Truism Discover How to Grow Your Relationship with God Jan2024 1920x1080

Discover How to Grow Your Relationship with God

Whether you’re a brand-new Christian or you’ve been walking with Jesus for a while, you need a how-to plan—concrete steps to grow your faith so that it is rock-solid, able to hold through the fiercest storms. Learn how to live in victory and find real joy as you commit yourself fully to grow your relationship with God.

First, You Must Have Faith in God

What is faith?

When we’re children, all we need to hear when something goes wrong is: “Everything’s going to be ok.” That phrase, uttered by someone we trust, produces faith, which is a settled hope. We can dry our tears, get up, and move forward.

By adulthood, we’ve usually discovered that a good outcome is never guaranteed. People and things—even good people (spouses, parents, friends) and good things (fortune, fame, success)—let us down. Life happens. And when we can’t believe “everything’s going to be ok,” we lose hope. We become anxious and depressed. We have no faith in the future. We can’t move forward. We’re stuck.

The Good News is there is Someone we can always trust, no matter how old we are or what circumstances we find ourselves in—Someone all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present. Because He died for us and rose from the grave, He alone has the credentials to merit our faith.

His name is Jesus, the Christ. Trusting Him is the beginning of faith. If you’ve walked with Him for a while, you know that trusting Him more always causes your faith to grow.

Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times

Jesus Christ promises "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). And while He is honest about our dilemma—“In the world, you will have tribulation (or trouble)”—He tells us that ultimately, eternally, everything is going to be ok—“Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

How do we develop the kind of faith that believes God no matter what?

The writer of Hebrews gave us an entire chapter on what others have accomplished by faith, then he spoke to us:

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Those biblical characters mentioned in Hebrews all went through fiery trials. They grew their faith by trusting God in those trials. Think about Abraham—he waited a long time for a child and then received a call to sacrifice that child, a call given as a test. Abraham passed the test because he believed in God’s character. Remember what he told his companions on the way to the mountain where he was called to sacrifice Isaac:

Genesis 22:5
And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

Abraham had faith to believe that God, who had promised to build a great nation through his seed, Isaac, could either raise Isaac from the dead or, as was the case, provide an alternate sacrifice.

We sometimes call these examples of faithful people in Hebrews 11 “heroes” or “champions” of the faith. They are now in the heavenly grandstand, while we as spiritual athletes are in the arena running the race of faith.

Do you wonder whether you can be victorious in Christ as they were? That’s natural. Sooner or later, you will get into a storm and find out that when your sails are torn the anchor of your faith in Jesus is able to hold. Believe God’s promises and your faith will not only hold but will also grow.

What does it mean to have faith?

Having faith in God means placing absolute trust and confidence in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and living in the divine presence of God through the Holy Spirit. Faith in God is a sincere and deep heartfelt reliance on God's love, goodness, and sovereignty over our lives. It means surrendering control, allowing God’s providence to shape our lives, and finding strength in the face of life's challenges through the belief that God is in control. Faith in God provides comfort in times of despair, hope in times of darkness, and a sense of purpose in the midst of life's complexities.

For more about growing a strong relationship with Jesus in troubled times, read the article, “Romans 5: How to Grow Your Faith in God.”

What does it mean to live our lives victoriously?

Living the Christian life victoriously means walking in faith and trusting in the victory won by Jesus Christ over sin and death. It involves living with confidence, knowing that through Christ, believers are more than conquerors and can overcome any challenge or temptation they face. Living in victory means embracing the power of the Holy Spirit, who enables us as Christians to live transformed lives marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It entails recognizing that setbacks and trials are temporary, and through faith in Christ, believers can find strength, resilience, and purpose even in the midst of adversity.

Living in victory is not about the absence of difficulties but about the presence of unwavering faith, hope, and the assurance of God's ultimate triumph. It means living with a mindset of gratitude, praising God for His grace, and sharing the message of victory with others, inviting them into the transformative and triumphant life found in Christ.

How to Live in Victory

The grace of God enables us to live godly lives in Christ Jesus and empowers us to live in victory. Romans 6 reveals how to live in victory. To appropriate the victory God enables, Pastor Adrian Rogers said we must:

  • Understand our identification with Jesus: “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:5-6).
  • Reckon our appropriation of Jesus: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11). Reckoning is acting by faith, on what we know to be true, which is that we are dead to our sins and alive in Christ.
  • Yield our emancipation to Jesus: The victorious life is God’s work in us; we cannot do it without Him, and He will not do it without us. Yielding begins when we dethrone sin. We must choose against our old master. No longer will our eyes be a tool for sin, nor our ears be sin’s instruments, nor will our hands do its bidding.
  • Enthrone Jesus our Savior: “...but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). We must make Jesus Lord of our lives, enslaving ourselves to Him, as Romans 6:18 explains: “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

When we become slaves of Christ, we receive new freedom, faithfulness, and fruitfulness. God will begin to live His life in us, claiming victory every step of the way.

For more about living victoriously in Christ, read the article, “Romans 6: How to Live Victorious in Christ.”

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?

Being a disciple of Jesus means seeking every day to live our lives in a way that mirrors Jesus' example. Being a follower of Jesus means being committed to growing spiritually, nurturing our personal relationship with God, and being guided by the Holy Spirit. Discipleship is marked by a willingness to learn, to be transformed, and to share the message of Christ with others. It also involves a deep sense of humility, recognizing our sin and imperfections and relying on God's grace and forgiveness.

Ultimately, being a disciple of Jesus means dedicating our lives to serving others, shining His light, and sharing His message with the world. It means offering love and kindness, and helping those who are far from God discover that an intimate relationship with God is possible and that salvation is available to all who believe.

A disciple will naturally want to engage in studying God’s Word. After all, the Bible is God’s love letter to us. You will find the story of Jesus’ transforming love and power is woven throughout the Old and New Testament Scriptures, from Genesis through Revelation.

Prayer and fellowship with other believers are also important for discipleship. Prayer may seem difficult at first, especially in a culture that is filled with noise, interruption, and confusion, but quiet times alone with God are essential to spiritual growth. And when we fellowship with other believers, at church, in Bible study, and in mentoring relationships, we grow by encouraging and admonishing one another.

For more about discipleship, read the article, “Luke 14: How to Follow Jesus Every Day.”

What does the Bible say about joyful living?

Living with great joy as a Christian means embracing a profound sense of gratitude and contentment rooted in faith, regardless of life's circumstances. It involves recognizing God's love and grace, finding peace in God’s presence, and trusting in His divine plan. Christians find joy in knowing that we are deeply loved and valued by God, experiencing a profound sense of purpose in serving others, and finding hope in the promise of eternal life.

This joy is not dependent on worldly success or material possessions but is spiritual fruit that grows through a deep, abiding relationship with God, enabling believers to face challenges with resilience, share love unconditionally, and find meaning in every moment, guided by the Word of God. Living with joy as a Christian is a testament to the transformative power of faith, illuminating life with a radiant light that reflects God's eternal love and grace.

Jesus said we cannot have this joy unless we abide in Him.

John 15: 4-5
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit. We cannot have this immutable, lasting joy unless we abide in Jesus who gave us the Holy Spirit as our companion, comforter, and corrector.

If you are doing the things that help grow your faith—reading God’s Word, taking unhurried time in prayer, abiding in Jesus every day, and believing God’s Word when troubles come—you will grow your relationship with God.

For more about what it means to abide in Jesus and have greater joy, read the article, “John 15: Live Life with Great Joy.”