How Can I Improve my Relationship with God?

In the series on Loneliness, I talked about loving by laying down your soul. Of course, most of the emphasis was on doing this for other people.

free girl in meadow

But what about loving God? Is that just a feeling that comes and goes? Is it something you have to drum up?

Well, there is some effort involved. It doesn’t just happen of its own accord. But it also can’t be forced. Scripture says we love (God) because He first loved us (I John 4:19).


First, some general questions:

  1. How is a strong, healthy relationship developed? Through love.
  2. Why do we love? Because we were loved first.
  3. How do we love? By laying down our souls.

I’m sure you’ve heard that you have to love reading the Bible in order to have a good relationship with God. I’m inclined to think that it’s more of a cycle. If you love God, you will read His written words. And when you receive the written words as well as the rhema (personal) words, you love Him more. And so on.

bible, cross and crown of thornsEver read the Bible and gotten nothing out of it? My hand’s raised along with yours. For years I tried to read the Bible and got no revelation, no encouragement, no nothing. It was like a textbook.

Then I started listening to God’s leading. I understood inside that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t a hopeless sinner or a condemned heathen. I was badly wounded and simply couldn’t relate to scripture until I received sufficient emotional healing.

He didn’t judge me, He told me how I could get something from it. He had me go to the lake, walk for awhile, then sit down with my Starbucks and the Bible. I read a passage and asked Him what it was saying to me personally. Then I wrote out that personal message. I paraphrased it according to what I felt God was saying. And when I was done, that passage meant something to me.

Let’s go back to our list.

  1. My relationship with Him was developed through love. But it was His love a whole lot more than it was mine.
  2. I learned to love Him because I slowly absorbed the truth that He did love me first, and that His love was pure, strong, holy, and forever.
  3. I learned to love Him through laying down my soul.

Remember what comprises the soul?

  1. The mind.  I had to put my brain (at least partially) on the back burner so I could listen more with my spirit.
  2. The will.  I had to be willing to do things His way and to put my desires aside. I mostly wanted to chuck the whole thing. (Like that would have helped!)
  3. The emotions.  I had to surrender my frustration and anger at not being able to do what “they” said I should do so that God could impress upon me a better and more personal way. hope flying

Laying down your soul to God is the best way to develop a healthy relationship with Him.

I didn’t say it was instant. I sure didn’t say it was easy!

But it is worth it.


This is part 3 of a series on your relationship with God

Part 1|How’s Your Relationship with God?

Part 2| Religion or Relationship?

Part 3| How Can I Improve my Relationship with God?

Part 4| Is Your Soul Like a Weaned Child?


all illustrations courtesy of