Jesus came to earth and died on the cross so that we could have a relationship with God! Today we are talking about how you can take advantage of all that Jesus purchased on the cross and grow your relationship with God.
#0 Accept the free gift of salvation and Jesus’s Lordship
Salvation is WAY more than just “saved from hell”
Salvation is WAY more than just “saved from hell”, but so often that is the only thing we associate it with. I used to think that salvation simply meant I wasn’t going to hell, but Jesus didn’t go through all that He endured just so you can live the way you want and not go to hell at the end of your life.
God doesn’t want you to be with Him after you die, but He wants to walk with you while you live. We are all called to build our relationship with God. It comes down to our choice.
Salvation means wholeness in every area. It literally means, “the joining together of all the necessary parts.” What parts? You and Him! You and I have been drawn into union with Jesus! It’s time we stop taking our relationship with the Creator of the whole world for granted and start listening to Him.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.Proverbs 9:10 KJV
And in another place God says…
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:6 KJV
If you only take one thing away from this entire message, hear this – Jesus WILL make it very clear what He wants you to do when you sincerely seek after Him. He isn’t hiding from you, he’s waiting on you to make the second move (He already made the first move when He died on the cross for you and I).
Action Step: Pray
“Father, I know I have sinned. I repent for my sin and make a dedicated choice to not only accept the free gift of salvation by faith but also to give you first place in my life. Have my whole life. Thank you for what Jesus has done on the cross for dying and raising again for my sin. He took my place in death so I give Him first place in my life.
I expect You to speak to me, Jesus. I know that I hear your voice. Show me what to do. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
#1 Grow your relationship with God by doing what you know to do
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.James 4:17 KJV
We are responsible for what we know. God is going to judge our actions some day. The thing is that he will judge those actions based upon what we know to do.
I believe that Spider-man put it perfectly when he said,
“With great power comes great responsibility.”Spider-man
As you take this journey, remember that God will start revealing things for you to do. He’s going to talk to you. Things that didn’t used to bother you will all of the sudden seem gross. Maybe it’s a TV show, video game, habit or addiction or the way you treat people. Regardless, DON’T IGNORE HIM! He is trying to save your life.
I can remember when I made a choice to change my relationship with God. I’m a psalmist and with that comes not only a love of music but a connection to it. I really can’t remember a time when music wasn’t just a part of me. This music will come bubbling out of me in times when someone will say something and it will bring a song to mind or give me the fuel to write a new song.
The point is that music affects me intensely. Thus negative music is extremely dangerous for me. Things that one person can listen to and be fine I will listen to and start feeling depressed, anxious, etc. (They will too it just takes longer for the affects to kick in.)
I can remember loving certain bands because of the sound and musicality of the artist, but not really liking the words. I knew the words were unbelief or even toxic, but I’d listen to them anyway because I liked the tune. God began to deal with me about this, and slowly I chose to leave some of that music behind. As I did, I started to realize that I heard God better without all that negativity rolling around in my head all day long.
Many people think that they can’t hear God, but in truth they are just drowning His voice out with the world.
Application in your life
No one is saying quit listening to all secular music. I haven’t done that and God isn’t asking you to do that either. Instead, as you draw closer to Him you’ll start to find that certain things will start to stand out that He wants you to stop – not to punish you but to allow you to move further with Him.
Ever notice how negative people always seem to breed circumstances where negative things happen? That’s because they attract that. Start putting yourself in a position to attract more of God and you’re going to get…more of God.
#2 Receive the Holy Spirit (the Revelator)
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)Acts 8:14-16 KJV
The Holy Spirit really gets a bad reputation. I’m amazed at the people who are afraid of Him. They treat Him like the enemy, but in truth He is our best ally.
