Every human being has an innate desire to seek and understand God, even if they are not fully aware of it. Man was created for the very purpose of communing with God and walking the path He has set before him. Still, many people go their entire lives without truly developing an understanding of their relationship with God.
While many have prayed or attended church services, it seems that many members of the body of Christ find themselves drifting further from God, rather than drawing closer. This begs the question—How can I develop a relationship with God? Although it may seem a challenging question to ponder, you need only look to Scripture for the answer. Let this article be your guide where to find that answer, so that you may better understand how you can build a relationship with God.
Build a Relationship with God by Initiating the Conversation
In his article, “Does God Require Us to Do Anything to Be Saved?,” Allen Webster writes that, despite the fact that God’s love is unconditional and everlasting, there are some things He requires from you in order to build a relationship with Him. Webster argues that it is not faith alone that teaches us our paths to salvation, but rather the combination of faith and works, and points out that this is consistently taught throughout Scripture, (James 2:24). Bob Prichard makes a similar point in his article, “Pray for Salvation?,” by showing that there are things that you need to do when developing a relationship with God. The Bible says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8, NKJV). God promises to respond, but it is your responsibility to initiate a relationship with Him. God also promised, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). There are many other examples throughout the Bible that remind us that God will respond to you and impart unto you a deeper relationship with Him, but He first wants you to engage with Him.
Develop a Relationship with God Through Prayer
It is impossible to develop a relationship with God without prayer. Everyone can agree that the key to any good relationship is communication, whether it be between a husband and wife, manager and employee, or just close friends. Your relationship with God will be the same—it will not grow unless you consistently communicate with Him. Jesus demonstrated this well during His earthly ministry. Here are a few examples:
- “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
- “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” – Mark 1:35
- “Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.” – Luke 22:39
Jesus is not the only figure in Scripture who did this. You will be hard pressed to find someone in Scripture who had a deep relationship with God and did not pray. Old and New Testament alike, from the Prophets to the Apostles, they all prayed devoutly to strengthen their relationship with God.
Develop a Relationship with God Through the Bible
Another practical way to develop a relationship with God is by making a habit of reading your Bible regularly. Did you know that the New Testament writers referenced the Old Testament 855 times? They had a vast knowledge of Scripture, and that knowledge allowed them to develop a deep relationship with God. Perhaps one of the best examples is King David. God said that David was “a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22). While there are many qualities David had that earned him God’s favor, one of them was surely his love for the word of God. David wrote Psalm 119, which is filled with passionate exhortations about loving the Bible. One of the most convincing encouragements is found in Psalm 1. David said, “his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law, he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3). This is key to building a relationship with God.
Develop a Relationship with God in Worship
One of the most important things you can do to develop a relationship with God is to connect with other believers. You will develop a deeper understanding of God when you study His word together with other people. The Bible says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). It is important that you make gathering with other believers a priority. The Bible even declares that it pleases the Lord when you do this in the book of Psalms, which states, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Connecting with other believers in community is key to growing your relationship with God.
Every believer should be intentional about building their relationship with God. You can develop your relationship with God by having a consistent prayer life, reading the Bible, and connecting with other believers.
If you want to learn how to achieve all three of these, consider taking one of our Bible courses online. Getting to Know Your Bible can give you access to a library of sermons on God’s influence on your life and can help you grow closer to God and your community.