Imagine having the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. Imagine being able to communicate with God about anything that was on your heart and mind during any given day. Imagine seeing God’s love and goodness surround you in everyday life. This reality is truth and can be experienced by anyone who chooses to experience it. When I was 5 years old, I went into my mom’s room and asked her to teach me about Jesus and how I could have Him as my Father. She sat me down and listened to me ask Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. From that moment on, God’s hand was so clearly in my life. Since then, I have taken steps to deepen my relationship with God; steps that are so simple that anyone can take them. These steps have grown my passion for pursuit of the Holy Spirit’s essence in my life. The five steps to deepening your relationship with God are: praying, daily quiet time with God, worshiping, being a part of a community of fellow Christians, and choosing a topic from the Bible that inspires you and studying it.
A relationship starts from a simple mode of communication between two individuals. This is the same when establishing a relationship with God. Prayer is the number one way a person communicates with God. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and to pray in all seasons. The more I pray, the more I develop the reward of hearing God communicate back to me. God speaks to me in prayer, worship, through my writing, through other people, and through my dreams. He has multiple different avenues for communicating with His children. Those are just the ways He communicates with me. Praying to Jesus is so powerful because your focus comes away from the world around you and solely into His presence. I’ve noticed when I pray myself to sleep sometimes, my language becomes different. It isn’t English I am speaking. It’s something Heavenly. I comprehend that it is not English, but I still understand what I am saying to God while I pray myself to sleep. It is so intimate and brings me much peace. This experience is what most people call speaking in tongues. I personally cannot trigger it on demand. I only experience it when I am at my most vulnerable and most peaceful before sleep. Praying for me is such an intimate experience with Jesus that I feel I can share everything on my heart. When praying in public, I tend to lose focus on what I am saying because I get so concerned about what other people need to hear, rather than what the Holy Spirit is speaking through me. This has been a challenge for me and thankfully with time, I have learned to just rest in His presence and not worry about how my prayers sound to others. Christians pray differently and uniquely to their own spiritual journey, but what we have in common is we are all speaking to the same God. Prayer grows us in our spiritual life and deepens our roots within Christ. God reveals the unthinkable through prayer. He has revealed truths that were not told to me by anyone else, that later, I found out were happening and I was unaware of it. God has revealed to me which diseases I have had before the doctor gave me the diagnosis. Lastly, through prayer, He has begun to heal my physical illnesses. Prayer is a powerful tool in defeating the darkness of this world, and in overcoming the challenges we face.
Daily Quiet Time
One of the most cherished routines of my day includes the daily quiet time I set aside for God. I used to be inconsistent with this routine, and when I missed days, my life would feel out of balance. My mind would be more prone to shifting towards negativity. So, I made a commitment the past few years and have incorporated daily devotional time in my morning while I sip my hot lemon tea before breakfast. I feel starting off my day with a time of peace and eternal perspective focus, has improved my life and grown my spirituality to new horizons. This daily habit will help bring peace to your day and grow you closer to knowing and experiencing the goodness of God.
One of my favorite things to do as a human is listen to music. I love hearing beautiful melodies strung together to form a masterpiece of inspiring words and sounds. What helps me gain peace in moments of anxiety, sadness, or any other negative emotion, is listening to worship music. Now, I used to think all worship music sounded the same, and I was easily bored and ready to move on to something different. This is definitely not the case with Hillsong United and Bethel music. These are my two favorite worship bands that truly inspire me to feel His Holy presence around me anywhere. I love the feeling I get when my heart is pouring out to God in the moments of the beautiful music. I feel connected and held by Him. Listening to worship music has truly changed my heavenly perspective on things and has grown my spiritual walk with God. I am able to set aside myself, my worries, my problems and just focus on the beauty, the greatness, and the goodness of my beautiful creator. It’s a rewarding experience.
Community in Christ
One of the roadblocks to having chronic illnesses and being on treatment is not being able to make it to most outside events, including church, Bible studies, etc. This element of illness is an attack by the enemy to prevent us from experiencing the love and goodness God has to offer us through His other children. Because I have been on and off treatment the past few years, I have had to learn to step outside the pain and illness and get myself to the places of fellowship. Now, there are still moments when I am unable to get myself there due to debilitating migraines or stomach problems, but when I do make it to the place where everyone gathers, it truly is a healing experience for me. There is a reason Satan uses illness as a roadblock for many people so as to prevent them from experiencing joy and fellowship. When we isolate ourselves, we are inhibiting our growth not only believers, but also as individuals. I isolated myself at the beginning when I hit rock bottom, but when I figured out that being around other Christians gave me strength and joy, I wanted more of it. The more I get myself to places where this fellowship occurs, the more God heals me. It is such a physical, and mental battle to push myself to make it at events, but afterwards, it is worth it. Being in a community of Christ brings love, joy and peace that being isolated can never give you. God wants us to experience His fullness and His love in any way possible, and enveloping yourself in a community of Christ is one of the best ways to do so. It not only grows your relationship with God, but it also grows your relationships with others.
During my quiet time with God, I incorporate a book that has to do with healing. I came across Randy Clark and Bill Johnson’s healing ministries through this process of research on Healing in the Bible. The very first book I read on healing by them blew me away. I was automatically transformed in my beliefs of healing and the Bible. This has been the most rewarding to my spiritual walk because I have learned more about God through these two pastors. I switched churches in 2015 to a smaller church, because I saw a radical difference in my elementary school friends and how they lived their lives for God. I wanted that passion and fire they had, and so I joined Summit Church in San Marcos, California. From the moment I joined the church, I felt the presence of God hit me and cover me in such a comforting and powerful way. The church has helped me grow in my spiritual walk and my beliefs. Coming from a Baptist school, there wasn’t much emphasis on the Holy Spirit and how He is with us through our lives. The more I learned about the Bible and about the will of God for my life, the more I needed. At the same time that I joined this church, I was led to the healing books written by Randy Clark and Bill Johnson. The things I was experiencing in Summit was being explained through these books and everything connected on a deeper level for me. The moment God brought me to both these events, I began to heal inside and out. Truths about my family were coming out. Truths about my breakup, about myself, about my spirituality were all arising, and I was becoming enlightened with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit and how He heals lives. I’ve since continued my study on the healing ministry of Jesus and have been overwhelmed with the knowledge that surpasses my human brain. So, with that said, find a topic you’re passionate about and pursue studying and researching it. Eventually, God will place you to be living in it. It’s a beautiful way to connect with God and learn more about your spiritual gifts that He has given you.
These five tools will help you to not only grow in your walk with God, but also to bring healing to all areas of your life. These tools will expose the brokenness in your life and help strengthen your trust that God is mending them. We are all spiritual beings, living here temporarily on this planet. The most precious gift you can have is your relationship with your Creator. Don’t neglect this truth. I neglected my spiritual walk and I hit rock bottom. Learn from my mistakes, and develop your own spiritual relationship with God– one that will inspire and impact other’s lives as well. We are the taste of His heavenly kingdom on this earth. Once we are removed, only darkness will be seen and felt. So, use your time wisely while you are alive. Use this time to develop a relationship with your Creator and Father in Heaven. He loves you more than anything.