Four sure and easy ways to deepen your relationship with God

For those times when you’re in the mood for a little Divine Interaction, may I suggest the following four easy things to do? They’re simple—but they work, and always have. I personally believe that God is constantly and forever waiting for everyone and anyone to simply ask how they can deepen their personal relationship with him/her/it. God has a lot of answers, but for that particular question, he/she/it really has an answer. And if you sincerely and deeply ask God what you should do in order to enrich your relationship with h/s/i, what you are certain to in one way or another very clearly hear h/s/i communicating back to you is that you would do very well indeed to begin incorporating into your daily life the following four things:

1. Listening to God

2. Reflecting upon God

3. Being humble before God

4. Trusting God

Listening to God. Listening to God doesn’t mean you have to climb to the top of a mountain and lose yourself in prayerful bliss, or kneel in place of worship  for six hours straight, or anything like that. It only means that every once in a while—while you’re cooking, cleaning, standing in line at the bank, walking your dog, whatever—you should simply try to open yourself up to listening to the God (which we Christians know as the Holy Spirit) within you. God is never not talking to you. Just give a listen once (or twice, or thrice) in a while. Trust that you will be extremely interested in everything God has to say to you. The more you listen to God the more you’ll want to listen to what is, after all, a voice that’s as close to you—and is as much about you—as any can possibly be.

Reflecting upon God. This is about the easiest thing in the world to do. God is everywhere manifested: in all nature, in all people, in all the shapes, forms, colors, textures. God exists in every moment of your experience. Or just look into the depths of your own self: There he is! Reflect upon him/her/it. Use the fact of the divine and immediate reality of God to lift you into the kind of grand, passive contemplation that is, after all, one of richest, sweetest experiences life has to offer.

Being humble before God. You don’t know jack crap about life—and you’ll be dead before you know it. Be with that truth for a while. Appreciate it. Let it grow within you. Let it overwhelm you. Let it drop you to your knees.

Trusting God. In those three simple words lie the key to best, richest, most rewarding life possible. It’s hard to elaborate on so perfect a phrase. Trust in God. Do it. Every once in a while—especially if it’s been a while—stop whatever you’re doing, and hold in your mind and heart the fact that the entirely of everything you ever worry about is in the hands of God, and that everything about you and your world is orchestrated by God so that ultimately you will know the peace and joy of His/Her/Its abiding presence. It has never been any different, and never will be: God loves you, and is worthy of your trust. Stop, sometimes, to relax into that amazing truth, and to rejoice around it. (Note: the more abstract your notion of God/The Divine/The Big Truth, the more difficult it will be for you to do this one.)

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://etaya.wordpress.com etaya

    Very nice John. I am glad that you made clear your stance on God. I hope that all who read this post are reminded just how easy it really is to have a relationship with Him. It doesn't require anything more than taking the time to be with Him. Your comments on trusting Him also are very important. I know that in my life, it seems that a lot is going wrong right now, but the more I let Him carry those burdens and rejoice in the many blessings that He has given to me, I am a much more peaceful and loving person in thought, word, and deed.

    Thanks again for your great writings. I look forward to reading more. God bless you.

  • http://jem-musings.blogspot.com/ Jeannie

    Very simple, yet profound. A great way to get my mindset right this morning. Thanks, John.

  • http://mymenandme.wordpress.com Janelle

    So true and beautifully worded, John. I have come to wonder if being humbled actually might be essential to survival, that this is where the dilemma you speak of makes it's peace. Many people, Christian and other, have described the life-changing experience of illness or some other devastation which first humbled, and then saved them.

  • http://rbjennings.wordpress.com rbjennings

    This is excellent! We blog very similarly. I agree that relationship with what I call The Holy or The Sacred (for me it is Jesus) is our purpose in life and that living outside that relationship we die spiritually and psychically. “God is never NOT talking to you”. I love this. He/she is always there, always reaching out; we just need to be conscious of that fact. Be aware. Thank you for your insights. Very valuable information. I’ve devised a three-step growth process that I use to maintain my Conscious Christianity called Sounding the Soul. If you’re interested please visit http://rbjennings.wordpress.com. In the words of CA’s gov: I’ll be back! Blessings upon you.

    RBJ

  • http://ramblingsofaspiritualidiot.wordpress.com ~Julia~

    Very nice, John. :)

  • Stephanie

    Amen John. Nicely and Simply stated.

