In any relationship, you have to put in effort and intentionality to maintain it. This looks like being consistent in pursuit of each other, working at resolving conflicts when they arise, and finding moments to just enjoy one another’s company.
Relationships are also like a garden. Some plants in the garden are desert plants and need watering only sporadically. They don’t need much pruning, give them some sunlight and a little attention and they are good to go. Other plants need daily attention, watering and pruning. You have to make sure they are getting just the right amount of sunshine and aren’t being suffocated by too many plants around them.
Our relationship with God should fall into the above principles. Input = output. If you invest in this relationship you will see it grow and flourish. If you neglect this relationship, it will be like a withering plant barely hanging on.
When you think about a significant other, do you think they would be hurt if you didn’t talk to them every day? What if you didn’t show them that you loved them? How would they feel if you just took a backseat in the relationship and didn’t spend any time with them? Do you think you two will be close?
The same should be applied to our relationship with God.
I’ve been asked several times in different ways, “How do you keep your faith alive?”
The answer? I invest in my relationship with God daily.
Does this mean that in every season I always feel close to him? No, sometimes we have dry spells where, for whatever reason, God just seems distant. He never is distant, there just may be a lesson we need to learn somewhere. Not going to get into that theological discussion here though (lol maybe another time – if you want me to go into that leave a comment).
However, in those seasons, I still invest. I still show up. Even if I don’t feel or hear anything from the lover of my soul, I still make him a priority. Just like a tree in winter looks barren and sometimes even a little dead, it doesn’t last that way forever, spring does come again, and so do the leaves, flowers and fruit in their time.
What does investing in daily even look like? I’m glad you asked! (actually people really have asked..)
3 Keys to Keep Your Relationship With God Alive and Flourishing
- Setting aside time daily to spend quality time with God.
- My daily times typically include several things: worship, listening, Bible reading, and praying.
- I wake up 45 minutes earlier in the mornings, meaning I go to bed 45 minutes earlier at night.
- I have daily devotionals on standby if I am really struggling that morning with connecting – it can help me connect with his heart when I am feeling particularly bogged down or lifeless.
- My go to’s are “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young and “Hosting the Presence” by Bill Johnson.
- Journaling – while this doesn’t work for everyone, I highly recommend you at least give it a try for at least a week or 2. Sometimes we can’t meet with God because we are so blocked up emotionally that it’s creating a barrier. I notice when I write out how I’m feeling, what’s worrying me or stressing me out, or a hard, emotional incident that is weighing heavily on my mind, it allows me to process it and get it out of my head and onto paper. *then I pray about it and release it to God*
- Target has some cheap journals in the office supplies section.
There have been many a time that I have REALLY not felt it. There are also more times than I can count when I am zombie in the morning and press snooze 20 times leaving me only 10 minutes with God. In those times, I still show up and take advantage of the 10 minutes I do have knowing that God is not being critical or condescending of me.
A key to spending time with God is knowing his heart. He is always for us, always loving us, always rooting for us, always our biggest fan. He sees us as a child learning to walk. He doesn’t get angry when we fall down, but encourages us and celebrates us when we get back up and try again.
2. Practicing Thankfulness
There are three things I do on the regular that I believe allows the presence of God to rest more consistently on and with me:
- Positive Self-Talk
- Choosing thankfulness no matter the circumstances
- Being slow to speak, quick to listen and quick to forgive
I find to do the 3 above things well, you need to know how God feels about you. You need to know how to recognize lies that come into your head. You have to know truth. This comes from knowing the word of God.
Check this out for an awesome resource with identity statements and correlating bible verses: Who God says you are. **Read 5 different ones over yourself aloud, daily for a month, I dare you.**
3. Periodic Refreshing
- Quarterly/yearly times away by yourself for at least a day or a couple hours to connect with God and get vision for the new year, season or quarter. This has been invaluable in my own faith journey.
- Periodic conferences – take advantage of opportunities that arise.
- Your church (or other church) putting on a conference?
- Hear of a conference happening in a different city or state that sounds refreshing?
- Worship night?
- Small groups during the week. (With my busy schedule, I can’t make every week, sometimes it’s just every other week, but it truly makes a difference in my walk connecting and getting support from other like-minded believers.)
Times when I feel the most bogged down, weary, numb and depressed are the times I choose to press into God. I notice there is usually a worship night or gathering I see on Facebook for church right about this time and I choose to go (thanks God). 9 times out of 10 I feel better and more refreshed than when I went.
In those moments when you feel like you have nothing left to give, everything in you doesn’t want to be there, you’re so tired of connecting that the thought of connecting with God seems daunting and overwhelming.. Just show up. Choose to be present and ask him to meet you. You won’t be disappointed.
I hope these few practicals were helpful for you! This is by no means an exhaustive list or “one size fits all” guide to meet with God or “check the box” methodology to “get what I want.” It is intended to give you some ideas into your own relationship with God and how to fuel and grow it. Get creative, try different things. The goal is to meet with God on a deeper level – and since every relationship we have is different, you may meet with God differently than I do.
Remember that a new habit takes on average 2 months to develop, so stick with it. (article to read that I got that info from: Psychology Today)
Leave a comment or reach out in the contact part of my blog if you would like additional resources or tips or expanding on any of these areas, happy to do so.