The key to having more confidence in your relationship with God is to spend time daily with Him. Our confidence in something grows when we make that something a priority in our lives. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you give it more attention, you will grow in relationship with it, and therefore have more confidence in it.
Runners become more confident in their running ability as they prioritize their training. In making time daily to run, a runner becomes stronger, faster and more confident. Having a schedule and a plan to run gives that runner confidence that running is important in their lives. They know that the more they run, the better they will be at running, and that gives them confidence.
A runner becomes more confident in running by doing just that: running.
And running doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not always easy or comfortable, and sometimes it’s challenging to prioritize. But, as most runners will tell you: it’s worth it.
Learning how to have a better relationship with God is similar. It doesn’t happen by accident.
You grow closer to God by choosing to make time for Him. A deep, confident walk of faith starts with a decision to pursue God. James 4:8 tells us that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
We develop more confidence in our walk with the Lord when we make spending time with Him and in His Word a priority. Feeding ourselves spiritually is the foundation of our spiritual training sessions.
The more we do this, the stronger our confidence in our relationship with God will be. Spending time with God daily is the most essential decision one can make in regards to deep spiritual growth.
But, often the question is, where to start? And what to do? And how to do a “quiet time” with God? How to pray? How to get connected and really in community with others who are doing this type of growth too?
No matter your upbringing or prior experience with Christianity, God is calling you closer to Him right now for a reason. Christianity is not a relation. Rather, it is as relationship with Jesus Christ.
As you consider methods to grow closer to God, I encourage you to let go of past experiences you might have had with the church or with hurtful people who were misrepresenting the message of Christ. God knows you more intimately than anyone else and He wants to be in relationship with you.
This is not about “the church” or “being good,” it’s about learning how to step into that deep fulfillment that God created you to have in His presence and in relationship with Him.
The exciting thing about a relationship with God is that it is an adventure. God is constantly working on me, pruning the sin and pride in my heart, and challenging my faith. I don’t need to know what will happen in the future because I trust who is in control. Therefore, I can be confident that the best is yet to come.
You don’t need to know everything to get started. It’s okay if you don’t know the books of the Bible or what to expect if you join a Bible study. God will meet you where you are at, and so will the loving brothers and sisters in Christ that will come alongside you as you do.
My goal in this post is to encourage you with simple resources, tools and ideas to help demystify the process of growing closer to God. Here are some tools that have been life-sparking in my relationship with God:
Churches That Have Grown My Relationship with God
There is nothing more powerful for your faith than getting grounded in your local church. Making church a priority on Sunday is a simple way that shows God your faithfulness. I love my local church, and currently attend Community Church of Ashburn, Virginia.
The most wonderful thing about the time we live in is the we get the privilege of being interconnected to every church in the world. Most modern, growing churches post the audio versions of their sermons on their podcast, as well as the video recording of the sermon on their website. Some churches use live streaming to broadcast live from both their sites and social media platforms, so there’s never a reason to miss out on getting spiritually feed.
I listen to a handful of sermons throughout the week, typically while running, folding laundry, or walking the dog. The following resources are just a handful of my go-to favorites.
Each has touched my heart and challenged my faith in a different way. I am so thankful for the leadership of pastors and for the research, prayer and passion they pour into their weekly messages. My life and faith have been forever changed because of them.
Elevation Church, Pastor Steven Furtik
Lifepoint Church, Pastor Daniel Floyd
Hillsong Church, Pastor Brian Huston
Life.Church, Pastor Greg Groechel
Church Home, Pastor Judah Smith
Christian Websites that Encourage My Relationship With God:
I used to waste hours of my time on news websites, social media and random Google searches. Those sites often left me feeling blah, discouraged or in a state of comparison. There is still a place in my life for some of that web browsing, without a doubt, but I’ve found another way to spend some of my leisure time online that helps me feel better afterwards than when I started.
I’ve found some positive online resources and I want to share them with you.
Instead of scrolling through the infinity pools of social media or dwelling on the negative articles found on most news sites, spend some of your internet time on websites that will fill your heart with something good.
It’s true that what we put into our minds is what will dwell in our hearts. And as Proverbs 23:4 tells us “Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The below list is by no means exhaustive. They are some of the sites that I can count on to have fresh content, Biblically sound principles and something challenging to grow my spirit.
Books that Have Breathed Life into My Relationship With God:
The most significant thing that determines who you will be in five years is what you are reading now. As humans we grow and mature based off what we read. There’s no right or wrong way to read – hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook, library book … just read.
The most important book to read for a Christian is obviously the Bible. If you really desire to grow in your relationship with God, reading the Bible on a daily basis is the most important step to take.
My current favorite Bible is the Beautiful Word Coloring Bible. It has hundreds of beautiful verses to color and has helped me meditate upon verses that I might not have otherwise noticed.