The Holy Spirit is the POWER that Jesus sent to the earth after He went to heaven. It would take an entire post just to discuss one aspect of who the Holy Spirit is, but the short version is this…
- Comforter (John 14:26 KJV)
- Teacher to guide us in our study of the Word. (John 14:26 KJV)
- Intercessor for our needs (Romans 8:27)
These are just three of the many things that the Holy Spirit will do, but He is so much more than this. He was the one who created the heavens and earth when God spoke. The anointing that rests on the Word comes from Him.
Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.Luke 24:49 KJV
In addition to accepting Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit will give you the power that you need to actually do what God wants you to do. Without this infilling of power, you will be handicapped as a Christian.
Take Action: Pray
How do you receive the Holy Spirit? The same way that you receive Jesus – by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth and inviting Him into your life.
I want to give you a few very easy steps that will help you when receiving the Holy Spirit.
- God has already given the Holy Spirit. It’s up to you to receive the Holy Spirit now!
- Once you are saved you are a candidate to receive the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Simply ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and receive the evidence of speaking in tongues.
- You will then have to move your vocal cords. The Holy Spirit won’t move your tongue for you.
- Open your mouth and every time you go to speak think I am receiving the Holy Spirit now by faith then start moving your tongue.
Here’s a prayer that you can pray.
“God, I want all that you have for me. I want the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Holy Spirit I invite you in right now. When I open my mouth and begin to speak I will be filled with the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues.
In Jesus Name Amen.”Prayer for the Holy Spirit
That’s it! It really is that simple.
This is probably one of the biggest steps you could ever make to grow your relationship with God because the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.
#3 Locate a word-based church
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”Anonymous
The Bible is very clear about who we should and shouldn’t spend time with. If you want to grow your relationship with God, the number one way that you can do that is find a pastor that will train you up.
You can think of a pastor as a God-given spiritual father to call you on your spiritual immaturity and force you to see places where you can grow. This is huge for anyone at any level of their relationship with God. No one is “too mature” for a pastor and the local church.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Hebrews 10:24-25 KJV
In the world we live in today, everyone is trying to forget that this scripture exists. They want to watch church online from the comfort of their living room. This isn’t good enough! You need to go to church in-person.
Why? Because you can’t “exhort one another” from your living room. You need to be in the same room as your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Listen if that is the only way that you can get to church – go to church online! But if you are able to, go in person.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV
What will this do? It will put you around people who have the same desire that you have – to grow. It will also give you an opportunity to put into practice what you are learning by giving you an avenue to serve others.
#4 Write down your goals
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.Habakkuk 2:2 KJV
I am a really big advocate for having strong vision statements and goals. I know what life is like without these goals and vision statements and a lot of drive. When I was younger, I used to work very hard, but I only looked at the next thing in front of me. I would jump from task to task but I never seemed to get where I wanted to go.
In 2018, I started writing the vision down. I have posters, papers, white boards and even an entire private website that I built for myself to track my progress towards my goals.
Goals make the world go round. In fact, Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross without having His goal in mind.
[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [a]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].Hebrews 12:2 AMP
Characteristics of Good Goals
There is a concept that might be familiar to some people called S.M.A.R.T. Goals. The world uses this concept of SMART goals to accomplish tasks and achieve things – and it works. I use this goal setting strategy to accomplish things in my business and personal life, but I updated the method to include God.
- Specific – The problem with some goals is that they are too vague and general to do you any good. Do your research. If you want a car, don’t tell me “I want a car.” What KIND of car? What year, color, price?
- Measurable – Track your progress. You have to associate numbers with your goal otherwise how will you measure success?
- Action Oriented – A smart goal will have specific action steps on which to focus attention and behavior every single day. If you can’t bring your goal into your daily habits, it really will never get done.
- Relevant – Look for the connection between achieving your goals and your personal life improving. Because you are trying to improve yourself, your goals must be intended to stretch you, yet be within your reach.
- Time-limited – Setting a deadline for achieving your goals will help you to avoid procrastination and motivate you towards your goal. What happens if you miss your deadline? Set another one!
- Scriptural* – Include a scripture with your goal that you can pray every single day.
