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If you are flipping through the book of Genesis, you will most likely find the scenario where God rhetorically asked Himself if He should hide what He was about to do from Abraham. He would later go on to reveal the plan He had for Sodom and Gomorrah to him.
In the book of Numbers, in the case of Moses’ siblings — Aaron and Miriam— revolting against him, God said He speaks to others through dreams and visions, but to His servant Moses, He speaks mouth to mouth.
It is clear that these two stories paints the perfect picture of what an overflowing relationship with God looks like. Even without Jesus being physically manifested or the Holy Spirit released, these men were still able to develop and maintain an overflowing relationship with God.
Which leaves us asking, how?
Having an overflowing relationship with God isn’t something that happens in the twinkle of eye. Because good relationships are built, hence the need to start somewhere before getting to the level of an overflow. So, you can start off by having an actual relationship with God.
To get into a relationship with God, you will have to begin from the point of salvation. This is the point where you repent from your sins, accept Jesus into your life and live out a new life in Christ as your spirit bears witness with the Spirit of God that you are a child of God. It is after this point that you begin to seek for something more, something deeper and greater.
To take your relationship with God to the next level requires determination and commitment. As opposed to what many budding Christians think, intimacy with God never comes by wishful thinking. Having an overflowing relationship with God is an experience that needs to be thirsted and hungered for, because it is valuable.
Here are 10 Practical Ways to Have an Overflowing Relationship with God:
1. Reading & Studying The Bible
2. Praying Ceaselessly
3. Maintaining a Daily Devotion
4. Attending Church services & Programs
5. Reading Christian Books
7. Listening to sermons
8. Listening to Christian/Gospel music
9. Love People & Preach the Gospel
10. Surrender to God & Take a stand.
Reading & Studying The Bible
Yes, I know it sounds cliché and that’s probably why it is often ignored. But there’s no way you can get close to God without having knowledge of His word, because all the details you need to know about Him are embedded there, so you must read.
And as a matter of fact, reading the bible is way different from studying the bible, but we are required to do both. By reading the bible daily, you are making yourself available to receive life and be taught as it was written in Psalms 25:4-5 “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day”.
We live in an opinionated world, a world where people have no regard or knowledge of God’s word, despite the wisdom present therein. But as Christians who crave intimacy with God, studying the scriptures can’t be undermined. As it was written in 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to Shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.
By studying the bible, you see the truth and you get to know God’s say on the controversial issues in the world today like divorce, homosexuality, tithing, feminism, misogyny etc. When the word of God is expanded through in-depth study, the wisdom hidden in it will be made plain to you, and you will be able to apply it to your heart.
Practical ways of reading & studying the bible:
1. Read the Bible daily; a verse or a chapter.
2. Draft out a bible study plan so you can be effective and keep track of your progress.
3. Join a bible study group or create one with your friends. Discussing the word of God with others helps internalize it.
This, too, sounds cliché and that’s why it’s usually the last thing most Christians do. Let it be known that no relationship can grow without effective communication. We literally forget about our once-upon-a-time friends when we stop communicating with them, how much more God?
Prayer is a form of communication with God, a way of telephoning to heaven and telling the maker of the sun and moon about your life and self. When we pray frequently, we strengthen the bond we share with God. Oftentimes, when we have problems, we complain to friends or family first before coming God. In fact, we only turn to Him when we fail at our own attempts of fixing the problem, and that doesn’t encourage intimacy.
We should borrow a leaf from what Paul said in Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”.
Practical ways of Praying Ceaselessly:
1. Make it an habit to speak to God anytime, anywhere. Whether at work or in the bathroom, mutter words of prayer.
2. Set out a time daily to pray intensively. Could be in midnight or daytime.
3. Join prayer groups or form the habit of praying with other people, it makes you accountable and your prayers effective.
Maintaining a Daily Devotion
It is easy to get lost in the haze of the world and the myriad of things competing for your attention. But with the understanding that God is better than anything you are tempted to leave Him for, it is your duty to submerge yourself in the fullness of God and guard your headspace.
Every intimate relationship thrives on intense heart to heart conversations, and this is what daily devotion allows. By humbling yourself to the Spirit of God through reading the scriptures and praying, you create an avenue for God to speak to you.
It is usually in this moment of silence and quietness of the spirit that God reveals things, sometimes, through the scriptures as it was written in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Practical Ways of maintaining a Daily Devotion:
1. Reading the bible and praying
2. Observing your quiet time
3. Adopting the use of a devotional.
Attending Church Services & Programs
Many see attending church as a religious obligation and will rather not. But if you intend to develop an overflowing relationship with God, you must care about what God cares for — the Church, just like Timothy said in Hebrews 10:25 “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.”
