In everybody’s life, there’s always that point where one wants to take a break from one’s life, reflect on himself and where possible, retrace his footsteps. Just like the prodigal son in the bible, after having spent years, decades or even half a lifetime on lavish living and immoral acts, we eventually become aware of how disconnected we have become from God, our Father and suddenly, we have this hunger to connect with Him again and to develop a strong bond with Him. We feel this great emptiness in our hearts that just yearns to be filled up.
This article would help you on your journey towards building a strong relationship with God as I have listed 10 key steps to follow to achieve that. Read through!
1. Acknowledge that you’re a sinner
“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).
There is no one who was born without sin…except of course, Jesus and His mother, Mary (Immaculate Conception). We were all born in sin which is evident in the weakness and sinfulness of our human flesh. The first step to take when developing a relationship with God is accepting the fact that you’re a sinner; to reflect on all the areas of your life where you must have erred. The essence of this is to have a contrite heart; to have a deep feeling of regret for sins of the past and to feel greatly sorry for them. Without having a contrite heart, you cannot establish a relationship with God; “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psm 51:17).
After having acknowledged your sinful nature and owned up to your wrongs, the next thing to do is reconcile with God; a personal prayer for forgiveness won’t be out of place. You could go to the Church, kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and talk to Him; tell Him of your willingness to repent and ask for His forgiveness. Most importantly, meet a Priest for confession and receive your penance. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
3. Knowledge of Self
Thia is as much important as it is to know Christ because it is in knowing your identity that you get to trace it to Christ. Many are yet to know themselves truly although they claim they know. A deep reflection on your whole being exposes you to your weaknesses, strengths, your essence and the mystery behind your existence. It equally exposes you to the weaknesses and difficulties of being human which makes us depend strongly on God. In St. Louis Marie De Montfort’s book, “True Devotion to Mary”, he explains that self-knowledge helps us see our corrupt nature as humans. He says “they may meditate on the following three considerations of St. Bernard: ‘Remember what you were – corrupted seed; what you are – a body destined for decay; what you will be -food for worms.”
4. Knowledge of Christ
Having gotten in-depth knowledge of yourself, you’re ushered into a deeper knowledge of Christ as you’re able to see more clearly, why you cannot stand on your own but depend entire on your Creator. In this stage, you are to aim at knowing more about God through studying the Holy Bible, attending the Holy Mass, Bible study Seminars, spiritual gatherings. Regularly meditation and prayers would help a lot. Eventually, you will find yourself having a broader knowledge about Christ.
5. Steadfast prayers
Prayers do a whole lot for us; ranging from making miracles happen to keeping us safe from harm to foreseeing the future. Aside all these, it connects us closer to God. Prayer is a means through which we communicate with God. Hence, constant communication with Him strengthens that bond. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). You know how it is when you frequently communicate with your lover, don’t you?
6. Mortify those desires
For those who are not really familiar with the confertanity of Mary Queen of all hearts, mortification simply means to kill the desires of one’s flesh in order to subdue the flesh. This is very necessary for spiritual growth. The number one hindrance to our growth spiritually is our flesh. Why? It’s because what pleases the flesh displeases the spiritNew International Version
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Gal 5:17).
Mortifying the flesh involves denying the flesh of it’s worldly needs like food, vices, sin. While many think mortification is only by fasting from food, it is not limited to that. You can deny yourself access to your phone, television, unnecessary talks, gossips… you can even deny yourself your own meal and give it out to others instead. Another form of mortification is deciding not to react when wrongly treated by someone. There are a ton other things that can mortify you. Just let your heart lead you.
7. Test of Faith
That beautiful glittering piece of gold you see right there passed through heatings and beatings before it could come out that beautiful! What does this tell you? For you to ascend to that great level of strong intimacy with God, you have to pass through trials and temptations and overcome them. Saints and remarkable men of God had a lifetime of suffering. St. Paul suffered a terrible illness for the rest of his life despite having begged God three times to take the infirmity away from Him, (2 Corinth 12:7-9). Mary’s faith was tested, even Christ Himself wasn’t spared as He encountered and overcame the greatest of all trials! His passion gave credence to His faith. Trials can come as setbacks, disappointments, financial challenges or even loss. We overcome them by not losing faith but resigning to the will of God.
8. Living the Faith
Letting your lifestyle reflect the light of Christ give credence to your faith. A lot of practice Christianity on the inside without it being evident to others. Sadly, this is false Christian. St. Louis Marie De Montfort explains in His book “True Devotion to Mary” that interior devotion and exterior devotion compliment each other; one should not be lacking. Same way, you should be able to apply the principles of Christ in all your activities; virtues like humility, faithfulness, love, chastity should be. This makes you part of Him as much as He’s part of you.
9. Sharing the faith
As one who is in fellowship with Christ, you are charged with the mantle of sharing to others what you have received. “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”. (Mark 16:14). Bearing in mind that God wills for everyone on earth to know about Him and reunite with Him. You don’t necessarily need to own a Church or walk on roads while screaming into your megaphone to share the faith. Your home, workplace, chit-chat or hang-out with friends, your school and random places are perfect opportunities for you to chip in one or two things about Christ.
10. Defending the Faith
This is the most difficult task as a Christian but it is the most glorious. You must be ready to defend the faith even in the face of persecution. St. Stephen stood for his faith even to His death as a matyrh At His death, the Heavens opened and He could see Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Act 7:56). Not all persecutions lead to death as in the case of Shederack, Meshack and Abednego who were thrown into a fiery furnace; not only were they saved, they also got to see God manifest His glory in the form of the fourth man who appeared in the fire.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:11-12).
It is God’s will that we all reunite with Him and establish a lifetime relationship with Him. Just like the father of the prodigal son in the Bible, He keeps waiting and never gives up on us. So don’t be scared to start this journey, He will give you the strength you need!We strongly encourage you to explore the following selection of highly recommended Catholic books. These insightful and inspiring works will deepen your faith, address various questions, and serve as meaningful gifts for friends and family. Don't hesitate to click on the links and discover these remarkable books that can enrich your spiritual journey.
The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections
Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs
Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture New Testament Set
Liturgy of the Hours
Join Us on Patreon Today!
Support CatholicShare.com by joining our Patreon for just $5. Help us create inspiring content that enriches our Catholic faith.Click here to support us on Patreon
Your generous contribution is greatly appreciated. God bless you!Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning a commission is earned if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Thank you.