Still on the “being Christian, 21st century style” series, I thought to talk about communing. I don’t mean fellowship with one another but with God. This is one of the areas a lot of us believers struggle with. We are so occupied with the hustle and bustle of the day that we have relegated communing to just a Sunday- Sunday ritual. Frankly speaking, it’s quite tough and requires a lot of discipline and of course grace.
You already know that I like to be practical and since I don’t have any other test cases, I’ll use myself. So, I typically communicate with God all day. I spend a lot of my time living in my head so with that, I talk with Him quite often. The problem with this is that, I don’t give Him the opportunity to speak back. It’s more of a ramble of my thoughts, fears and everything all balled up in there. While this is good, it’s only half of the whole thing. For communication to be complete, there has to be receipt, comprehension and response. I have done this my whole life and I must say that the only time that I feel God’s peace and assurance about whatever I’m talking to Him about is when I take time out to sit, read and journal my conversation with Him. I study the word, while doing that, I try to relate what I’m reading to everyday life and that’s when I begin to get clarity about most things. Here’s the thing, I don’t hear any voices or see things move or anything of that nature, but I write down whatever is hitting heavy in my heart and has the support of God’s word. I believe that it takes a lot of practice to effectively communicate with God. Some people may have a gift and can always waltz into God’s presence and they receive directions from Him and the gift of prophecy but I don’t have that gift but that shouldn’t stop me from talking with Him.
God wants to know everything that is going on with us and He wants to help us navigate this life. Here’s an example of what I mean by “I have conversations with God”
Me: Hi God, how is it going?
My mind: It’s going well, just doing what I do
Me: Well today has been tough, Lord.
My mind: Tell me about it
Me: Lord, you know it all started last night, I couldn’t sleep well because I couldn’t stop thinking about how to sort my life out. Okay let’s fast forward to this morning, even though I had little sleep, I still got up early and I know I should have prayed but I didn’t have time, I had to rush out because I didn’t want to miss my train. You wouldn’t believe I was in a hurry for nothing. The train was 45 minutes late and that’s the second time this week! I didn’t want to email my boss again so I hoped I would go unnoticed but of course my very nosy co-worker had reported me to everyone and my day just went south from there……
My mind: Do you remember Philippians 4: 6-7NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Next time read that and let me take it from there.
So, like I said, I don’t hear voices, I just get a “word” from the bible relating to what I’m experiencing. The reason that I’m certain it’s God is because of the peace and calm that follows once I talk with Him. I don’t always have a “word” for everything on my mind but thank God for google lol. I google everything! It’s very important to have an open line of communication with God because you don’t want to be a fair weather friend. Life itself is tough and we need His grace to navigate through the mucky waters. Our battle too isn’t one that’s physical, Ephesians 6:11 starts by telling us to put on an amour and verse 12 goes on to tell us that we don’t wrestle against things in the physical but the spiritual Ephesians 6:11- 12NIV Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Verses 13- 16 tells us what kind of protection to use for this sort of fight Ephesians 6:13- 17NIV Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. and verse 19 reminds us to be alert and keep praying. Ephesians 6:19NIV And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. I find Ephesians 6: 11- 16 very important because I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”, so it’s very important to know what kind of fight you are in and then you gear up appropriately.
Tips for communing with God;
- Have the desire to know Him more
- Commit to a convenient time for you
- Keep a journal for when you are studying the word
- Don’t give up! Keep at it till it becomes a part of you
Having a journal of your sessions with God is a very good way to keep track of your progress. It strengthens your faith and gives you a lot of confidence in the scripture. There are days that are good and some not so much. If you record that, you begin to understand that the bad days aren’t forever, and the good days give you something to look forward to and keep you going on the not so good days.
I look back in my journal and see when I prayed for a job and all the negative thoughts I had and all the prayers I said against those negative thoughts and now that I have a job, if I have another “wait” period, I can look back and remember when getting a job was once a “wait” period and understand that all my feelings are legitimate and to keep the faith that God would still turn this new “wait” into a reality. One of my favorite verses that assures me that I wouldn’t wait too long is Habakkuk 2:3; For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. This gives me a lot of assurance in God’s timing that whatever fear I have dissipates as soon as I say those words.
My desire is that we get to a very comfortable point where speaking with God becomes natural and our life becomes so much better for it. Not only our lives but those around us too.
As always, please let me know your tips on communing with God, what challenges you have, or any ideas you want to share with others.