How to Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship

January 11, 2018

What is the most important relationship in your life? If it is God, do you want to learn how to quit wishing for a closer connection and get one?
Photo by Ben Waardenburg on Unsplash

What is the most important relationship in your life? If it is God, do you want to learn how to quit wishing for a stronger connection and get one? As Christians, our heart’s desire is to draw closer to him every day, but we find when we look back many times we have hit a plateau where we have quit growing.

But before you get all down on yourself or praising yourself for where you are – remember growing closer to God and becoming more Christ-like is a lifetime process. Our ultimate goal will not happen overnight. We must take steps to make this happen. Otherwise, it is just a wish that most likely won’t come true.

Last week we talked about, The Best Way to Secure Goal Success” by making sure you don’t skip the ten steps. Click here to read. As I stated all goals are good but starting with a Spiritual goal is paramount in the life of a Christian.

How Not to Fail at the Most Significant Goal

So how are we going to make sure we do not fail at the most crucial goal of our life? The answer is pretty apparent – we must come up with a plan and take steps to ensure our success. After all, how many of you have wished you read more books, lost weight, traveled more and yet each year things remain the same?Why? Is it because you did nothing to move in the direction of your goal? We must plan for it.

So to begin, we must start with two questions.

  • Is God your most important relationship?
  • Do you want to grow closer to God and become more Christ-like?

Personally, I find my closeness with God can be a little challenging to decipher. I need some tools. When we base our growth and intimacy with God solely on our feelings, the measure can be inadequate. For me when walking through deep waters, I am tight with God. We are inseparable. When I have to depend on him for my every move, I have no doubt we are growing close. I feel in step with him.

But then as things improve I sometimes question, Am I close to God? Have I quit growing in my walk to become more Christ-like? Those are the times when I must switch from feeling to knowing. After all, feelings are not facts.

So if God is your most important relationship and you want to grow in your faith, let’s proceed with making the most important goal you could make for 2018 – A Spiritual Goal. It is a two-step process starting with taking an inventory and moving to set the target.

Step 1 – Take a Spiritual Inventory

Did You Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship?

How can you know where you are headed if you haven’t a clue where you have been? A spiritual inventory can be a great tool, but it will take time and require some pondering and listening to God’s voice.

Join me in looking back a year ago – are you closer to God, the same, or further away? As we know in all relationships most likely, they are either growing closer or further apart. Can we expect anything different from God?

As you rate yourself be honest, don’t just look at today but the entire year. Do keep in mind a low score does not mean you have failed in this area. Take prayer for example; if I have given myself a two, it doesn’t indicate I don’t pray enough or I don’t do it right, it just means over the last year it didn’t change or grow. Maybe it is good just the way it is, or maybe God might want to change it this year.

Step Two: Set a Spiritual Goal with Planned Steps

How to Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship

Take time to contemplate with God what his will is for your life is in 2018. Remember, God does not usually work on our schedule, and we are searching for what he wants –  not our desires but his dreams and plans. Leave room for God to change them; spiritual goals are not set in stone.

James, the apostle, teaches us in James 4:13-17 quite a few nuggets of wisdom.

  • It is good to have goals however God must be at the center of them. We must hold them loosely and leave room for God to change them. We have no idea what the future holds.
  • Waiting for the perfect time is not a smart way to grow closer to God. We must begin making steps in the right direction; our time is not guaranteed here on earth.
  • James also points out when we know what we should do and don’t do it – that is the same as sin.

What about When We Can’t Hear God?

Sometimes it is hard to know precisely what God wants from us or for us. We are listening, but it is not clear. Well, I believe he would rather see us pursuing a spiritual goal that might need adjusting rather than doing nothing at all.

If you find yourself struggling to determine what a goal might be here are a few ideas: Being still with God, enhancing your relationship with him, learning more about him, showing Christ’s love to others, fellowship, knowing his word better and many more things.

What is the most important relationship in your life? If it is God, do you want to learn how to quit wishing for a closer connection and get one?
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

God’s Vision

As we see in Habakkuk 2:1-4 we must live by God’s vision not our own. It is so important to have ” God Goals.’ not “My Goals.” Choosing the spiritual goal God wants for us will take time and space.  We must quiet ourselves to hear what God wants for us.

Remember setting small spiritual goals each year is a way to move in the direction of becoming more Christ-like and to draw near to him. Go back to last weeks post, “The Best Way to Secure Goal Success” and make sure you apply the ten steps to your spiritual goal.

