Study your Bible more to see how much you will be blessed when that day comes!
Learn to study your Bible with the HEAR Bible Study Method!
#3 – Serve the Lord.
You are serving God with all your heart when you work on your relationship with Him. Like a parent and child relationship, God wants His children to love Him and wants us to be in a relationship with us. You make Him proud when you strive to be closer with Him.
There are benefits to our service here on Earth. We are promised peace and abundance through the Lord.
While serving God, you will learn to no longer worry about the future. Rather, find joy in everyday things. As you do this, you will see yourself living out your calling!
These are the blessings promised to us by God! Serving the Lord can bring you peace that you’ve never felt before, warmth and calmness that will come over you during trials and tribulations. You know you are doing the right thing when you are serving the Lord in obedience.
Serve the Lord in obedience by doing volunteer work at an animal shelter, for example.
#4 – Other areas of your life will be blessed.
Growing your relationship with God will also affect all aspects of your life. You can physically learn to crave God over the earthly things that you used to crave. Lysa Terkeurst wrote a great book about this – Made to Crave, which helps you crave God rather than the things of this world.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. – Psalm 128:1 (NIV)
#5 – You will become wiser.
Recently, a Bible teacher said that the one characteristic that he never had a class mention when describing Jesus was “smart.” Jesus was clever, intelligent, and very wise, especially for His age. That’s a trait we should strive for.
Drawing near to God will certainly improve your intelligence, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.
Wouldn’t you love to be a person that people sought after for advice? Would it not be great to have more answers in life? With the help of the Lord, you can be – a greater, more intelligent person! Imagine having answers to the deep questions you currently have in regards to life!
But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as He spoke. – Acts 6:10 (NIV)
#6 – Your calling will become clearer.
As you embark on the next chapter in your life, having God on your side is definitely a benefit – a “plus” that you don’t want to miss out on! Growing closer to God will make your calling in life clearer.
Create spiritual goals this year that include growing closer to God, and you’ll be richly blessed!
You will not only understand “your calling” in life better, but other things will also appear clearer. Knowing God better makes it so much easier to obey Him. You’ll learn to discern the voice of God more if you understand Him better. This goes hand-in-hand with studying your Bible!
When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. – John 10:4 (NIV)
#7 – Receive many other benefits.
Gain strength, prosperity, knowledge, and hope with a relationship with God – to name a few.
Gaining a new kind of knowledge in your life (the spiritual kind) will give you many other blessings, so make sure you catch all of the parts of this series on how to grow closer to God. Your heart, soul, and mind will thank you!
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. – Luke 9:24 (NIV)
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to have a relationship with God. He accepts us as we are; the only thing we need to have is a heart and mind for Heaven.
We need to accept Christ as our one and only Savior and know that God is our Father who will always be with us – through thick and thin! So, open your heart and mind as you build a relationship with Him today!
Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’ – Luke 9:23 (NIV)
Related: How to Pray for Beginners: A Complete Guide
Related: How Prayer Can Improve Your Life (The Truth)
How to Build a Relationship with God
1. Read your Bible.
There is no better way to learn about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit than to just read your Bible. It is recommended that you start small, as the Bible can be a little overwhelming if you just dive in without a plan.
Remember, the more you read your Bible, the better you will know or understand God and the plans He has for your future! Most likely, you want to know more about the future God has in store for you! Consider implementing a Bible reading plan!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Our heavenly Father is awesome – to know, to love, and to worship!
God’s love for you is timeless – something you can always count on, so don’t you want to get to know Him better? Also, if you want to spend eternity in heaven (the greatest reward ever), shouldn’t you want to know more about your faith?
Tips for Reading Your Bible
Here are a few ways to read your Bible and some suggestions for reading in style!
- Enlist the help of a Bible reading plan.
- Start reading your Bible from cover to cover. The Wayfinding Bible NLT is a great Bible for both new and experienced believers! Discover a new way of reading God’s Word with this innovative Bible!
- Read a chapter a day in the Bible.
- Pick a topic to read about. Using a Bible reference book, study it!
- Make spiritual goals that include Bible reading.
- Aim to read the Bible in a year (or two)!
- Read the Bible with your best friend or spouse!
“The very practice of reading [the Bible] will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise.” Billy Graham
Related: How to Make Christian Friends
2. Study your Bible.
Studying your Bible or participating in a Bible study is an excellent way to build a relationship with God. When you read the parables told by Jesus or enrich yourself in the history of the Old Testament, the pages will come alive for you!
Reading your Bible is a great way to learn more about the Lord and His Father, but studying It will take you to a whole new level. You’ll embrace the many words that are written especially for you and find hope and encouragement in the pages of the Bible.
Plus, the more you learn about the Bible, the easier it will be to understand what is meant in sermons and conversations. You will have stronger convictions because they are backed by the very foundation found in the Word of God!
Your heart will grow and your spirit will be closer to the Lord the more you read the pages of the Bible.
Another great part about studying the Bible is that you learn, meaning you recognize scripture over time through memorization.
You begin to retain the information in your heart and mind. This will give you the power to have the words of God with you no matter where you are physically located.
I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. I praise You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations You have given us. I have rejoiced in Your laws as much as in riches. I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. – Psalm 119:11-15 (NLT)
Tips for Studying Your Bible
Here are some ways to study your Bible with a few suggestions for fun studying!
- Learn many different Bible study methods to vary things up! Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods is a great tool for learning different ways to study scripture. Dig deep and find out how to unlock the Bible!
- Find an accountability partner to keep you on track.
- As you study the Bible, stay curious and open minded.
- Live according to the Word; immerse yourself in the Bible.
- Ask questions from fellow Christians when you don’t understand something.
