Pursuing the Lord is hardly ever easy. It’s most times uncomfortable and inconvenient but He never promised that it’d be easy, He just promised that it’d be worth it.
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” / Matthew 24:13
GotQuestions says it perfectly: “Through the Holy Spirit, believers receive encouragement, strength to persevere, and reminders of their adoption into the family of God. We know that our “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed” (Romans 8:18).”
So, I’m going to give 10 practical steps to strengthen your relationship with the Lord.
1. Listen to worship music.
I made this one number one because it’s huge for me. I love worship music so. freaking. much. It helps me more than anything to be able to participate in the presence of the Lord. Worship music helps me feel connected with the Spirit on a new level. I’m so passionate about worship music and firmly believe that every believer should listen to it! I have a worship playlist that you can listen to here.
2. Pray the second you wake up.
When I wake up, I love to say “Thank You Lord for another day! I will rejoice and be glad in it.” and it shifts my entire morning. There was a time in my life where I listened to one worship song before I got out of bed and I cannot even tell you how huge of a difference it made in my day! I need to start doing it again because I felt so connected with the Lord when I did that. Or read a chapter (or simply even a verse) of the Bible before you get out of bed! Here’s my challenge to you: do this every day for a week straight and see how huge of a difference it makes. I promise you that you’ll feel so much closer to the Lord!
3. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
We are called into community. We absolutely cannot walk in our relationship with the Lord alone; it’s crucial as followers of Christ to be surrounded by other believers and be constantly edifying one another and holding one another accountable. This is more than church on Sunday. This is frequent and consistent time with other believers who are exhorting you.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” / Hebrews 10:25
4. Be active in His presence DAILY.
You are never outside of God’s presence. He is pursuing you with everything and He’s expecting you to do the same with Him. His desire is to fill you; if you’re not letting Him, you will feel dry and distant from Him. When you intentionally step into God’s presence, there’s no way you’re going to leave that presence behind.
The one thing the enemy wants to take in the midst of the attack is your praise; if you lose your praise, you lose the battle.
Dig into the Word daily.
We don’t read the Word of God so that we can know the Word of God, we read the Word of God so we can know the God of the Word.
Being in communication with Him is one of the most crucial aspects of your relationship with Him; if there’s a lack of communication, you will begin to feel distant from Him. Nothing is greater than to have the opportunity to be in direct communication with the King of the universe; take full advantage of that.
Don’t let yourself go a day without doing these things. If you don’t have enough time in your day to invest into the King of the universe, you need to begin prioritizing. He is the most worthy of our time and remember: He created time so not having enough time in the day to invest in Him is no excuse.
5. Treat others well.
I don’t know about you, but when I uplift others and love them with a Christ-like love, I feel divinely connected to the Lord. He sees our love for one another and rewards it. The Lord’s greatest command to us is to love our neighbor as ourselves. In the midst of the most agonizing pain from the betrayal of Judas, Jesus still said “I’m your friend.” If Jesus loved people through their brokenness and imperfections, we can too.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” / John 15:12-13
If you don’t already journal, do it. Journaling is so important because if we don’t write down what the Lord speaks, it’s much easier to forget it. And if you’re like me, sometimes words flow much more smoothly when they’re written down rather than spoken out loud! Plus, you’re able to use your creativity (even if you don’t feel like you have any).
7. Be quick to say “yes” to Him.
A lot of times during the day, God will ask us to do small things such as smile at a stranger or pay it forward at Starbucks. These small yes’s are crucial to the Lord. He doesn’t ask anything more of us than our obedience and sometimes it’s such simple obedience that we tend to complicate.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” / Luke 16:10
8. Bring your struggles into the light.
What you keep in the darkness stays in the darkness. Nothing’s going to change in your relationship with the Lord if you don’t expose what’s in the dark and let Him free you. When we try to face our battles alone, our relationship with the Lord becomes strained. He has called us to walk with others. He has placed people in your life to pray for you, to encourage you, and to hold you accountable. God sees all, so rather than trying to hide something in the dark, expose it and allow Him to free you from it.
9. Be thankful.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m thankful to the Lord for the small things as much as I am the big, His joy is so evident upon my life and I feel divinely connected with Him. If we’re constantly complaining and seeing the pessimistic side of things, our relationship with the Lord will naturally become strained. Before I come to the Lord in prayer for my requests, I always thank Him for who He is first. Being thankful to the Lord will strengthen your relationship with Him in ways you didn’t even know were possible.
10. Memorize scripture.
Memorizing scripture is so crucial in our walk with the Lord because there will be times where you need to be quickly reminded of scripture, especially when going through hardships. Being able to tackle a lie that the enemy places in our minds with scripture makes such a beautiful difference in our walk with the Lord! When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He combated him with scripture that He memorized. We should do this too!
Ultimately, when you draw near to Him, He draws near to you. Be active, be consistent, and be intentional. As Kari Jobe says “The more I seek you, the more I find you / the more I find you, the more I love you.” Seek Him more and more and you’ll find Him more and more. Remember: all relationships require two-sided effort; the one with the Lord is no different.