    If we could constantly remember this line……

    "You don’t know jack crap, and will be dead before you know it. Be with that for a while. Appreciate it. Let it grow within you. Let it overwhelm you. Let it drop you to your knees."

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    To the actual point of the post … well done.

    I think that a lot of people forget about listening to God. I saw a short film once called "Coffee With Jesus," in which a guy is meeting with Jesus. The moment they sit down, the guy starts rattling off his requests, his ideas, what's going on, etc.. Jesus keeps trying to get a word in, but the guy just talks over him.

    I wonder how often that's me.

    Not counting the fact that I don't like coffee, that is.

    Great post.

  • Richard Lubbers

    Thank you, John, for a well-written blog.

    Driving through the Dallas area a few weeks ago, I saw a billboard that asked, "Want More of God?" Of course it was an advertise ment attempting to draw people to a church where they could get more of God (and the church could get more of their money). I was repulsed! I was repilsed because getting more of God is isn't done through a place or another person; it is through the very personal relationship between God and every individual that desires that relationship.

    I read most of your blogs, John, and love the tongue-in-cheek writings. But when you're simple like this, it is also very "Right On!"

    Keep tickling our funny bones, and touching our hearts. Bro!

  • Acirfa

    Thank you for such an inspiring article, I feel the hunger deep within to deepen my relationship with God daily.

  • Jill

    I’m going to try this as a prayer tonight.

  • Maria Seager via Facebook

    Great. Of course sometimes when I know that there are people like Representative Aiken and Ryan “listening” to God and the message that they get is filled with ugly, it makes me wonder and question. I know that I shouldn’t base my relationship with God on the actions of others, but they do make it difficult.

  • Scott H

    John, i love your posts and comments and on the whole completely agree with this one. However, not all Christians believe in the concept of the Trinity. Some just know God as God.

  • http://comingintothesoul.wordpress.com/ HJ

    John or anyone else –

    Could you please define ‘God’ for me. These ideas sound so lovely and enlightening. But with the constantly evolving, somewhat fleeting definition of ‘God’ that I personally have, it all sounds a bit wishy-washy and utopian.

    “Note: the more abstract your notion of God/The Divine/The Big Truth, the more difficult it will be for you to do this one.” — Yes. This. Exactly. Not just that one, but all of it, with the exception of: “You don’t know jack crap, and will be dead before you know it. Be with that for a while. Appreciate it. Let it grow within you. Let it overwhelm you. Let it drop you to your knees.”

    That is the only part I fully grasp and am there with you on.

    • Jill

      HJ, for my part I don’t have a clearly defined God figure in mind, but that is because I have cult connections to the Big Him with Grey Beard. I cannot give any guidance for a traditional, scripture god anymore.

      I can however say that God is as close to you as you need s/he/it to be. I’d say there may not be one clear definition, as there is not one clear type of person looking at God. My thought, if God was meant to be single-faceted and we are made from that image (which I believe we are), then there would be only one variety of human seeing life through the same vantage point. I see God as being all things to many individuals. Your relationship with the Divine will have to ultimately be your own.

      But I’m not an absolute truth thinker (anymore), so I can only share my personal experience with the divine. Hope that is helpful. :)

      • http://comingintothesoul.wordpress.com/ HJ

        Thank you for your response. It is nice to hear. I guess I know there is no ‘one size fits all’ God definition. I was just curious how others were interpreting it. I almost like the term the divine, or Spirit better (for now anyway). I still can’t disassociate ‘God’ with my childhood version of him/her/it, and thus, things are still a bit murky. Thanks again. :)

        • Jill

          You’re definitely not alone in that struggle, if it helps to know that!

    • Danielle

      I get what you’re saying, and I think the person who responded that God is as varied as there are people is similar to what I think. I like to think about questions like this the way the Buddhist tradition prescribes, so I don’t get too bogged down to grow spiritually. The Buddhist tradition says, in a nutshell, that some questions, like these, are infinitely complex. And we should grapple with them, but we should know, going in, that they are nearly unanswerable. I think sometimes people (myself included) look for answers for everything, but that’s not always wise, because we feel we can’t move forward without an answer. Really the question itself is just as much, if not more the lesson and the point. I hope that makes sense.

  • Jill Hileman via Facebook

    so far so good

  • http://www.facebook.com/sethdrury777 Seth Drury via Facebook

    Preach!!! Such truth!

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.pyles.12 Randy Pyles via Facebook

    Thanks John for reposting this. So simple & easy, I often make it so doggone difficult. Really needed to read this tonight.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X