Why is it, in a time when we cannot escape communication, we find it more difficult than ever to communicate with God?
Well, the answer cannot be because we do not know how to communicate.
Communication is everywhere. The light on our phone is constantly blinking which is a message from our phone to us that we have some message or action that needs to be addressed. Messages come in the form of text messages, FaceBook posts or through Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, etc. And occasionally our phones even receive a call!
Likewise, advertisements are all around us as we walk, bike, or drive around. As we watch television we see and hear messages. As we listen to music or podcasts, or whatever form of media we desire, we hear messages. We talk to friends and family members.
We purchase items at the store and have to communicate with cashiers or machines to complete our purchase. The machines talk to one another as we swipe our debit/credit cards and get approval for our transactions. Etc. Etc. Etc. And, of course, any message that is transmitted or received is a form of communication.
And yet, in an age when communication is all around us, we have lost an understanding of how to communicate with God, let alone the importance of it.
Over the past 2000 years, our world has changed a lot. Most of the information in the paragraphs above would not make sense to people who lived more than a generation ago, let alone one or more centuries ago. However, I find it hard to believe that anyone has ever had the opportunity to be busier than Jesus, at least for a little more than three years.
Jesus was a man who was in high demand. We have the stories of the crowds gathered around Him, perhaps because they were miracle mongers, but nonetheless, they were there. But Jesus knew His purpose, and that He had a limited time to prepare a group of individuals to carry on the work He began. I am not suggesting that Jesus did not have time for fun, but I would suggest that He had no idle time; that is, everything He did was done with purpose.
And yet, that purpose meant engaging with God, the Father, in prayer. The Bible provides many instances of Jesus pausing for prayer (e.g. John 11.41-42), asking for a blessing (Matthew 14.19), for wisdom (Luke 6.12), and, of course, for deliverance (Matthew 26.39). Many other moments of prayer are mentioned as well (e.g. Luke 3.21; Luke 24.30; John 17; etc.).
But two verses stand out to me as one who needs to be a better communicator with Jesus. Those verses are Mark 1.35 and John 5.19.
Mark 1.35 shows that Jesus found time away from the “noise” to talk to His Father. John 5.19 shares why He did this. The passage in John shows that Jesus did not do anything He was not shown to do. That fact is simply amazing, but that is not my main point of this article. The main point here is that Jesus took time to know what He should do. And, that time, He communicated with Someone who would show us. That is, Jesus prayed.
Again, in a world that is filled with communication, the most important communication should be with whomever is in charge. And, for those who follow Christ, that is, are Christians, then He is Lord and that means He is the one we are to seek to know what we should do.
So, how can we be more effective in communicating with God? That will be the subject of next week’s post.
Until then, I encourage you to be a little more mindful of the various types of communication in your life. Observe how you interact with each form or medium of communication. The answer to effectively communicating with God is likely a part of something you are already doing!