By: Susan Browning
Worship can’t exist without relationship – when you love something or someone you spend time with them, when you adore someone you lavish love on them. Worship simply means to place value or worth on something or someone. Ways we place worth-ship on someone is through compliments, praise, adoration, affirmation. We can only feel all those things through knowing someone, we can only know someone if we spend time in their presence.
“Relationship are sustained by affirmation” – Malcolm DuPlessis
If our relationship with God is to be sustained throughout our lifetime, throughout the demands of ministry and throughout the different aspects of our lives, we need to get good at placing worth and giving affirmation to the One who has given us it all. How we view worship depends on how we see God, if we see Him truly for who He is or if our understanding of Him is limited, tarnished or skewed then our connection to worship will also share the same hue.
Here are some practical ways to rebuild or enhance your relationship with Jesus:
Start the Conversation
Sometimes this is the hardest step: what do we say? How to do we talk to someone we can’t see? How do we hear from Him? Ultimately God is just interested in us being in His presence, whether we decide to talk or listen. Some seasons He will be found in the security of silence, or some times in life it will be us doing all the talking. When we begin to see how important being in an active conversation with Him is, we grow in our relationship together and desire to spend more time with Him.
Let worship fill the atmosphere
By worship here I mean worship music; let is saturate your soul. There are times in our lives when we will not have the words to say, but allowing ourselves to be connected to Him through worship music we are able to feel His presence in a deeper way. I find the days when I am driving the most and it’s impartial in the background, my spirit is connected and I find myself praying and praising and worshipping Him in ways I probably wouldn’t if I’d been disengaged or filling my space with other noise. Create a playlist and let it be your anthem. If you’re not sure where to start look up the big names and find an album that resonates with you: Hillsong, Bethel, Planetshakers, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Amanda Cooke, Matt Redman to name a few.
Time in the Word
Now this seems such an obvious and Christian answer to how to develop relationship with Jesus. But His word is alive and active and relevant! If you’re not sure where to start pick a book. You could begin in the Psalms, or pick a small letter from Paul (Ephesians, Galatians, Phillipians), get to know who Jesus is by reading a section of a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke John) each day. You could even pick a Proverb matching the day of the month (as there are 31 chapters its ideal!). The point is, as you start to do it regularly you will have more of an idea where to read because God will lead you there. Psalm 1 says Blessed is the one who meditates on His Word day and night. It becomes our delight. You don’t need to over complicate it – just start somewhere, and try to get there regularly.
Use your phone for more than just social media and games, find an app that works for you! There are several apps that have plans you can begin on – paid or free. Some I use YouVersion, He Reads Truth/She Reads Truth, First 5 App, Proverbs 31. Subscribe to a word a day through the many incredible servants of Christ who harness social media and our inbox for the better (e.g. Christine Caine, Lisa Tykerhurst, Proverbs 31 ministry). Or another way could be to shape your social media to be following accounts that enrich your soul.
This can feel really overwhelming if you are not familiar with it. However, for my own journey it is my second most connective way to God. Feel free to start out simple by setting aside a meal in a day to pray. Or you could do a short weekend fast on something you love like coffee or social media. Basically the point of fasting is to give something up to make room and way for God to speak into your life. He’s not your personal genie, so fasting is not an immediate remedy to get answers to everything you pray for. But in that time because of your sacrifices there is an opportunity for you to hear more clearly from God because you are less distracted or denying your flesh the things it wants. You can also do some reading on it: Jentzen Franklin – Fasting is helpful and provides some tools to be able to set you up.
Forming the right company around you can either take you away or draw you into the close presence of Jesus. I know when I meet with our connect group, my prayer partner, or get to church. Just being in the presence of other Christians gives me redirect of focusing my thoughts back on Him. When we gather together, we grow together. Create time in your week to meet regularly with those who are going to speak life into you and encourage you to go deeper with Christ.
Finding things to be grateful for will always shift our focus off of ourselves and our circumstances and begin to realign our sight toward the One who has given us everything we ever will need. I read an article many years ago of a lady who took a photo every day for a year and then began to write. So I gave it a go, not only did I end up doing a 365 Grateful Project blog for 4 years, it changed my perspective (and taught me how to write!); and still to this day when I’m feeling like my mountain is pretty big or the world seemingly falls apart around me, I turn to coming to God with a grateful heart – there is always something to be grateful for.
So sweet one, the call to action is to find what works for you, it might be one of these ideas it might be a mix of them all or something I haven’t thought of. My encouragement to you is to simply start with one step and before long you’ll see you are walking tighter with Jesus than you could ever imagine should you choose to not stand still.
Article supplied with thanks to Susan Browning.
About the Author: Susan is a worship leader, vocal coach and mentor encouraging you to be all you can be in fulfilling your purpose.