The connection we share with our maker and ultimate reason for being is unrivaled in magnitude. But we still have our ups and downs, like any other vulnerable relationship. We experience a profound sense of God’s closeness on certain days, knowing He is always by our side. Sometimes it seems that God is far away or doesn’t care about the problems we face regularly.
How To Deepen Our Relationship With God
But a relationship with God can carry us through tough times and help us find peace amid adversity and being vulnerable. The question then becomes, how should we go about maturing our faith in God? Here are some quick suggestions:
Learn about the Creator by reading the Bible.
Surely we are familiar with this one by now. There is no greater way to come to know God than by reading the Bible, for that is how God communicates with us. To echo the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
Try breaking up your normal Bible reading pattern, even if you aren’t currently experiencing a dry spell in your devotional reading of the Word of God. Instead of reading a brief portion each day, devote some time to reading through longer chunks of a book to understand the whole story better.
Or, if you’re used to digesting massive parts at once, you might want to take it slow with a few verses. Grab commentaries, consult reference books, or switch up your study schedule. Also, don’t neglect to discuss any new insights or discoveries you’ve found with the other people, and be sure to ask them what they have been studying.
Make time with God by praying regularly.
We must devote time to communicating with God and hearing what he says, just like in any other relationship.
However, there are occasions when we are at a loss for words on what to say. Do you take the time to express your gratitude to God? Do you acknowledge your wrongdoings to the Lord? Do you pray for the needs that you have? Do you ever just stop what you’re doing and tell God how incredible He is?
We always have the option of praying through the psalms whenever we find ourselves in a stage of life in which we are unsure how to pray. The psalms address the full breadth of human existence and emotion, and they show us how to get closer to God regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in by providing a model for doing so. We can pray to God just like the psalmist did, secure that He hears our supplications and will respond with love (Psalm 17:6-7).
Display your devotion to God by following his commands.
Just before His crucifixion, Jesus imparted the following wisdom to His disciples: “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).
In terms of complexity, that’s about as low as it goes. If we love God, we will obey what He commands. The Bible provides guidelines for how we should deal with our parents (Ephesians 6:1-2) and those with whom we have differences of opinion (Romans 14:1-21). It serves as a reminder to seek out what is good (Philippians 4:8-9), to be humble and compassionate, and to follow the teachings of the Bible (Colossians 3:12).
Even if there are times when obeying a command causes temporary inconvenience or discomfort, we are aware that doing so is ultimately for the best. These are the commandments that God has given us out of his love for us, to guard us and to bring us closer to him.
Serve others as a demonstration of God’s love.
Since God loves us, we are obligated to love those around us in the same way, even when doing so is difficult or when the people in our lives make it challenging for us to do so (1 John 4:19).
However, it doesn’t need to be difficult. We can provide hot chocolate. Or, be liberal with our use of both our time and our resources. We can find a way to help at church. And if nothing else, we can at least pray for one another, particularly for those people with whom we have a difficult time getting along.
Caring for those in our daily life can teach us how to love those around us more effectively. Let us make an effort, even if we don’t always feel like we have the motivation to do so. And as a result of this, we will get closer to the heart of God if we make an effort to live according to the priorities that He has set.
Appreciate the gifts He has bestowed upon us and lead a life of gratitude.
Finally, let us just take time to appreciate God and all the blessings He has given us. Do you see a blue sky? Our gracious God is responsible for its presence there. Have you felt the sun’s rays or the breeze’s chill? They were given to us by our Father. Have you got all of your fingers and toes? What a wonderful reason to be thankful.
And of all the blessings bestowed upon us, God’s presence is unquestionably the greatest gift. He has given up a great deal, all to maintain a relationship with us. What more lovely thing could there be than that? Let our response be one of happiness.
Vulnerability Is Not Weakness
Your ability to feel vulnerable is not a flaw. Vulnerability is a virtue. God can take your weaknesses into spiritual strength, emotional health, appealing relationships, and leadership potential. This is how.
First, admitting your shortcomings to others is spiritually energizing because it allows you to receive God’s mercy: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NLT). Grace gives you the power to change your bad habits and wrong doings.
Being vulnerable can also restore emotional health. As James 5:16 says, “admit your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” To receive God’s forgiveness without additional conditions, you need not confess your fault to another human being. But to get better, you need to open up about your vulnerabilities because of how God designed you. Admitting how you feel is the first step toward recovery.
Finally, being vulnerable is a relationship plus. As it is said in the Bible, “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2 NIV). The author, James, included himself in that generalization. It’s easier to connect with someone when they admit they make mistakes, too. No one wishes to be friends with or engaged to a narcissist. People are more likely to connect with you if you show become vulnerable by admitting your flaws and perhaps even laughing at yourself.
Being vulnerable does more than merely strengthen your spiritual life, speed up your recovery, and increase your attractiveness. It is also a prerequisite for leadership. You’re not a leader; you’re simply a boss if you can’t admit when you need help. “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13 NLT).
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