3 Things You Need to Change Right Now if Want a Close Relationship with God

Here are 3 things to change if you are serious about building a relationship with God.

You want to spend time with God. You know that you should and you want to, but you feel like there’s nothing that you can do to make it work. You’ve tried all of these things and changed a bunch of stuff over the years but you still feel that there’s nothing that you can do to make it work. 

Well, the truth is that you probably have some unrealistic expectations, and I am going to talk about the top three that I have seen in myself and also within our community so that you can finally get over this obstacle and have that close relationship with God that you want. 

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Sometimes expectations are the Achilles heel of almost every relationship that you could ever possibly have. For example, it would be unrealistic for me to look at my one-year-old who is crying because he’s hungry and say to him, “Why don’t you just get up and feed yourself?” 

It’s unrealistic to think a one-year-old could make a shopping list, go to the store, buy the ingredients, come home, prepare the meal, fix his plate, sit down and eat right. I know that’s kind of silly, but that’s the point. We often have unrealistic expectations when it comes to ourselves, when it comes to God, and specifically when it comes to our time with God. 

Unrealistic Expectation #1: I Should Feel Closer to God

Number one is the expectation that you should feel closer to God by now. You have been saved for two hours and 15 minutes and should feel close already. Or You’ve been walking with God your whole life and should feel closer to God than you do right now. 

Here’s the thing, there’s a little bit of truth to that. If you’ve known God for a long time it makes sense that you should feel close to him. That’s how relationships work. The more that you know somebody and the more time that you spend with them, that deepens your relationship. 

But it’s not always that point A goes straight to point B when it comes to your faith and relationship with God. If you are brand new to your faith and don’t feel close to God, it’s probably that you don’t know him very well yet. 

If I walk up to somebody at the grocery store and say hi, I am not going to feel close to that person. I don’t know them. I haven’t done life with them. I don’t know their story. They don’t know mine. You might have this unrealistic expectation that there’s some magic switch that makes you suddenly feel super close to God. 

When that doesn’t happen you feel disappointed, frustrated, and sometimes give up altogether. If you are in a place where you don’t feel as close to God as you think you should, there is a strong possibility that you have placed unrealistic expectations on yourself or God. 

If you don’t feel as close to God as you think you should, you can do something about that. You can spend more time with God. I don’t mean to make your daily time longer unless you’re in a place where that’s possible or you feel like God is calling you to that. Simply spend more time with God. 

If you’re not, you won’t feel close to him. If you’ve been spending five minutes a day with God and still don’t feel very close to God, maybe you need to spend 10 minutes. Perhaps is time to go deeper into something that you’re already doing. 

If you’ve just been reading scripture, can you study scripture? If you’ve been studying it, can you switch up what you’re studying? Maybe it’s time to learn a new method of studying or memorizing scripture. Are there things that you can change that are going to help you take steps closer to that relationship that you have in your mind? 

I know we all have this ideal in our head of what a relationship with God should be like, and we’re trying to get there. Truth be told, you’re not going to get there, not on this side of heaven. I don’t know if that’s possible. I mean, we’re going to get to heaven and walk the streets with him and be with him and worship him and see him and all these things. That’s what we want. 

You’re made to crave that To want to worship and be with your creator. You can make progress and head in that direction. But the goal is not to arrive at whatever it is that you’ve put in your head here on earth. If you can reframe that thought to, “I’m not as close to God as I think I should be or as I want to be, but I’m going to keep making progress.” you’ll feel better. 

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Unrealistic Expectation #2: I Should Be Doing More

The other thing that I hear is, that you spend time with God every single day, but still feel like you’re not doing enough. You pray five hours a day, read God’s word, and memorize all the books of the Bible, but it’s just not enough. 

Remember that your works are not what gets you saved. Don’t slip into legalism thinking that if you do this, this, and this then you’ll get a specific outcome. God doesn’t work like that. If you are going to God with a pure heart with a desire to know him and be with him you’ll start to feel closer. 

Ask God to show you his plan and will for your life. How can you serve him? How can you tell more people about him? That’s enough. He’s asking for your heart. For you to be there, want to be with him, and to share with him and to listen to him. 

Stop telling yourself that what you’re doing is not enough. Unless you’re doing nothing, you’re probably not doing as bad as you think. It’s not always that you need to do something else. That can sometimes be the enemy trying to trick you into this performance-based gospel of needing to do more. 

What’s going to happen if you start trying to do more and add more to your checklist? You’re either going to slip into legalism or you’re going to burn out. You’re going to be so burnt out that you’re not going to spend any time with God because you have run yourself into the ground. 

That’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants you to be so burnt out that you’re like, you know what? I just can’t. I can’t go to church. I can’t serve. I can’t pray. I can’t read. I can’t do any of that anymore because I’m so tired from doing all the things. It’s too much work serving God. 

Unrealistic Expectation #3: Things Shouldn’t Change

The third thing is that you think your relationship doesn’t feel the same as it used to. If you have been married for any amount of time, you can probably relate to this, and I hear this from women all the time. “I used to feel so close to God in my twenties when I didn’t have kids and I didn’t have all those responsibilities. I could spend two hours a day in this and an hour a day doing that.” 

Here’s the thing. I’m going to tell you why this is unrealistic. Seasons change. You are going to have more time, less time, no time, whatever, depending on what’s going on in your life. It’s unrealistic for you to expect your life to look the same at 30, at 40, at 50. 

If you are single and it’s just you are in a season where you can do more with God, you can do more for God. That does not mean that you’re any less useful or less close to God in other seasons because you have other responsibilities on your plate. 

Final Thoughts on Building a Relationship with God

Ultimately, all of these things boil down to a couple of things. One is that you’re thinking about your time with God wrong. You’ve made it about yourself. You think that you should be this close, but you’re not. You think if you do more things, then you can be close to God. 

You don’t feel the same as you did 10 years ago, five years ago, or two days ago. You’ve made it about what you think and want. That’s not the point of spending time with God. The point of spending time with God is not about you. It is about getting to know God. 

The best way that I know to deal with these unrealistic expectations and thoughts is to be in the driver’s seat. Let God show you the way. Let God show you what he wants you to do to connect with him because he’s always there. He does not go on vacation until you can get your act together.

You have the Holy Spirit indwelling on the inside of you. God is always with you, and you have stop basing what you think about your relationship with him on how you feel. Feelings can be fickle and are not always reliable. 

They don’t always tell you the truth. Learn to take what you’re feeling to God. The only person who can actually help you sift out what is true and what is right about what’s going on. Let God set the bar. Let God dictate the routine. Let God dictate the schedule. Let God take the lead, and just follow. Go where he tells you to go. 

Nobody else can have the relationship with God that he wants to have with you. It’s unique and specific to you. Instead of focusing on you, go to the person who has the answers. Go to the person who has the truth. The person who knows you and made you and knows how you’re wired and knows how you connect and knows how he wants to connect to you. 

Take all of your expectations, the things you think you should be doing, feeling, and thinking to God. If you want to be close and intimate, that is part of being open and honest. Then you’ll begin to see that real change and intimacy. 

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