How To Improve Your Relationship With Jesus
Listening to God
How would you feel if someone never talked to you unless they wanted something? What if they never asked how you were doing or praised your accomplishments? I’m guessing you would feel a bit used and abused. Right?
Now I must ask, did I just describe your relationship with God? Do you pray only when you want something? Have you forgotten to praise Him throughout the day and thank Him for the many blessings in your life?
God created us in His form and made us with emotions. Surely God has feelings too. Jesus experienced grief, righteous anger, rejection, and I believe joy and laughter while He lived on earth. The very fact that humans have a sense of humor indicates that God does. Consider Matthew 7:3-8 where the log in one’s eye needs to be removed before the speck in our neighbor’s eye can be examined. Or how about the talking donkey in Numbers 22:23-39? Balaam’s story will certainly put a smile on your face!
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)
God longs for our fellowship. He pursues us! Thus, it makes sense that He would grieve over any one-sided relationship. He wants so much more! After all, He called us His friends. Learning about one other is a natural part of cultivating a friendship. This means we ask questions, listen, and share experiences.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-7 (NKJV)
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:14-15 (NKJV)
What can we do to develop a stronger bond with Jesus? How can we grow in our friendship with Him and cultivate a more intimate relationship? Where should we begin?
I suggest prayer. Praise God for sending His son and for the salvation granted through His death and resurrection. Repent of any sins (for they separate us from God) then ask God to stir a hunger in your heart for the living Word. Tell God you want to abide in Him throughout the day. Then, dear Christian, be still. Listen. Wait for God to speak. He has much to say. He may whisper a word of encouragement or speak to you through scripture. There might be a beautiful rainbow in the sky and with your focus on God… it moves you to say thank you for His gift.
Friends share time together enjoying each other’s company. As a friend of Christ, we should make time to take walks with Him. This means intentionally setting aside our busy schedules to meet with and wait on Him. Learning to be quiet while listening for God’s direction might be challenging at first. It takes practice to break old habits of I want this and that. Instead, I pray there comes a time when you rush into the throne room and say, “Lord, I’m here! What do You want? I’m listening!”
“ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)