Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
-- Jeremiah 29:12
Imagine what would happen if someone famous from long ago (maybe George Washington?) reappeared in 21st Century America. There’s no doubt that George would be amazed at how his nation had grown over the last 200 years. And of course, he would be impressed with our modern conveniences and technology, our superhighways—and maybe even our shopping malls.
But how would our first president react if we told him about modern communications? Could we blame him if he refused to believe that the air is actually filled with music, sporting events, news reports and talk shows? And how quickly he would become a believer if we showed him a radio and tuned it in to a signal?
Many Christ-followers today are a lot like this modern George Washington. A recurring theme in the Bible is that God wants a relationship with us and attempts to communicate His love in many ways. But if we’re not able (or willing) to pick up His signals, all we get is static.
What should we be listening for? God speaks in many ways, both expected, surprising…and somewhere in between. First, it’s through the Bible—our user’s manual for living a fulfilled life in preparation for an eternity with Him. But God can also communicate through our friends, a worship service or even a discussion in your Small Group. Your 5-year-old child might say something straight out of the blue. Even a stranger in the supermarket checkout line can convey the Lord’s message.
(A coincidence isn’t always a coincidence.)
Yes, God wants a relationship with His creation. But it’s not much of a relationship if the communication comes from only one direction. The solution is that ongoing prayer—a constant conversation with God—must become a priority for every Christ-follower. And since we tend to be distracted by the static of everyday living, we need to ask Him to open our ears, heart and mind in faith. If we truly want a relationship with Him, God will eventually speak and answer us in one form or another.
There’s no doubt that George Washington would be impressed with E-mail, Skype and the other modern ways we communicate with our loved ones. But history records that he was an expert practitioner of a much better kind of communication. It’s one that’s nearly as old as creation…and much more personal. It’s called prayer. And it lets us talk with God.
Try that with Facebook!