Reading your Bible doesn’t mean that you have to read it front to back, or cover to cover. You don’t even have to read it a full chapter at a time. It’s okay to skip around in books, read some from the New Testament, some from the Old Testament, or to just camp out around a verse. There’s no wrong way to do this.
As you read the Bible, God will reveal things to you and guide you. Certain passages will mean something powerful to you one year, and then speak to you in an entirely different way another year, in a way you never expected. Hebrews 4:12 tells us how this phenomenal happens when it tells us that “The word of God is living and active.” And it is.
Ask God to guide you as you read. The Bible tells us that the Word of God is our daily bread. (Matthew 4:4). Reading it, even if just one verse, or one Proverb or Psalm at a time, will provide you with the daily sustenance, provision and wisdom for life that you need that day.
For a full podcast episode on how to spend time with God and how to prioritize it if you have a busy schedule, then you’re going to want to listen to this podcast episode.
Beyond reading the Bible, there are a wealth of books available for spiritual growth. Here are some of my favorite books for my Christian walk beyond the Bible:
Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others, by Steven Furtik
Unstoppable: Step into Your Purpose, Run Your Race, Embrace the Future, by Christine Caine
Finding God’s Life for My Will: His Presence is the Plan, by Mike Donehey
The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
Twirl: A Fresh Spin at Life, by Patsy Clairmont
Love Like Jesus: Reaching Others With Passion and Purpose, by Judah Smith
Girls With Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero, by Lisa Bevere
Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Really Calls You to Do, by Christine Caine
Soul Detox: Clean Living an A Contaminated World, by Craig Groeschel
The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God, by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
And, then, this list wouldn’t be complete without including one of my own books. You’ll want to pick up a copy of mine if you have ever struggled with self-doubt, insecurity or perfectionism. This read will literally help you detox insecurity:
Insecurity Detox: A Breakout Plan to Rejuvenate Your Body, Mind and Spirit, by Trish Blackwell
Christian Bible Apps I Have Downloaded on All My Electronics:
We are so lucky to live in the age of technology. We literally have access to hundreds of versions of the Bible, and tools to help us stay connected to God, all accessible within what we can fit in our pockets. I have found that the more I set myself up with tools to remind me to connect with the Lord, the more connected I feel.
The following is a short list of a few of the apps that I am thankful to have stumbled upon. I highly recommend these, as well as exploring the app store for apps that might speak more directly to you as you grow in your walk with God.
Podcasts that Fill My Mind with Positive Things:
As people pursuing deep faith and deep spiritual fulfillment, it’s important to think about every angle of influence you are pouring into yourself. I enjoy a variety of podcasts, on business, on parenting and on linguistics, but there’s a whole category of podcasts that have filled and blessed my life: Christian podcasts.
Here’s a glimpse into some of the shows currently in my podcast library. And, in case you didn’t know, The Confidence Podcast has launched a faith-based series. We call it “The Confident Spirit” and these quick faith episodes drop on Thursdays. You can find the episodes in the main feed of The Confidence Podcast.
Worship Songs that Move Me:
Reverence for God can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We show Him respect when we worship Him. And you don’t have to be a good singer to be able to be blessed from incorporating worship songs into your life.
Worship songs aren’t just for Sundays at church. Carry them into your week and into your daily coming and going, and your spirit will be lifted, your countenance will be light and your focus will be clear.
You’re going to want to refer to my recent post detailing my favorite worship songs and how I use worship music in my everyday life. The post shares the songs, which songs to listen to depending upon how you are feeling and what you are seeking from God that day.
Worship music is a secret weapon that has accelerated my personal growth. It is also responsible for the majority of the healing in my life—healing from an eating disorder, from trauma, from sexual assault, from despair. My heart doesn’t always feel encouraged, or strong, but there’s a tool I use to activate peace in my heart, and it has been the cornerstone of my personal development journey.
Worship is amazing because t’s free, it’s accessible all the time and it brings me out of dark places. It has encouraged my heart at moments I felt hopeless. It helps me not give into overwhelm, fear or insecurity. It is powerful beyond measure, and sometimes only takes two minutes of engagement to see a change.
Click here to read the post and start listening to the songs that have transformed my faith and will grow yours.
Finally, Having Peace in the Process of Growing Your Relationship With God:
Sometimes, pursuing a relationship with God can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. You don’t have to follow a specific check-list, or do things any certain way.
There’s no “right” way to do this since each one of us, the almost 8 billion people on this planet, have the opportunity to have a unique relationship with God.
In the same way that every relationship in your life is different, so too will your relationship with God be different from anyone else’s relationship with Him.
So, take the pressure off yourself.
This isn’t about doing things perfectly. It’s about simply making time to spend with God.
Most of all, choose to walk in peace as you pursue God. He promises us in Philippians 4:7 (And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guide your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus) that He will wrap our lives in peace.
Each day with God is an adventure, so lean in and rest in the peace that He gives you today, with confidence that even more will come tomorrow.