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Talking with God
- Jacob Ninan
Moses and God used to speak to each other face to face like friends! (Ex.33:11). Moses could never see God, even though he could see some small manifestations and hear an audible voice at times. But Moses chatted with God, asked Him questions, argued with Him, tried to change His mind, pleaded for the people, told Him about his problems, frustrations and limitations, asked Him to intervene in the different situations, etc. Just like friends.
We say we are not Moses. We say we have never seen God in a dream or vision leave alone face to face, or heard any audible voice from heaven. And then we conclude that we might as well reconcile ourselves to such a routine humdrum life and just make sure that we don't backslide! What a shame!
Some Christians have been taught from childhood to think of God in such awesome terms that He is so far above them, out of reach. A large number of Christians think of God only when they get into trouble. Many others have practically stopped going to God because of some disappointment in the past.
But like James said about prayer, we don't get to know God as a friend because we don't go to Him as a friend! (Jas.4:2). Why don't we start talking to Him as a friend? Tell Him all that is on our heart, our plans, problems, etc., and listen to Him as He talks back to us in our heart.
How can we hear God? Remember that under the new covenant which Jesus has made with us, God lives in our hearts. We can 'hear' God in our spirit (heart). This may be in the form of ideas that come to our mind or a reminder of some verse in the Bible that is appropriate for the situation. Sometimes the 'voice' can be clear. But most of the times it may look just like our own thoughts.
Perhaps we find it difficult to distinguish His voice in the midst of all the thoughts that crowd around in our mind. But if we believe that He delights in chatting with us and if we don't give up, we can get to know His 'voice.' Let us also keep in mind that when God speaks He will not contradict what He has already given us in written form in His word.
It is not that we treat God as if He is 'one of us' (Ps.50:17-21). With reverence towards Him as our Lord, we can still become close to Him as a friend.
We will face times or periods when, for reasons we cannot understand, we can't seem to hear anything from God. Those are times we have to tide over by holding on in faith. We know that even if we can't hear, He hears us.
We will never come to a place in this life, as long as we have this sinful flesh, where we cannot make mistakes concerning His voice. But while that teaches us to be cautious and not to be presumptuous about our ability to hear God, let us not lose out on the fellowship God offers us as His children, from the greatest to the least (1Jn.1:3;He.8:11).