This article was written by Rachel Fercha and published by CRU
Since I became a Christian, it’s been a struggle to consistently connect with God. Like me, you may also tend to think that most other Christians are experiencing God more deeply than you are.
Is there something wrong with me because I’m not experiencing Him like others? Am I missing something?
I’m not alone in this.
The Bible is full of examples of those who envy or resent other people’s relationships. Cain envied Abel’s relationship with God. Jacob and Esau fought over their father Isaac’s blessing. Jesus’ disciples argued about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. There’s a desire for intimacy and relationship that is present in each of these stories.
Is it possible that we don’t experience God like everyone else because God didn’t intend us to? Could it be that we’re missing something about what worship is?
We all know that worship isn’t just listening to songs in church or reading the Bible. Worship isn’t an experience we have once a week; it’s a part of everyday life. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (New International Version), “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Worship is an inward attitude of the heart. It’s not supposed to feel functional; it’s intimate. It’s recognizing who God is, who He’s created us to be and what our relationship to Him is.
We don’t need a one-size-fits-all relationship with God.
God uniquely formed each of us. I like folk music; you may like rap. I like being around small groups of people; you may be energized by large gatherings. If we each experience life differently, won’t those differences influence how we worship God?
In Gary Thomas’ book “Sacred Pathways,” he describes nine ways we can interact with God. You may find yourself relating to more than one. Which pathways do you most identify with?
Worship and celebration are words that appeal to you. You desire inspiration and feel close to God when you are inspired.
You experience God best out in nature — in His world. You feel closest to God on a hike, sitting beside a brook or river, or simply being outside.
- Take your Bible outside each day and walk through the study “Discovering God in Creation.”
- Allow nature to teach you about God’s existence.
- Go for a hike and use nature to guide you in prayer.
You appreciate beauty, art and music. You feel closest to God when listening to music, working with your hands or viewing art or photography.
- Understand your role as an artist in pointing to God.
- Bring creativity into your daily life.
- Write your own worship song.
You want to be part of a social or evangelistic cause. You feel close to God taking faith-risks, and you seek growing dependence on Him while striving for justice and against evil.
You are drawn to God through ritual, symbol and sacrifice. You need something tangible to do to draw close to God.
- Make prayer a priority.
- Find ways to incorporate traditions and rituals into your life.
- Learn about traditions and rituals in the Bible.
- Develop new Christian habits.
You love God best by loving people. You feel close to God when serving the poor, hosting people in your home or helping with a church event.
- How can you love by faith?
- Ask yourself how you can serve someone today.
- Study what the Bible says about the Christian and good deeds.
- Learn how to be a servant leader.
You experience God best with your mind. You love to study and have a need to learn new things about God.
- Pick a book of the Bible to study deeply using these methods.
- Gather a group of friends to discuss a book about God or the gospel: for example, The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink.
- Check out the Bible Study “Jesus and the Intellectual”.
You worship God best through adoration. You love digging into a good book or engaging in a thoughtful discussion.
- Grow in your personal time with God.
- Practice thinking rightly about God.
- Spend time reflecting on and journaling about who God is and His characteristics.
- Learn what it means to take your faith from your head to your heart.
You need quiet, solitude and simplicity to feel close to God. You benefit from a silent retreat away from your phone and other external distractions.