5 Ways To A Closer Relationship With God
Every week you have 168 hours to use.
If you work 40-50 hours a week, and spent 68 hours sleeping and eating, that would give you a total of 50-60 hours left to live the rest of your life.
Studies show that the average person spends 24 hours watching TV. If you add any family time and personal activity in there, how much does that leave for God?
Here’s how to draw closer to God, and find one of the greatest things you will every experience: your purpose in life.
Here are 5 ways to a closer relationship with God:
1. Start your morning off strong – As best as I can tell, Jesus spent every morning talking with God before He did anything else. If that was best for Him, shouldn’t it be for us? Every morning Jesus received blessing, and guidance, and love, and self-worth from God. Make sure you are as well!
2. Become a student – Every person needs a mentor or two. What greater area of your life to give focus to? Find someone who has a great relationship with God and ask for them to teach you how to do the same. Notice that I didn’t say find someone who attends church a lot…doing “church” or “religion” doesn’t mean you have a great relationship with your Father in Heaven.
3. Set healthy boundaries – In 7 Signs You Self-Sabotage I shared that when you don’t have healthy boundaries, you allow people to manipulate you, take advantage of you, and abuse you. The very lack of healthy boundaries also keeps you from an intimate relationship with God. How? It’s actually quite simple – people without boundaries aren’t getting their strength, self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, etc. from God. Start by reading the book Boundaries! This is a great first step in taking care of YOU.
4. Worship Him like never before– I shared that the Jewish people believe, as well as I, that worshiping God is what you do during the week with his Children through your mode of work. In other words, if I do a great job during the week taking care of my clients and my followers, then I’m worshiping God. That in itself should absolutely change the way you look at your work. Focus everyday on what you can do to take care of God’s children, and I truly believe He will delight in it.
5. Keep the relationship open – Prayer is not something you just do in the morning, or when you eat, it should be continuous. As 1 Thes 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing”. Saying Amen doesn’t mean that your communication with God is now done until the next meal. You grow your relationships with people by open communication, you should focus that even more when growing your relationship with God. Talk to him in all things.
Key Action Items:
- How to calculate your remaining hours [2:25]
- How to start your morning off strong with God [5:57]
- Spot spiritual leaders to help you grow closer to God [11:55]
- Guard yourself from the actions that put your focus on “man,” not God [15:38]
- Understand the Jewish Model of Worship (it’s not praise music) [18:45]
- Learn what it means to be in continuous communication with God [21:04]
- Get guidance on where to start to grow closer to God, and my partial morning routine [24:45]
Chris LoCurto: Five ways to a closer relationship with God that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Welcome to the show folks. Today we’re talking about ways to get a closer relationship with God, and I can tell you this, that finding your purpose in life is one of the greatest things you will ever experience. Now I say that in a lot of people are probably thinking right now, “Are you going to tell me how to find my purpose in life right here on a podcast?”
Well, I’m going to get you a heck of a lot closer. I’m going to help you to actually discover it a lot more than you possibly have in the past, because my belief and my views on purpose and God is actually something that I take from the Bible. So we’re going to kind of break into that and talk through that, but there’s a major key to discover the purpose that God has for you and that is, wait for it.
Here’s my drum roll on the desk. That key is God, yes, God’s the key to discovering the purpose that God has for you. I think we spend so much time trying to discover our purpose in so many different ways and not realizing if it is our purpose or maybe my purpose is that I’m supposed to be in a specific career. The key to discovering your purpose folks, is God.
So we’re going to dive into that as well. Last month we did an episode, five steps to work to please God, not people, and we talked about what it looks like to do your work as unto the Lord, and that was episode 283. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you. Now, a big key is how can you do your work as unto God if you don’t know him, if you don’t have a relationship with him?
So I want to challenge you by giving you some practical steps to seeking God and growing into a closer relationship with him. Now, every week you have 168 hours to use. Yep. Hundred Sixty eight hours. Have you ever thought about that? How much time you actually have in just seven days that you can utilize.
