I watch poplar leaves wave mitten-like hands at the dawn.  The slow fade of verdant wildflower fields captivates me as summer slips into the cool days of autumn. The Psalms help me lift my eyes to the work of God’s hands.

This particular morning, I’m met with a surprise out the window.  A grey squirrel scurries down the trunk of the poplar tree with a gnarled ball of foliage in his mouth.  A few seconds later, a pileated woodpecker shows up and begins pounding in search of breakfast.

What felt dormant seems to have come alive.

Sometimes my faith feels like this.

Sometimes I feel like my passion for developing a deeper relationship with God has gone dormant.  

The rhythms I practice are no longer nourishing to me.  I need something to breathe life into the fading flame.

Maybe you’ve been here.  Perhaps your Bible reading feels stale, your prayer life feels stagnant, and your moments of worship lack the flare you once had.


A Deeper Relationship with God

If you can relate, in his study Spiritual Simplicity, Chip Ingram offers three practical questions that can help you develop a deeper relationship with God.  Let’s begin by looking at three misguided questions we often ask ourselves:

1. “How did I do?”

This question draws attention to our performance-driven culture.

All too often, I find myself asking this question after a speaking event, social outing, or even a day of parenting my children.

2. “What do I possess, and what do people think?”

Most of us want to be liked and admired.  We might rely on our material possessions, our appearance, or our God-given talents.

3. “How much do I give?”

We tend to measure our effectiveness for the kingdom of God by how much we are giving away our time, energy, attention, and physical resources.  Imagine what might happen if this question were no longer at the forefront of our minds . . .

If we want deeper faith, it’s time to ask three different questions:


Three Questions for a Deeper Relationship with God:


1. Instead of asking, “How did I do?” ask “Who am I becoming?”

Sit with this question about who you are becoming.  You might be surprised by the whispers of the Spirit.  Think of the ways you treat the people in your life.  Consider the rhythms of your days and your attitudes.

Are you becoming more irritable, anxious, or perfection-driven?  Or are you growing in gentleness, kindness, compassion, joy, and peace?


2. Instead of asking “What do I possess, and what do people think?” ask “How am I using what I’ve been given?”

Are you using your talents to promote yourself, feed your flesh, or influence appearances?  Or are you using your giftings to nourish others, impart truth into the lives of others, and share your resources?


3. Instead of asking, “How much do I give?” ask, “Why do I give?”

Ask yourself: “Am I giving to others because I want to put another notch in my spiritual belt?  Or am I giving out of the overflow of God’s love in me?”

Giving with pure motives looks like giving for the sake of sharing God’s love.  This kind of giving does not promote self, seek the approval of others, or use giving as a means to solidify an unstable identity.  It is joy-filled giving for the simple sake of being the hands and feet of Christ in the lives of others.

Sit with these questions and allow God to show you your honest answers. He wants a deeper relationship with you, and these questions will help you. 


Return to these questions often for a deeper relationship with God

I encourage you to sit with these questions for a while.  Don’t hurry through them.  Take your time.  Create space for God to speak into them.  And then return to them periodically.  You might just find these questions leading you to a deeper relationship with God.