Together let’s get to the end of 2018 and say with confidence “Yes, our most important relationship grew closer!” Please join me in “Embracing a Spiritual Goal for 2018.” I am right there with you. My heart’s desire is to draw closer to him and become more Christ-like in 2018.

Have you determined your goal yet?  If so, please let me know in the comments, and I will lift you up in prayer.  I have to admit I am still working it out with God.  What I hear him saying seems so out of character for me, but then again he is God, not me.


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23 Comments

  1. Reply

    Joy

    Hi Maree! What wisdom you share as you encourage us to pursue God with all our hearts while knowing the process takes all of our lives to complete. Making Him our goal is key!

  2. Reply

    Donna Reidland

    Great suggestions! I know I definitely need tools and a plan or I just drift. But I totally agree that we must hold our goals and plans loosely. We can’t put God in a box (I know because I’ve tried with this prayer notebook and that plan). Thanks for sharing and saying so much in so few words!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Donna, I am right there with you. I so often get carried away trying to put God in a box. In fact the goal he gave me this year I am struggling with understanding. Maree

  3. Reply

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  4. Reply

    Char G.

    I am setting a goal to journal through my bible study this year and to keep a daily record of where/how I see God in each day. Imagine at the end of the year……! Thanks for the encouragement to set it in stone Maree!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Char, Your goal sounds terrific. I hope I have the opportunity to hear how it goes. I can only imagine what a beautiful masterpiece you will have at the end of the year. Praying for your success! Blessings, Maree

  5. Reply

    Liz Giertz

    WOW! You covered a lot of ground here! God goals aren’t always our goals, for sure! It is so important to honestly asses where you’ve been to decide how to get where you want to go! Blessings as you grow ever closer to God!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Liz, Thank you! Blessings to you too. Maree

  6. Reply

    Alyson | WriteThemOnMyHeart

    Loved this! Especially the part about holding our goals loosely to leave room for God to change them. Thank you for the wisdom, Maree Dee!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Alyson, Yes, it is so important to be open to allowing God to change our goals as life happens. Thank you for stopping by and adding your words. Blessings, Maree

  7. Reply

    Anna Smit

    Thank you for this encouragement in the LORD. I have been praying through my goals for 2018. Last year God gave me the One Word “delight” and I saw Him take me deeper into Him as He grew my “delight” in His Word through very hard situations. This year, I’ve been praying through the Word “joy” and His calling to enter into the joy of His Presence by accepting and living in the truth of His Word to us. I’m already seeing Him draw me closer through the steps He’s encouraging me to take (e.g. praying through a different Promise from His Word each week). I am excited to see what 2018 will hold.

    I’m learning that I have patches throughout each year, where I don’t draw close to God – but even through these patches the Lord is growing my heart as He is revealing more of the hindrances I have allowed into my life – giving me the opportunity to repent and turn away from them.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Anna, I am so glad you stopped by and shared. Your insight and ideas have helped me as I ponder my word for the year. I love the idea of praying through a different promise from his word each week. Hope your day is fabulous! Maree

  8. Reply

    Melissa

    I loved your combination of inspirational and yet practical, to get us beyond just praying for a better relationship with God. Often more actionable steps are necessary.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Melissa, Thank you for your encouragement, what a great way to start my day as I write out my steps to draw me closer. Yes, I agree prayer will help, but we have to do our part too. Blessings to you, Maree

  9. Reply

    messymarriage

    Very practical and inspirational, Maree Dee! I’ll be sharing!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      You made my night with your encouraging comment. Thank you for sharing! Maree

  10. Reply

    mbethany

    “God-goals.” That’s a wonderful phrase. Thank you for the wisdom shared here today!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I am so glad you liked the “God-goals.” Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Maree

  11. Reply

    Amy Jung

    Well–it is good I read this. I took a spiritual inventory and set some spiritual goals. I often figure the plans in for all of my goals, but not my spiritual ones. I think I expect God will make it happen as He often does. I do think we are called to cooperate with Him, though. And it seems reasonable to have some plans on our side for how we’re going to engage in what we believe He’s looking for in our lives. So–I’m going back to my journal for this! Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Amy, I am so glad you set some spiritual goal. Honestly, I am still working on mine. I am struggling with putting into words what I think God has put on my heart. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. Hope you have a fabulous day. Maree

  12. Reply

    Karen

    I agree. Most believers want a closer relationship with the Lord, but nothing will ever change unless we actually to do ‘something.’ It’s amazing how God will shift and adjust our direction once we actually get moving. Thanks!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Karen, You are so right, it is amazing how everything changes once we get moving in the right direction. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the conversation. Maree

  13. Reply

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