Does this sound familiar?
“This year I’m going to spend more time with God. I want to grow deeper in my relationship with God. I want to get focused on my relationship with God and step out in faith this year.”
What about this one?
“Last year, I really wanted to grow closer to God…but I didn’t. Or I didn’t as much as I wanted to or should have..”
If either of these sound familiar to you, this post is for you! My word for this year is intentional. I want to be more intentional this year in every aspect of my life, including my faith. This means spending intentional time with God, growing my faith, and sharing my faith!
6 Practical Ways to Grow Closer to God This Year
1 // Genuinely put God First.
Well Watered Women is doing a challenge called #WordBeforeWorld which is a challenge to get into the Word before the world each day. This means spending some time with God when you first wake up in the morning, whether that’s with a devotional, listening to worship music when you’re getting ready (if you need a worship playlist you can access mine here), or praying throughout your morning. The big picture reason behind this is to not go to your phone first thing in the morning, stress the second you wake up, or focus on things other than God to start your day, because the Word says, “seek first the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33)
2 // Read the Bible in a Year.
The Bible is God’s word, the story of our redemption, and so much more all jam packed into one book. The Word is how we learn about God’s character and His promises. How can we grow closer to God without learning about Him, past, present, and future, all of which is compiled into this book? I am doing the One Year Bible which is a hard copy that I can use alongside my Bible and journal. You can also find other Bible in a Year plans online, on the YouVersion app, SheReadsTruth, and so on!
3 // Pray About the Smaller Things.
This may seem silly or odd, but bare with me! It’s really easy to pray for the big things going on in your life, the people close to you and their lives, or around the world. When we begin to pray for the smaller things, we begin to see God do the big through the small. We grow in our faith when we begin to trust God with even the simplest and smallest requests. Also, it reminds us that nothing is too small for God to do a work in!
4 // Share Your Faith with at least One Person a Month (Day, Week, or Quarter)
This is more of a challenge than a tip, but it’s just as important. Part of being a Christ follower is following the Great Commission which is to share the gospel. One major way to grow closer to God is to truly navigate why you believe what you believe and how to share that with someone else. It’s really cool when you’re able to look back at your own testimony and how it backs up why you believe what you believe. Then are able to share the gospel just by sharing your own personal journey which is something extremely powerful and often times, more relatable. I encourage you to pray for God to place people in your life who need to hear the gospel, or even people who already have but are struggling. God’s heart is for His people and ours should be too.
5 // Give.
This one can sometimes seem intimidating, but I promise you that I’ve seen God do so much in our marriage after implementing this principle. Granted, Brad and I both tithed before we were married, but God has blessed us so much over the past 6 months of us being faithful with our money. If you have never embraced the biblical principle of tithing, this year is the year to do it! God blesses those who give and honors our faith when we put our money in His hands. We are also able to give to missionaries and support those sharing the gospel around the world. One of my favorite things each month is reading the newsletters of the missionaries I’ve partnered with and seeing all that God is doing through them.
6 // Journaling.
Journaling is the best way to see God’s work in your life. When we journal we write down our struggles, prayers, hurts, praise reports, you name it! Then months down the line, we are able to look back and see all that God has done. Nothing will light a fire under your faith than seeing in writing, right in front of your face, answered prayers, prophetic words, and verses that spoke to you at the beginning of the year verses the end. The thing that I believe scares so many people off from journaling is feeling like they don’t know how – when that’s the best part! You don’t have to know how, its your journal, you get to do it your way!
I hope this offers you some motivation and encouragement! I believe we often times complicate this whole Christian thing when we don’t have to! God is a relational God and He just wants to meet with us, but we have to give him the space to actually do that. So, I hope these few practical ways will help you grow closer to God this year. 2018 is the year of God’s best and it is just waiting for you to truly tap into it!