Growing Deeper In Your Relationship With Christ
Are you at the point where you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your relationship with Christ? Every now and then, we all have those seasons where we feel stuck and stagnant. We’re not going back but we’re stalled, craving a more meaningful and deeper connection with Him.
Recently, I was experiencing this indifference toward my relationship with God. I didn’t feel like I was in a dry season, but I definitely felt like I was at a plateau. I was still showing up for my quiet times, but I left feeling like there was so much more -- so much more of God that I wanted to experience, so much that I felt like I still needed to learn. The Lord quickly showed me that I was experiencing the growing pains of moving from milk to the solid food of God’s Word. I basically was going through the spiritual growth that the writer described in Hebrews 5:11-6:3 (MSG):
“I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! (Hebrews 6:1-3)
I felt like I was at the point where it just wasn’t enough to read my Bible every day. I was tired of praying surface-level prayers. I wanted and need to grow deeper. I needed to move from the milk of God’s word to the solid food of Christ. So when the Lord put it on my heart to be rooted in my faith this year, I knew He was calling me higher. If I wanted to grow deeper, I couldn’t keep running away from His testing and correction. I couldn’t keep having barely-there faith. I couldn’t keep praying lackluster prayers. It was time for me to boldly go deeper in my faith and learn what it truly looks like to be His daughter. A daughter of the King who reigns with boldness, power, and authority. It was time for me to go beyond what I knew to grow deeper with Him. If you too are ready to grow in spiritual maturity, here’s how you can grow deeper in your relationship with Christ:
1) Decide to be passionately committed to Jesus.
Can you honestly say that you’re passionately committed to Jesus? An infant in Christ is more committed to their self than they are to His Word. They live to please themselves, and they exalt their own opinions and feelings over the truth and authority of His Word. They basically want to serve God only if it’s convenient for them.
If you want to grow deeper in your relationship with God, you must learn to die to yourself (Galatians 5:24). This looks like picking up your cross daily and following after Christ even when you don’t feel like it (Luke 9:23). It means regardless of what happens or where He calls you to, you’re always committed to Him, ready to answer His call.
2) Start putting into practice what you learn.
In order to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, you must start applying what you learn. It’s one thing to hear or to know, but it’s another thing to actually do. Let’s look at the Scriptures to see what they have to say about being doers of the Word.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” - James 2:22-25 NLT
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat agains that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” - Matthew 8:24-27 NLT
So what is the Lord telling you to do? Are you hearing and applying His Word, or is it in one ear and out the other? As we see in the Scriptures, many people hear and know but few actually do, and the reward comes when we put into practice what the Lord is teaching and telling us to do.
3) Tend to the areas where God is calling you to grow.
One of the best ways we can grow in our relationship with Christ is to tend to the areas where His work is being done. I know for me personally, the Lord is calling me to grow in my prayer life: to move from doubtful to bold and faithful prayers. I started tending to this area by purchasing my yearly Val Marie Prayer Journal. I also plan on reading more books on prayer this year and putting them into action. Your action steps will look different based on the areas God is calling you to tend, but the most important thing is that you take action as He’s cultivating you in these areas.
4) Get into the practice of fasting.
Fasting has been an absolute game-changer in my relationship with God. Ever since I’ve gotten into the habit of regularly fasting, I’ve seen more of a breakthrough happen in my personal walk with God. Spiritual gifts have been uncovered, relationships have been restored, and revelation has been granted, and so many more blessings and breakthroughs occurred that I personally believe wouldn’t have happened unless I started to intentionally fast and pray. Fasting is a great way to establish a deeper connection with God.
If you’re just getting started with fasting, it’s okay to ease in. Ask God how and when He would like you to fast. Look up the different types of fasting. Write out your objectives and pray about what He wants you to give up. Remember that fasting isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be refining. That looks like giving up something you enjoy to get more and become more like Him.
5) Seek to be discipled.
Discipleship is all about growing in relationship with other believers. We can’t do this walk alone. We need others to hold us accountable and encourage us in our walk with Christ. As we walk in discipleship with our godly friends and wise counsel, we receive a sharpening that probably wouldn’t happen otherwise (Proverbs 27:17).
So if you want to grow deeper in your relationship with Christ, put yourself in the position to be discipled. Get involved in your church. Join a small group. Seek out a spiritual mentor to do life with. Discipleship is one of the best ways we can transition from the milk to the solid food of Christ.
Maybe you can also relate to this season life I’m in. Maybe you’re ready to graduate from spiritual kindergarten to learn the higher truths and experience the maturity of growing deeper in Christ. This is the most elemental foundations of designing a life that you and God love. You have to grow in relationship with Him. If you’re ready to do that and learn the other key foundations of designing a life that you and Him love, download the Design Your Life Quick Start Guide, a short guide to help you design & fashion a life that you and God love.