Now if you work a 40 hour week and you spend about 68 hours between sleeping and eating, hopefully you don’t spend a whole lot more than that eating that would give you a total of 60 hours left in your week to live the rest of your life. Yes. Sixty hours. Now, sure there’s travel time to and from work. A lot of people listening to this show probably don’t work a 40 hour week. You know, I have not worked a 40 hour week since I was like 20 or younger. So I don’t know what that looks like.
So you might work a little bit more than that, but even if you do, you know, let’s say we throw in there another eight hours or 10 hours worth of driving to work extra hours that you’re working. That still gives you 50 hours. What if we threw an extra 20, that still gives you 40 hours.
So right now do a little calculation in your head of the remaining hours you have and where they’re going. Studies show that the average person, average person spends 34 hours watching TV every single week. If you add any family time and personal activity in there, how much time does that leave for God?
So if we were spending as much time as we are at work, as much time as we are sleeping and eating and as much time as we are watching TV, how much time does that leave for God? So we’re going to talk about how to have a closer relationship with God.
Now this episode is brought to you by Next Level Life. Maybe you’re not spending those 60 remaining hours the way you want. Maybe you’re finding yourself feeling frustrated, discontent, stuck in the same old stuff and not moving forward, not living the life you want to be living. What if you could wake up every morning with a clear purpose?
What would it look like to have healthier relationships with less conflict? Where would you be in five years if you had clarity, purpose, and peace? Now I know it’s possible because I’ve been where you are asking myself, is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? There is a better way and it starts with next level life. You can go to ChrisLoCurto.com/discover to take the next step. Next level life is a two day personal discovery experience. It’s a one-on-one, extremely personalized event where we guide you through a process to help you get unstuck and discover what’s holding you back from freedom and peace.
Don’t keep going through the motions every day, losing hours. There’s so much more to life. You can scratch the surface of growth with different tactics and distractions, but there’s so much more freedom, peace and fulfillment. You just need the perspective to get there.
So go to ChrisLoCurto.com/discover and take the next step to get there. Now onto how to have a closer relationship with God. Now we always have weekly action items and this whole episode is weekly action items. Here are five things you can do this week to start growing closer to God.
1. Start Your Morning Off Strong
Now, the first thing is start your morning off strong as best as I can tell Jesus spent every morning talking with God before he did anything else. If that was best for him, shouldn’t it be for us? Again, this is the best that I can tell every morning Jesus received blessing and guidance and love and self worth from God.
Make sure you are as well. Now folks, we’ve created a download for you that goes beyond this episode. That’s a pdf of part of my morning routine, how I start my mornings growing closer to God and what has helped me the most to do exactly that. We’ll tell you how to get that at the end of the episode, but this is the stuff that I do every day.
This is the stuff that I do that because I’ve done this, I have gained an incredibly closer relationship to God than I’ve ever had and it is one of those things where if I miss a day, you know there’s sometimes that I’m traveling or something and I’ve got just the most ridiculously early flight that I’ve got to get to the airport and run out and my morning doesn’t start the same way, it’s frustrating for me.
It’s difficult, but I’ve got to tell you, so we’ve got, we’re going to have a pdf we’ll talk about at the end of the episode on the things that I do that has helped me to grow incredibly closer and tools and stuff like that. But I can tell you this, if I don’t spend time with my God every morning and I don’t just pray in the morning time now, a lot of people pray at mealtimes asking God to bless the incredibly unhealthy food that they’re putting into their bodies.
I know been there myself. I’ve done that myself. That’s yes, that’s good that you’re asking for God’s blessing on the food. It’s good that you recognize who’s provided. I don’t know if God’s provided a lot of the unhealthy stuff, but the sustenance, our daily bread, the things that we are, you know, are supposed to have to keep us going.
He’s the one who provides for us. He’s the one who takes care of us. The key though is going well beyond spending 30 seconds, 60 seconds praying over your meal, right? You have to spend time talking with your God. So many folks come through our processes and believe that they have got the most amazing relationship with God. Oh my gosh.
