If we want a strong relationship with God, we must slow down and reverence Him.
If we want a strong relationship with God, we must slow down and reverence Him. (Lightstock )

If you want to build a deep relationship with God, you have to slow down and be quiet.

Friendship with God is like any other friendship—you have to make time for it. If you don't make time for your human friends, they're not your friends. You make time for your friends. And if God is going to be your best friend, you've got to give your best time to Him.

The Bible says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10a, NIV).

You need to have a daily quiet time with God. You have to be still so that you can know God better.

Psalm 25:14 says, "The counsel of the Lord is with those who fear him, and He will make His covenant known to them" (MEV).

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Many people don't know God. They haven't experienced God's love. They don't know why He does what He does. Yet, the Bible says that friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him. In other words, those who slow down and spend time with Him.

What would a friendship be if you never invested your time in it? Friendships need attention. You will never know God intimately if all you do is just come to church services. You've got to read God's Word and ask him, "God, is there anything you want to say to me?" You don't have to use any fancy phrases or words. Just talk to Him authentically. And then listen!

The Bible says it like this Matthew 6:5-6: "When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

Slow down today, focus on God, and listen as He speaks to you about His grace.

Talk It Over

  • What are the distractions that keep you from being still before God? How can you limit those distractions?
  • Why is it sometimes easier or more enjoyable to spend time with our friends on Earth rather than with God? What do we misunderstand about God when we feel this way?
  • We sometimes over complicate our quiet times? What kind of things can you do to slow down, be quiet, and spend time with God simply and honestly?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is author of the New York Times best-seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit rickwarren.org.

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