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God is our Father and wants a relationship with us based upon the family relationship He created. Because we are His children, we are to follow the example set by Christ. We continue to struggle with this daily.
God has created a great relationship model for us but too few of us are actually experiencing this beautiful relationship.
What Does it Really Mean to Have a Relationship with God?
If you have had the experience of a loving father and mother who set examples of love and respect for each other and also showed you what it means to love unconditionally, you already have a solid understanding of the type of relationship God wants with you.
However, if you come from a broken home, you may struggle with the loving Father concept. The relationship that God wants to have with us is rooted in love. It tells us that the love God has for us and the extent of that love is so great that He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. We say these things because we have been led to believe our relationship with Jesus is based on proximity — a sliding scale of near and far based on faithfulness of our spiritual devotion.
But a relationship with Jesus requires more than just being close with Him. Jesus longs to become perfectly one with you. God takes residence in us, invites us to die to ourselves and become a new creation in Him. He invites us into an intimate relationship with Him: Union with Christ refers to relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ.
There are countless passages throughout the Bible that reveal that believers are joined in Christ: We are the branches and Jesus is the vine John Nothing is more basic or central to knowing and enjoying God than union with Christ. If sin is the barrier in our relationship with God, then confession removes that barrier. When we confess our sins before God, He promises to forgive us 1 John 1: It is the confession of one who realizes that his sin is what nailed Jesus Christ to the cross.
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The second thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to listen when God speaks. So if we want to grow closer to God, we should read His Word regularly. The third thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to speak to Him through prayer.
If reading the Bible is listening to God speak to us, speaking to God is accomplished through prayer. Prayer is much more than simply a way to ask God for things we need or want. Consider the model prayer that Jesus gives His disciples in Matthew 6: The first three petitions in that prayer are directed toward God may His name be hallowed, may His kingdom come, may His will be done.
Another thing we can do to revive our prayer lives is to read the Psalms. Many of the Psalms are heartfelt cries to God for various things. In the Psalms we see adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication modeled in a divinely inspired way.
The fourth thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to find a body of believers with whom we can regularly worship. This is such a vital component of spiritual growth. We seldom take the time to prepare our hearts and minds for worship. Again, the Psalms show us many calls from God to His people to come and worship the Lord for example, Psalm