- Consider joining a Bible study at your local church.
- Memorize Bible verses as you study to imprint them in your mind.
- Listen for God in the pages of the Bible.
Related: The SOAP Bible Study Method | How to Use It Right (Freebie)
3. Spend time in nature.
Some people find it easiest to get close to God when they are in nature. They understand how the world is connected to God, as He is the creator of such a magical place.
If you think about how everything works together for His greater glory, nature becomes like a fairy tale.
When you connect with nature, you will find yourself removed from the busyness of the world. You will notice that it is easier to hear God and experience His Glory around you.
Take time to separate yourself from the distractions of daily life by spending time in nature.
“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased.” – Revelation 4:11 (NLT)
Tips for Enjoying Nature
- Escape the world by doing an outdoor activity.
- Invite your friends to join you for a sporting event.
- Appreciate the world around you wherever you are.
- Go for a prayer walk each day. PrayerWalk is an amazing story about a woman who set out to improve her health and grow closer to God! Learn her one-of-a-kind prayer walk routine and how it can change you, your family, and your community!
- Remember that talks with God are miraculous in nature!
- Use all 5 senses to experience nature fully!
4. Don’t compare your journey with that of others.
While it may seem like an obvious way to build a personal relationship with God, understanding your unique spiritual growth path is very important for each one of us.
We all have different experiences and different realities that we must live, so don’t compare your journey with that of someone else.
Even the most notable characters of the Bible had trouble in life. God’s way is never meant to be seen as “the easy way” in life, but once you grow closer to God, you’ll see that His way is the better way.
Read about Job, a person who had a very difficult time in the Old Testament. His life did not go as he’d hoped it would – by any means.
Keep in mind that each person is different. If you compare your spiritual journey with that of someone else’s, you are likely to fall short of the glory of God.
No one’s life is perfect. In fact, we all struggle in some way in our walk with the Lord. There is no complete expert on the Bible; we are all still learning and mastering It. As you read the Bible, you will grow and learn more and more.
You should seek the path that God wants for you, not that of someone else’s. If you are uncertain where God wants you to be in life, pray on a continual basis.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then, you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Related: 75+ Spiritual Goals Examples and Free Goal Worksheet
Tips for Claiming Your Own Journey
- Accept the path you have already walked. Give God the downfalls and praise Him for the good! Own your testimony! It got you to this point!
- Pray for discernment for your future and your calling.
- Find your talents! We all have something special we are good at! Find out your strong points and use them!
- Focus on the now with God. Talk to Him daily and be confident in what He shares with you.
- Keep a journal! Keep track of where you were and where you are headed! This will give you motivation when you feel like you are stagnant or lost! The Prayer Journal for Women is a perfect starter journal!
Related: How to Start a Prayer Journal (With a Free Download)
5. Be Christ-like.
Aim to live a pure and blameless life. Of course, we will never be perfect, as Christ was when He lived here on Earth. However, we can try to live holy lives to the best of our ability, that is, trying not to sin and treating our bodies as temples.
So, how can we be like Christ in the way we live and act around other people? The best thing that we can do is study the Bible; it teaches us the way to live like Christ.
We are suggested to live a pure and blameless life. If you think about those terms, what do they mean to you? Keep that in mind the next time you watch a television program or read a magazine.
When your neighbor’s dog keeps you up at night or when your friend forgets about dinner plans, remember to act like Christ in how you think, behave, and what you say.
It has been said that the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 gives us the moral portrait of Christ. Since we were not fortunate enough to know Him in person, the words in the Bible are what we need to believe and base our faith on.
Our hope is not to shame you but to give you a whole new insight into what being Christ-like is really all about. Remember, if you can’t behave in a certain way, do your best until it comes naturally because eventually, it will!
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get closer to God?
If you want to build a good relationship with God, you’ll need to study God’s Word (listen to what is said in the Bible) and learn more about Jesus Christ. You can also develop a relationship with God through prayer – talking to God about your earthly problems and eternal salvation.
How do you build a personal relationship with Jesus?
A personal relationship with Jesus takes commitment and discipline, but it’s worth it. Start small. Learn how to pray and build on that. As communication is key, you should pray (talk to God), and study your Bible (listen).
What does it mean to build a relationship with God?
As you would build a marriage or friendship, building a relationship with God takes commitment, determination, and resolve. It is not something that you can do halfway, lightly, or on a whim. You need to put “your all” into growing close to God, as it’s the most important relationship you will ever have!
How do I start putting God first?
As we’re instructed to put our eyes on things above, not earthly things, it will get easier to put God first – the more you do it! When you make decisions, talk to God first. Trust Him, and He’ll guide you on your path. Do this often enough, and it’ll be easy to put Him before anything else!
How do you start a relationship with God for beginners?
A great place to start is in the Word of God. If you begin reading the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), you’ll have a great foundation for your spiritual journey. Understanding the life of Jesus will help you as you start your faith. Also, find a church home to fellowship with other Christians and to make Christian friends.
You should now have some basics on how to build a relationship with God so that you can begin your spiritual journey the right way. These are just a few suggestions to get you going.
These spiritual ideas should help you grow closer to God, develop a relationship with Him like no other that you’ve had before, and feel God’s love in real ways.
Remember to instill the values and behaviors listed in this article – read your Bible, study your Bible, spend time in nature, don’t compare your spiritual journey with that of others, and be Christ-like in all that you do.
May God bless you on your spiritual journey to draw close to Him! Our hope is that you find these articles enlightening and that they bless you along the way.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of How to Build a Relationship with God, and continue your journey on growing closer to God!
Feel free to leave a comment with your feedback and insight into this journey! We’d love to hear from you!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit! – Philippians 4:23 (NLT)