As a single person, you are in a season of wait: you’re waiting to be found. While you’re waiting, you’ve got your own preparation to go through and it begins with building an intimate relationship with God. This is the most important relationship that you can ever invest time in, and it will set the stage for your relationship with others.
Building an intimate relationship with God does not just happen. It requires an important participation on your end. Some of the key factors in building this relationship consist of:
- Building a prayer life
- Spending time in the Word (the Bible)
- Knowing God’s will for your life
- And discerning the voice of God
All of these elements are equally important. Without a prayer life, you won’t know the voice of God, and to pray effectively you need to know the promises of God as indicated in His Word. Let us first consider how prayer can draw us closer to God.
Building A Prayer Life
Prayer opens the doors of communication with God. It allows us to connect with our Creator and take a deep look into His heart. At the same time, it has the power to completely transform us. In order to build an intimate relationship with God, prayer must become a daily habit.
Set aside specific times in your day to connect with God in the same way that you would for other important events in your life. You have to be intentional about reaching out to Him. In fact, I suggest that the first conversation in your day should be with God. Your life will change when you learn to put God first in every area of your life. And what better way to start your day than by ushering into His presence?
Prayer is also an opportunity for you to be transparent with God, opening yourself completely to Him and inviting Him in your most vulnerable space. Since God already knows everything there is to know about you, you may as well talk about it with Him. There is nothing you can hide from Him. What’s more, God invites you to pray and to reason with Him as He calls you and says: “Come now, let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18a). Essentially, God is inviting you to pull up a chair and bring His attention to everything that is on your heart and mind. He invites you to come plead or argue your case before Him. This invitation is also extended so you can bring your sins to Him and He can wash them away as if they had never happened (Psalm 103:12; Hebrews 8:12).
Ultimately, prayer is the best way for you to claim the promises of God. When you claim His promises, your prayers will strengthen your faith and move the hand of God. In hindsight, you are telling God that you are waiting with expectancy and believing Him for what He has already promised He would do. However, you can only learn to claim those promises as you delight yourself in His Word.
Spending Time In The Bible
The Bible is God’s inspired Word and He desires you to spend time reading, studying, and meditating on it.
All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
God did not give you His Word simply out of thin air. All His desires for His children, His commands, and directions are recorded in His Word for your benefit and mine. The Bible is His love letter to you. As you spend time in God’s Word, you will be able to draw closer to Him and know His will for your life. Ultimately, it is His Word that trains you in righteousness and equips you to do every good thing God is calling you to do.
The Bible must not simply be read but it must be studied: “study to shew thyself approved unto God ” (2 Timothy 2a). By doing so, you will rightly divide the word of truth from falsehoods. In addition, memorizing God’s Word is also necessary. If you make it a practice to memorize scriptures, the Holy Spirit will be able to bring them back to your memory when you need them most.
As you read and study God’s Word, you should do so while following four key principles:
- Read the scripture,
- Understand the overall message of the scripture,
- Comprehend (grasp the true meaning of) the scripture,
- And apply it to your life.
By following these principles, you will have a deeper understanding of the Bible.
Knowing God’s Will
As you discover the Word of God and dive deeper into prayer, you will discover God’s will. He also reveals His will to you through His still small voice. Sometimes, God will speak to you in loud and extravagant ways. Other times, and most often, He speaks to you with a still small voice that is barely audible (1 Kings 19:11-12). His voice can resemble a soft whisper, which should indicate to you how close He remains to you. Regardless of His proximity, it will be nearly impossible for you to hear His voice unless you remain still and quiet. At times, this may require that you go far into the country or in a quiet or secluded place. I personally take time ever so often to escape the busy city and go away for a weekend so I can spend quality time with God and discern His voice.
In spite of knowing God’s will, you must take a further step in your relationship with Him to reach true intimacy: the step of obedience. You must actually follow His will. Remember that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), and knowledge without application is useless. Therefore, as you come into a greater knowledge and understanding of God’s will, it is your responsibility to walk in obedience.
Discerning The Voice Of God
Although we’ve talked a bit about hearing God’s voice, it will be difficult for you to know that the voice you are hearing is indeed His if you are unfamiliar with it. As a result, it is crucial that you be able to discern His voice. There are many voices that are competing daily for your attention: voices on the radio, on television, your children’s voice, friends, family, colleagues, your own voice, and of course the enemy’s. Consequently, you need to invite and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. This is one way that God speaks to us. Through others, He also confirms His Word through the mouth of two or three witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These are often people who have a pre-established relationship with God and are able to discern His voice.
In addition, God’s voice will always come into agreement with His Word. If what you think you have heard from God contradicts what His Word says, then you have not heard His voice. God will never contradict Himself: the Spirit of God and the Word of God always agree with one another. So as you come into the knowledge of God’s truth, you will be able to discern His voice more easily.
As you build a more intimate relationship with God, be also mindful to let go of what you think you know. Let go of old perceptions and allow Him to reshape your mind and heart. Hide His Word in your heart and watch as your relationship with your Father takes on a whole new level.