I think most all of us have been in a relationship at one time or another where we felt like we were the only one giving. Think about one of those relationships for a minute. You gave, and gave, and gave, yet the other person only took from you. After a while, you felt depleted. You got tired of giving with no return and the relationship failed. It’s a story all too common between us and God. We expect God to give, give, give, and all we do is take in the relationship. It’s a recipe for disaster. No relationship lasts that way.
One of the best ways we can give back in our relationship with God is to spend quality time with Him. We have to pray, read our Bible, and love others daily in order to spend quality time with God. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God, and He will come near to you” (GNT). When we do things that give in the relationship, He does too. If you read that verse again, you’ll notice that it’s up to us to take the first step in getting near to God. When we do, He comes close to us.
If you’re going to deepen any relationship, it requires vulnerability. You have to be open and honest. God is not afraid of your past, your questions, or your insecurities. He doesn’t hold them against us, so it’s ok to share them with Him. In II Corinthians 12, Paul was vulnerable with God about his weak areas and God replied, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” Once we admit our weaknesses, His strength is made perfect in us. It just takes us being open and honest with Him.
Finally, we need to listen in order to give back in our relationship with Him. This is hard to do. We’ve been conditioned to make prayer a Honey-do list of things we’d like. We end it with a quick “Amen”, then we go about our business. Prayer is a conversation between you and God. It should go both ways. Try spending a few minutes each day being quiet in your prayer time to give God a chance to speak. You’ll be surprised at how much He wants to say to you, and how much deeper your relationship with Him gets.
What other things have you done to grow a deeper relationship with God?