Attending Church programs and spiritual events are important ways of getting closer to God, because God loves community and in the midst of other believers, iron sharpens iron (Proverb 27:17) and Matthew 18:20 is fulfilled “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Practical ways of Attending Church Services & Programs:
1. Find a bible-believing church in your community and commit to it.
2. Make it an habit of attending conferences and camps meetings to aid spiritual growth.
Reading Christian Books
Developing an overflowing relationship with God is a neverending journey. And there are many people in our present day who are ahead of us in this journey, many who have established a deep connection with God that can be likened to that of Abraham. Some of these people have documented their experiences in books so others can read and learn.
The book of John 21:25 says “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen“.
This shows that there are a lot of experiences that comes on this journey of faith with Jesus that the Bible only revealed in bits. But through the experiences of these people written in books, we get God-given insights on how to navigate issues like racism, childhood abuse, church hurt, adulthood trauma and other destructive vices of the present day.
Practical Ways of Reading Christian Books:
1. Search out christian authors with authentic testimonies, then get their books.
2. Join a reading group or Christian bookclub to make reading effective through discussions and reviews.
3. Find a Christian Bookstore for steady purchase. (You can visit Daachiever’s Bookstore).
It is no secret that we are emotional beings and God is open to us expressing our emotions to Him. Writing is a form of expressive therapy and on days when speaking is difficult, writing is the best alternative.
In the poetic books of the bible are the lyrical words of prolific writers like Job, David and Solomon. These men showed how much communication can be established through journalling. And so in the process of endearing yourself with God, let your pen bleed out the stress or the love on the pages of a journal.
Psalms 45:1 “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer”.
Practical Ways of journalling
1. Get a journal dedicated to writing to God. You can tag it “Letters To Abba”.
2. Form the habit of writing to God like you would to someone you genuinely love.
3. Write and hold nothing back. He is always reading.
Listening to Sermons
The process of developing an overflowing relationship with God is a journey of faith. And Romans 10:17 said “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. This shows the essence of faith (because you can’t please God without it) and how it can be propagated by the word of God.
You don’t have to give ears to sound teachings only on days when you go to church. You should be seeking the word and having it readily available on your social media, streaming platforms etc. Because no amount of word of God can be too much for a soul that craves intimacy with God.
Practical Ways of Listening to Sermons
1. Optimize your social media by following spiritually sound teachers of the gospel, so you can access their content. You never know what an Instagram reel of inspiration can do to you.
2. Make it an habit to stream/listen to a sermon a day. Either while you’re working or before bedtime.
Listening to Christian/Gospel Music
The Bible said that the word of God is spirit and life, and in order to have an overflowing relationship with God, there’s the need to internalize these words into your heart, and music is one powerful and effective way.
Ephesians 5:19 says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. This shows that music is a form of expression and worship. And when we listen or sing songs that contain the words of God, it often leaves a lasting impression on us and rekindles the bond we share with God.
Practical Ways of Listening to Christian/Gospel Music
1. Search and get recommendations of gospel artists you can listen to.
2. Search out christian playlists on streaming platforms.
3. Attend concerts and tours to get real life musical experiences.
Love People & Preach the Gospel
Choosing to have an overflowing relationship with God is choosing to be like Him and obeying His commands, just as Jesus said in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you”.
God is love, and He is calling us to love others just as He does. He is calling us to reach out to the world with the gospel of salvation, Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. We do this, knowing that we are pleasing Him.
Practical Ways of Loving People & Preach the Gospel
1. Show kindness to those around you
2. Pray for people going through tribulation
3. Give to the poor and needy
4. Join outreach and evangelism groups
5. Support missionary works.
Surrender to God & Take a Stand
No matter how great the desire to have an extraordinary relationship with God is, the flesh will not easily allow it. And that’s why Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me”, because He knows the rebellious nature of the flesh, hence the need to surrender daily by nailing self to the cross.
Getting intimate with God isn’t a mechanical act that is achieved by sheer show of religious works, it takes something deeper than that. And that’s why we can find refuge in the wise words of Solomon in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.
Practical Ways of Surrendering to God & Taking a Stand
1. Make a daily prayer of surrender by committing your heart, body and soul into the hands of God
2. Be attentive to Spirit for prompts, pointers or rebuke.
3. Affirm your place in God by confessing the truth in His word.
Having an overflowing relationship with God is possible. Especially because God want to have an overflowing relationship with you, too. You should be buzzing to take this step, no matter the history of your life.
If Paul — who never met Jesus or was called a disciple — could attain so much knowledge about God and do great things, despite being a tyrant man in his past life, how much more you? Who have been saved and redeemed.
God is calling you out for intimacy today, will you answer?