study-boyBy Pastor Scott Childs

Many Christians do not have a flourishing relationship with God that is growing, exciting, intimate, and transforming. They do not enjoy a close walk with God. They cannot honestly say they have daily fellowship with God. If they were truthful, they may use words like dull, mechanical, dutiful, neglected, sick, or “Sunday only” to describe their relationship with God. How would you describe your relationship with God?

Only a child of God can have a flourishing relationship with God. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” If you cannot look back at a time when you repented and believed on Christ alone to save you, that is where you must begin. If you know that you are saved, yet your relationship with God is not flourishing, it can be.

God Wants a Flourishing Relationship With You!

A flourishing relationship with God is not just doing Christian activities.

Many Christians read the Bible, pray, go to church, and live good lives, yet they do not have a flourishing relationship with God. Bible reading is dull and seldom personally applied. Prayer is mechanical and powerless. Close fellowship with God does not exist. True victory over sin is rare. The fruits of the Spirit are lacking. They do all the things Christians are supposed to do, but they do them self-righteously, by their own efforts.

A flourishing relationship with God is not just knowing Bible facts.

Many young people grow up in a Christian home, weekly listen to sermons in church and youth meetings, memorise Bible verses, and study the Bible in a Christian school, yet they do not have a flourishing relationship with God. They know all the Bible facts, yet they have no real heart for God. They know a lot of information about God, but they do not know God intimately.

A flourishing relationship with God is an exciting, intimate, communion with God.

Colossians 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

In this verse, Paul described the normal Christian life as a God-honouring walk that pleases the Lord, bears the fruits of the Spirit, and daily increases in the knowledge of God. Other Scriptures describe it as:

  • Abide in Christ

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

  • Walking in the light

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

  • Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

That is the flourishing relationship that God want with you!

Developing a Flourishing Relationship with God

Once you realize that you are missing out on a flourishing relationship with God, take action. Here are four things you will need

1st Desire

God will not force you to have a flourishing relationship with Him. You must be tired of the stale, lifeless relationship you now have and long for a close walk with God. This is perhaps the key to developing a flourishing relationship with God. You must want it from the depths of your heart. Ask God for a thirst like that of the Psalmist.

Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (cf., Ps 42:1)

James urges us to take the first step.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts,ye double minded.

Move toward God and deal with every known sin in your life.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If you lack a desire a flourishing relationship with God, ask God to give you that desire.

2nd Dependence

You cannot change yourself. You must yield to the Holy Spirit. You must let Him renew your life.

Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Let Him change any and every area of your life. Allow Him to fill or control you (Ephesians 5:18). Seek to walk in harmony with the Holy Spirit all day long.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Be willing to walk obediently in God’s light.

1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

3rd Devotion

Begin by searching your heart for sin. Confess it and forsake it. Sin will destroy your close walk with God. In a quiet place, read the Bible to hear from God, to learn, and to get to know Him. Quality Bible reading is more beneficial than quantity reading. As you read focus on what you are reading. Look for principles that God wants you to apply. Record in a notebook the principles and truths that you learn. This is VERY important. Meditate on your principle and seek to apply in your life. Memorize Bible verses that are a help to you and quote them often. This will help keep your focus on God. Learn to delight in God’s Word.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Depend on the Bible to help you gain victory over temptations.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Spend quality time with God in prayer. Focus on the Lord. Seek His presence. Thank and praise God for who He is. Ask God to direct your thoughts in prayer. Talk to Him about the Scripture you read. Ask Him how to apply it. Ask God sincerely to meet needs. Pray on your knees as often as possible.

4th Determination

God is not going to zap you and make you a Spirit-filled, fruit-bearing, victorious saint. This is not an effortless quick fix. It will take work. At the same time it is not mechanically ticking the boxes of God’s “must do list.” If you desire to walk close to God, He will help you. The devil will oppose you. You must resist the devil. Daily follow the Victory Steps found in James 4:7-10.

James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

You CAN have a flourishing relationship with God. The choice is up to you.

It will cost you time. It will require discipline. It will demand change. It will transform your life. It will transform your character. It will improve your family. It will impact others.  A flourishing relationship with God can be yours! Do not settle for anything less!