My relationship with God is powerful. It’s strong. It’s this, it’s this. It’s this only to discover that the closeness, the relationship with God that they thought they had is actually kind of missing, which is a great thing about what we help people to see here is that there is so much more. There’s so much more closeness to the guy who created everything. There’s so much more closeness to the father who’s crazy about you and loves you and wants to take care of you.
There’s so much more that you can have, but spending a small portion of time in prayer just isn’t going to cut it. It’s good and God loves you exactly where you are. He just doesn’t want to keep you there. So if you want to grow in relationship, it’s like I tell people, if you know we’re going to get to know you, let’s say a guy and a girl are going to date and the guy goes and talks to the parents and goes and talks to the friends and reads some of the notes that that person wrote.
Then they’re gonna have a good understanding with that person. Now the Bible is actually the living word of God, so you actually going to get more of it than just reading notes, right? That’s one of the most powerful pieces as well in growing in your relationship, BUT the point that I’m making is is how well do you know the girl if you haven’t met her yet, if you haven’t spent time with her yet, if you haven’t talked with her yet, if you haven’t, if you’ve barely chatted or barely texted with that person, you don’t really know that person.
You have to spend time getting to know that person. Prayer is a big piece of that, and I’m not talking about the dial – a- Jesus. You know, where the only time you pray is because you need something or you want something, but I’m talking about spending a lot of time focusing on God in your prayer time and again, in that pdf there’s going to be just a quick brief way of how to pray.
A better way of praying if you’ve not ever had a great start to prayer, so there’s information about that as well. So first thing is you’ve got to start your morning off strong. Start your day off the right way, spend time with God. Spend time discussing your day with the one person who can change it, who can make it better, who can do anything right? So big piece.
2. Become A Student
Second piece, become a student.
Every person needs a mentor or two in their life. What greater area of your life to give focus to? Find someone who has a great relationship with God and ask for them to teach you how to do the same. So when I’m talking about here now in and also, if you go back to biblical times, we actually look at people in a different light now. There’s churches that have deacons and elders and all kinds of people as part of the volunteer staff on a church that’s supposed to be guiding and directing.
And a lot of times we absolutely miss who those people should be. Many times we put people in place because they’ve run a business. Well surely they must be people of God because they’re running a business, right? Or you know, the used car lot guy, and nothing against the used car lot guy, but we put people in places that, because they’ve run a successful business, we think, oh, they should able to be on an Elder Board or Deacon Board.
When you go through the Bible and you look at the people that were appointed to be elders, when you look at the people that were put in place to guide and direct along side the pastor, guess who they were? They were people that you could see the evidence, the fruits of the spirit, the evidence of the Holy Spirit in them. So if the person you’re talking with isn’t displaying love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
If you don’t see the very elements, the fruits of the Holy Spirit coming from that person, then it doesn’t matter how religious they appear, they may not be being led by the Holy Spirit. So the goal here is to find somebody that you see the fruits of the spirit coming from, because that means that the Holy Spirit is leading that person. That means that person is spending time growing in their relationship with God.
Have that person teach you, have that person help you and grow you. Spend time being vulnerable, getting in front of that person just going. You know what? I just don’t know what I don’t know. I’m not sure if I do have a good relationship with God. I’m not sure if I have much of a relationship with God. So notice that I didn’t say find someone who attends church a lot or does a lot of religious stuff or talks Christianese, you know, because that’s not what we’re looking for.
Doing Church or religion doesn’t mean that you have a great relationship with your father in heaven, right? Your relationship with God directly is paramount. Now, with that said, understand that I absolutely believe you should not forsake the gathering of the saints. I’m telling you to go towards people who are spirit filled, that you can see the fruits of the spirit just don’t turn the gathering into a false belief of daily relationship with God.
Right? So a lot of times we go and we figure, I can’t tell you how many people, when I’ve asked them about their relationship with God, they say, I go to church every week. Great, but what I’m asking is what about your relationship with God directly? So become a student.