- Write your goal down.
- Pray the goal, pray the scripture verse, pray in tongues.
Example: I want to accomplish specific description of success by date because it will reason for goal. I will do this by action-oriented daily action. God Your word says scriptural basis for goal.
Note: Not all goals are going to have a clear solution or action that you can do. That is why you use something like James 1:5 and ask for wisdom and then pray in tongues.
#5 Make a relationship growth plan
“I want to accomplish that goal, but I’m too busy to start today.”Someone who didn’t ever accomplish that goal
I’ve heard it 1,000 times if I’ve heard it once, “I don’t have time to seek God’s face in the morning.” God wants to direct you throughout your entire day, but we are the ones to tell Him to leave us alone – and He will.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:6 KJV
This starts in the morning time and ends when you go to bed.
Action Step: Set a time to seek God in the morning
You do have time to seek God. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. It all starts by planning.
Think about any other relationship. Maybe you’re dating someone or you have a good friend. Life is busy. If you don’t plan to spend time with them you won’t. So what do you have to do? You have to build a “relationship growth plan”. Now you might not call it that, but that’s what it is! You say, “Let’s go hang out tomorrow and see that movie.”
Ask yourself, “Am I doing the same thing with God?”
Hey God, let’s spend time together tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM for 15 minutes.
Start where you can! It doesn’t have to be 15 hours, but I promise you as you start to do it more and more you’ll want to spend more time with Him. Isn’t that the way it goes with any other relationship?
When you start dating a girl the natural progression of things is to want to spend more and more time with her until you eventually want to spend your life with her. The same thing happens with Jesus. You spend more and more time with Him until eventually that’s the thing you want to do all the time. I can confidently say that in myself that I love my time with God more than any other relationship in my entire life.
#6 Start becoming spirit aware
One of the primary ways to grow in your relationship with God is to become spirit aware. Over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time talking on this topic. You are a spirit. God is a spirit and you were made in His image that means you are a spirit too! Now what does that really mean?
It means that God is going to speak to you in your spirit.
Have you ever started to do something and had a sinking feeling in your gut that it was wrong? Maybe you were getting ready to do something that you clearly knew was wrong. I hope you didn’t go ahead and do it, but I know I’ve been there and made the wrong decision.
That was your spirit trying to tell you not to do something.
The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.Proverbs 20:27 KJV
God will use your spirit to speak to you. He will direct you and you will either know what not to do or what to do based upon that “gut” feeling.
If you’ve been around christian circles for a long time, you might have heard people say, “I just don’t have peace with that.” They’re talking about their spirit.
- Spirit, Conscience, Heart, and Soul | What’s the Difference?
- The Human Spirit must be Protected
- The Human Spirit can Overflow to Health
#7 Lose the pride
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:6-7 KJV
Pride will rob you of your relationship with God. The truth is that pride is more than just thinking you know better than someone else. I was plagued with pride and didn’t even realize it! It’s all about what happens between your ears and it starts with how you think about others.
If you find yourself asking things like,
- “What will ____ think if I do ______?”
- “I can’t do ______ because they’ll say ______”
These are signs of pride.
According to the dictionary, pride is described as…
- “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
- “consciousness of one’s own dignity.”
The PROUD weighs their actions and decisions by how others will view them. They’re concerned whether consciously or unconsciously about the opinions of others. They want to look, sound and act “appropriately” to obtain approval from whomever they perceive to be most important.
I promise you as you try to press further into God that there will be those who won’t understand. They may even be the people you are closest to. Humility to only focusing on what God wants you to do.
Make sure that you keep your attention off of what others think and onto what God thinks.
This is easier said than done and will be something you work through your entire life, but being aware of it goes a long way.
#8 Confess the Word of God everyday out loud
I realize this sounds like a crazy notion. Why in the world would I need to confess the Word out loud every day?
Here’s the truth.
When your bucket gets bumped, what you’re full of will come splashing out.
