When you want to deepen your relationship with God, you need to move beyond simply knowing about Him and seek personal encounters with Him. The Bible’s Psalms can help you do that. The Psalms are full of honest expressions of what it means to relate to God. They describe faith in action while dealing with the tension between this fallen world’s realities and the hope God offers you.
Here’s how you can deepen your relationship with God by reading and responding to the Psalms:
1. Meet God in Every Emotion
Express all the complexities inherent in a relationship with God. The Psalms show that sharing life with God involves communicating with Him in all types of circumstances, such as lamenting hardship, expressing joy and gratitude, raging against injustice, asking for needs to be met, complaining, celebrating, and more. Regularly and honestly express your thoughts and feelings to God, confident that He is listening and He cares.
2. Make God Your Destination
Reorient your focus toward God. In the Psalms, people are stripped of worldly things that give them a false sense of security and fleeting fulfillment, and then discover that they can gain ultimate security and fulfillment through relationships with God. When worldly things fail to satisfy you, look beyond them toward God. Orient your life around your relationship with God, investing most of your time and energy into growing closer to Him, and then everything else in your life will fall into place in a healthy way.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Mourn
Grieve over what makes God sad. The Psalms describe people whose hearts become broken over what breaks God’s heart, such as these factors that affect our lives today: our propensity to stray from God, our defensiveness against God’s claim on us, our disregard of God’s kindness, and the lack of trust in God’s love that we show in the ways we disobey Him. Let the Psalms help you sense how sin can alienate you from God and make your Creator sad, and let the grief you feel about that fuel penitence in your life.
4. Accept Your Faults
Let yourself be broken so you can begin to discover the joy of freedom. Invite God to break through the shell that shields you from the harsh realities of this fallen world so you can then discover through that brokenness how much you need God – the same process that the Psalms describe. Expect that freedom and joy will flow into your soul through the cracks left by brokenness as you place your trust in God.
5. Take Heart
Be optimistic. While the Psalms honestly acknowledge the problems of our fallen world, they also express an optimistic faith that God can solve the problems through redemption and salvation. Never lose hope when challenges and suffering enter your life; know that God is always willing to help you.
6. Be Patient in Silence
Wait well. The Psalms describe how agonizing it can feel to be facing an urgent need yet not see God acting to meet it right away. But, as the Psalms reveal, the process of waiting is valuable in itself, because it encourages you to stretch your faith by seeking God. When you exercise your faith while you wait, you emerge from the waiting period with stronger faith.
7. Learn to Let Go
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-for-letting-go/ Liberate your desires. As the Psalms show, when people make worldly things (such as wealth, power, or sex) the focus of their desires, they set themselves up for eventual disappointment, fueling a cycle of discontent in their lives. But when people make a relationship with God their ultimate desire, they can find real and lasting satisfaction. So liberate yourself from a vicious cycle of longing by focusing on God before anyone or anything else. The more you seek God, the greater your desire for Him will become, which will then motivate you to seek Him more – in a wonderful cycle of fulfillment.
8. Worship through Repose
Find rest through worshipping God. People in the Psalms worship God by seeking His purposes and doing their best to fulfill them. Rather than pursuing their own agendas for their lives, they offered themselves to God to do His will. Entrust yourself and your life to God as your own act of worship. When you let God overpower you, His authority will overshadow you, placing you in the protection of God’s will – which is the safest place for you to be.
9. Be Fulfilled – FULLY Fillex, Amen.
Enjoy God. The Psalms show that human relationships with God are meant to be much more than just distant and abstract. Incredibly, our Creator wants us to enjoy relating to Him. The more you enjoy God, the more you can become a vessel of His glory in this world.
10. Praise Him in All Things: Psalm 34
Praise God. When people in the Psalms express praise to God for who He is and what He does, they do so together, using both words and physical actions (such as dancing, kneeling, bowing, clapping, and lifting hands). Follow their lead by regularly praising God yourself in ways that best convey your love for Him.
I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name.
For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. Others too were radiant at what he did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection! This poor man cried to the Lord—and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles. For the Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence him.
Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself the way his mercies shower down on all who trust in him. If you belong to the Lord, reverence him; for everyone who does this has everything he needs. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing.
Sons and daughters, come and listen and let me teach you the importance of trusting and fearing the Lord. Do you want a long, good life? Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from lying. Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it.
For the eyes of the Lord are intently watching all who live good lives, and he gives attention when they cry to him. But the Lord has made up his mind to wipe out even the memory of evil men from the earth. Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help and saves him out of all his troubles.
The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. Not one of his bones is broken.
Calamity will surely overtake the wicked; heavy penalties are meted out to those who hate the good. But as for those who serve the Lord, he will redeem them; everyone who takes refuge in him will be freely pardoned.