Seek people that aren’t just smart when it comes to religion, when it comes to the word, but people that are experiencing or displaying the fruits of the spirit. And another thing that I use, and this is big for me, this is huge for me. I use a chronological Bible.
I’ve been studying God’s word for decades and I can tell you that when I started on the Chronological Bible, we’re going to put a link in the show notes of something that I absolutely love to endorse and everybody on my team has this, all the folks in our Next Level Mastermind program and folks that have done StratPlans, they got one of these for Christmas as a gift from me because I believe in this.
I love it. Walking with Jesus, walking with the apostles, walking through the Bible in a chronological order changes the way you see things, changes the way you see God changes your relationship. So for me, that’s been a powerful piece. And again, that pdf, I’m also going to show you how I go through and how we go through the Bible and then the way that we read through and take time and all that stuff. That’s been a big piece being that, you know, I’ve been a student of God’s word for decades. This has been a huge game changer for me to do it in a chronological order.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
The next thing I want you to focus on, and this may sound strange to you, but I want you to set healthy boundaries. When you don’t have healthy boundaries, you allow people to manipulate you, take advantage of you, possibly abuse you.
And again, if you’re not putting in those boundaries, then you’re the one who is allowing this to happen, right? So the very lack of healthy boundaries also keeps you from an intimate relationship with God. How? Well it’s quite simple. Actually. People without boundaries are not focused on getting their strength, their self worth, their confidence from God.
If you do not know how to get those from God, that is a huge expression of not having that deeper relationship with God, not understanding that relationship with God. And we’ve talked about this a ton on a lot of episodes, but if you don’t have healthy boundaries and your focus is on people pleasing, allowing people to be abusive to you or manipulate you.
If you’re allowing that to happen in life, then your focus is heavily on man. So until you can get those boundaries in place, it makes it incredibly difficult to grow an intimate relationship with God.
Now I’m not saying that you’re not going to be turning to God because of reliance because of you know, asking him to help you out of difficult situations. I’m just saying, when you’re really more focused on man and what man is doing to you or at you, then unfortunately it keeps you from growing closer to God.
So what I want you to do is start by reading the book Boundaries. This is a great first step in taking care of you, and by the way, if you’ve ever noticed that you just don’t have time to read your Bible or pray or even get into something like boundaries, then you may have a boundary problem in not making that time. You may be spending too much time focused on taking care of everybody else and not taking care of you in the process as well.
So if I’m going to help you guys, if I’m going to lead my team well, if I’m going to help the folks that come in to this business to change their lives, to change their businesses, I have to be heavily focused on my relationship with God.
I have to be spending time with him. So sometimes a healthy boundary is saying no. Sometimes a healthy boundary of saying, nope, I can’t do this thing. I can’t do that function. I can’t take time this early in the morning and to disrupt my morning routine, I’ve got to focus on God. Sometimes a healthy boundary is I really need my time with God.
And as you, as you go through God’s word, what you will discover is the times that Jesus took time, you know, after he would do a lot of healing or he feeds the 5,000 or or or there’s all these different situations where he takes off and goes and spends time with God. So you have to set those boundaries and make sure that you’re not allowing people to suck up every moment of your time and you’re not getting that time with God.
4. Worship Him Like Never Before
Next thing I want you to focus on is worship him like never before.
Now, the Jewish people believe that worshiping God is what you do during the week with his children through your mode of work. Now, a lot of us, we believe that worship, worshiping God is three songs on Sunday when we get into church or if we’re driving in the car, you know we’re singing a praise song really loudly and that’s definitely worship, but there is a Jewish belief system and I agree with it, that I’m worshiping God if I do a great job during this week to take care of you, not people pleasing, not getting my worth from, but if I do a great job taking care of the people that he’s put in front of me, that he’s put into my business, that he’s put into my life. If I do a great job serving his kids, if I do a great job being a slave to Jesus, then I’m actually worshiping God, that in itself should absolutely change the way you look at your work.