There are many, many verses that discuss the importance of confessing the Word over yourself, but for time sake we will just look at one – Proverbs 18:20-21.
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV
This verse clearly states that “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Do you want to live life full of peace, joy and love? Then start by confessing the Word over yourself every day.
Listen, I’m not saying do this with people all around you. Get away someplace quiet and do it by yourself with God. This will grow your relationship with God exponentially. The best time to do this is when you are praying over your goals. Just add a few scriptures into your routine that align with where you are and where you want to go.
#9 Worship in SPIRIT & TRUTH
“Prayer makes your petition, but praise gets the result.”Roy Sprague
Prayer – When you come to God in prayer, you come to Him based upon the covenant, the blood, and your legal standing in Jesus Christ to make your case before the throne of God as judge.
Worship – When you come to God in worship, you are coming based upon your fellowship with God. You express love to God and operate based upon your legal standing to remind God of what His Word says.
This nugget of truth is the basis for my song “Praise to Victory”. Jesus tells us true worship comes out of spirit & truth. Worship happens when you sing a song from your human spirit filled with the Word of God (truth).
When you “sing the song within your heart”, you are entering into true worship.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;Ephesians 5:19 KJV
The melodies of true worship come from your heart. That means it extends beyond simply listening to worship music in your car on the way to work. You have to open your mouth and sing for yourself.
When you do sing the truth (God’s own Word) back to Him you aren’t just expressing human emotional love to God, but you are expressing God’s Truth and therefore the agape (God kind of love) right back to Him.
#10 Give 10% of your income to where you’re being fed spiritually (tithe)
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.Malachi 3:10 KJV
I think the tithe is so tremendously overlooked. It has great benefit to a Christian if we will allow it in our life.
It says here that when we give the tithe that the Lord will rebuke the devourer for your sake. That means that when the devil tries to come against you in any area of your life that God will be there to rebuke Him!
This comes back to your local word-based church. This is the place where you need to be tithing.
Action Step: Give the tithe (10% of profit) to God’s House
When you get paid or when you sell something and make a profit (stocks, a house, a car, etc.) 10% of that belongs to God and 90% belongs to you.
#11 What happens when we make a mistake?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9 KJV
What happens when we make a mistake? Listen whether big or small our sins are not a problem for the born again believer. Jesus wants this relationship that means He wants to keep sin out of the way.
Jesus ever lives to intercede for us. He is up there even now talking to God the Father saying, “Remember my blood? Nathan (Insert your name) is clean.”
I thank God for that because I need it!
Jesus isn’t making you feel guilty for sin.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.Revelation 12:10 KJV
The devil is the accuser of the brethren (you and me), but thank God all we have to do is confess our sins and HE is faithful to remove them from us!
Don’t allow satan to get in the way of you and God. Satan only has as much power in your life as you allow. He is defeated.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:Romans 5:1 KJV
You’re going to make mistakes, but God isn’t trying to condemn you. He wants fellowship with you and has made a way to have exactly that!
Stay in Touch!
I really am happy you are here. I’d love to hear from you. There is power in the prayer of agreement, and I want to agree in prayer with you TODAY. Is there something you are believing God for? I’d love to pray with you or send you any resources that we might have to help you get to the place in your relationship with God that you want to be in.
Father, I pray for this man or woman here today who has decided to grow their relationship with You. I’m so excited to see what You will do in and through them. We come to You in faith right now and pray for wisdom as you said in James 1:5 – if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask – so we ask. Give us wisdom to know what Your will is and equip us to accomplish that will. Thank you for your Word and Holy Spirit which will guide us into all truth and show us the specific action steps that we need to take each and every day to accomplish Your will in our life. Anoint us with your Holy Spirit to grow in YOU.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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Our biggest goal is to give you the tools you need to grow in your relationship with God. Actually doing it…well that’s up to you, but if you will apply the things I discussed in these 11 things you will see a change in your life.