I've noticed that over the past, I've received quite a bit of emails from other people asking me how to develop an "intimate" relationship with God. This is a great question, and I decided to give it some feedback! By any means, this isn't me telling you I'm 100% perfect in my walk with the Lord. I'm learning new things about Him every day, so these are just a suggestions based on the things that have helped me grow closer with Him over the past couple of years.
1) Make quiet time with Him every day a priority, not an option.
This has been huge for me! I've realized more and more over the past that God is a God that is truly like a Father to us. He wants nothing more than to spend time with His children every day, so that we can know and understand His love for us more. If we don't take spending time with Him every day seriously, then it's going to make it pretty hard for us to get to know Him intimately. I set aside time every morning to read a chapter in my Bible (right now I'm reading through the New Testament). I usually pray right before I read that God would speak to me and teach me something new through whatever I'm reading. That helps a lot.
2) Journal to the Lord.
Journaling to the Lord really is really therapeutic and really helps me pour out my heart to Him. The Lord says in His word to "Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8) When I think of pouring out my heart, I think of releasing every emotion, concern, worry, doubt, and fear up to God. I try to do that when I journal, to remind myself that the Lord cares about every detail of my life (Psalm 37:23), and wants us to cast all of our cares and anxiety to Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
3) Talk to God throughout the day, through prayer.
It's probably the coolest thing ever that we can have constant communication with God through prayer. I try to make an effort to thank Jesus periodically throughout the day for the little things, whether that be a sunny day or running into a friend that I haven't seen in awhile. This helps me to remember how precious my relationship with Jesus is: I can talk to Him all the time! Whenever I'm in a stressful situation, it's so reassuring to whisper those sweet words: "Jesus, help me!" God is always right there, waiting to listen and respond to our prayers in different ways.
4) Listen to music that glorifies God.
No, I'm not saying to eliminate all other forms of music besides Christian (I like some country music and what not!), but I have noticed throughout the years that the closer I grow to God, the more and more Christian music I crave. Thats right, crave! It's so much more fulfilling to listen to Christian music, because the lyrics are always so right on cue with whatever our hearts are crying out to the Lord for. Some of my favorite Christian artists are Toby Mac, Britt Nicole, Big Daddy Weave, Phil Whickham, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jamie Grace, Tenth Avenue North, and more. I also love to put on my "Christian Rap" pandora station when I'm at the gym, because that station gets me pumped up!
Hmmm. That's about all I have for now. I may have some more to add later. Pleeeeaase friends, add to this list and share things that help you make your relationship with God more intimate and personal! I would love to hear some suggestions :)
I love you all!