I don’t care what you do and many times if you’ve been listening to us for a long time, you’ll hear sometimes we’ll get to a Q&A when somebody will say, Chris, how do I. What do I do? I’m in such a toxic environment. You know, what should I do? Should I leave? You know, what should I say to these people? And I will tell them every single time, well I’ll give them a lot of advice, but one of the pieces I will always say is it does not matter what’s going on around you.
Do your work as unto the Lord. Focus everyday on what you can do to take care of God’s children, and I truly believe he will delight in it. So even if you’re in an incredibly toxic environment, do not jack yourself up by acquiescing to the toxic environment. Do your work as unto the Lord.
Take care of people. Serve people. Don’t do what they’re doing if it’s toxic, serve God, worship God, take care of his people.
5. Keep The Relationship Open
A fifth thing I want you to do is keep the relationship open. Now, prayer is not something you just do in the morning or when you eat again. It should be continuous. As 1st Thessalonians 5:17 says, pray without, without ceasing.
Saying Amen doesn’t mean that your communication with God is now done until the next meal. You grow your relationships with people by open communication, you should focus that even more when growing your relationship with God. Talk to him in all things.
So for me, I talk to God throughout the day, all throughout the day. There’s many times in events I’ll be praying and asking for guidance for direction. You know, what do I do here? Hey, what do you think about, start thinking about the future. Hey God, what’s the plan here? I’m constantly talking with God. I don’t stop with one prayer time. I know that he is constantly talking and listening to me and if I focus on that relationship, the crazy thing is is sometimes I can hear him.
The more time I spend listening to him, the more time I actually hear and recognize his voice, so don’t just pray and be done and then go on your day. I know so many folks, people that I’ve spent tons of time with, church in, you know, people that I’ve known for the longest time. Nice people, great people, but their prayer time is incredibly short.
They pray, hope that God answers it, and then they go on taking control of their life and doing their thing. When really you should spend your whole day talking to him. Keep the lines open, pray without ceasing. When you’re just talking about stuff, even some of the most things that you think are so silly and ridiculous to him like, oh my gosh, I’ve misplaced my car keys.
Oh, I gotta go…Why don’t we go spend 30 minutes trying to find our car keys instead of stopping and going, Lord, you actually know where they are. You’re not surprised that I lost them. You know exactly where they are. Help me to find them,
and this is the part where so many people say, oh, Chris, I’m not going to trouble God with the car keys that I misplaced. Why not? Do you not understand that he wants to be a part of your every second of your every moment of the day. If you do not understand that, that is a great place to start.
Trying to realize that God cares about your misplaced keys, that God cares about where you put your purse down, your wallet, your phone well probably not the phone, but he cares about all of the small pieces of your life. We think we should only trouble him with the big things.
Well, if you only came to your parent when something big happened, do you think they would be happy because you don’t come to them with the small stuff? Think about what it’s like to be a parent. For those of you that are parents, don’t you want to interact with your kids even on silly things, small things, tiny things, don’t you want to grow them?
Help them? You do, why would your father in heaven not want to do that? So keep the relationship open. Folks, spend time talking to him. Now, if you will, put these few things in place regularly in your life. I promise you will notice a phenomenal difference with your life and if you want more guidance on where to start or how to make growing closer to God, a daily part of your life, then go to ChrisLoCurto.com/293.
That is this episode number today: 293. I’ve written out part of my morning routine on what I do to grow closer to God. It’s got some stuff in the pdf that we didn’t get to in the show and what you can start doing tomorrow morning. Crud, you can do it right now if you want to, but this is the things. These are the things that I do daily that have grown me closer to God.
If you want to get that free print out, go to ChrisLoCurto.com/293 and download that pdf. Now folks, how are you spending your 60 hours? That is not taken up by a work, sleep or food or less than 60, depending upon your work life and situation.
How much time are you investing to grow closer to God? Start with these five steps this week, this week, even if you just pick one to think of every single week, make it a goal everyday to invest in the most important relationship of your life, period. Well, hopefully this has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life, change your relationship with God and join us on the next episode.