Cultivating Two-way Communication

Hey, brothers/sisters, ‘Ole Silver Streak here, ringing your radio.  Turn it up, cause you are going to want to listen to what God says in this article.  When do you meet with God?  Just when you think of it or when you have an emergency?  You need to find a time? Are you a late night person, or an early morning or midday person?  I know a friend who held by this, “no Bible, no breakfast.”  The Bible  encourages meeting with God during any of these times.  David wrote, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You”  (Ps.63:1)  Nehemiah, the great reformer, “read (the  Law) . . .from morning to midday”  (Neh. 8:3)  David mentioned his anticipation to meditate on God’s Word during the “night watches” (Ps. 119:148)  And the first Psalm mentioned in the Old Testament refers to the blessed man whose  ” delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2)  What matters most of all is to establish a regular time of the day when God can speak to you through His Word and you can respond to him in prayer.

” Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things”  (1 Cor. 9:25)  If you use a day planner or computer software, Set a time in it for your appointment with God.  How much time you schedule is up to you, but no less than 15 minutes daily.  Pray about the schedule, the amount of time.  After you have prayed about it block it in your Calender.  Then find a quiet place.  That may be hard with our busy schedules, but try to find a relatively quiet place.  Once you have found it mark it down in your Calender.  Some men have come up with the title of “Man Cave.”  Whatever you call it, mark it is your Calender for that time with your God.

Isaiah says “Those who wait on the LOrd shall renew (exchange) their strength”  (Isa. 40:31   Isaiah believed that waiting on the Lord was anything but a passive process.  The Christian is not supposed to stir up his or her willpower, but instead to exchange human energy for divine energy.

Have you ever written a letter to someone in which you really opened your heart?  You probably felt vulnerable as you waited for a response.  How would you feel if the written response to your letter ignored everything you had said but talked only about issues that concerned the other person? This could be the view of heaven as many a quiet time goes on day in and day out.  The Bible is a love letter from our heavenly Father.  Yet too often our prayers do not reflect the actual portion of Scripture we have read.  Instead, the content of the love letter is ignored as our many pressing needs are petitioned upward.  What needs to happen, however is spiritual two-way communication.

God speaks to us through His Word.  1 Samuel 3:21 says that “the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel . . . by the word of the Lord.”  The Creator discloses His thoughts, character, and will through His Word.  Today, He illuminates the Bibles so we can have or understanding enlightened by the Holy Spirit as we read it.  First, we need to ask, “What does the passage say?”  Allow the Bible passage to speak for itself in its original historical and cultural settings.  For example, let the Bible character wear his robe and sandals instead of expecting him to wear a business suit. 

The second step is to ask, “What does it mean?” Within the Bible passage is an eternal spiritual truth that is meaning ful in all ages.  Often the main idea is not time-bound to an era hundreds of years ago but can be seen in our own time’s contemporary clothing.  

Finally, we need to ask, “How does it apply?”    The Holy Spirit will change our thoughts, speech and behavior when we allow Him to use the spiritual principles we find in God’s Word.  A key question to ask is, “In what measurable ways should my life change as a result of studying this passage?”

We respond to God in Prayer.  Daniel “prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Dan. 6:10).  Take time to digest your meal.  “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;  for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of  hosts.”  (Jer. 16:16)  

Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, either online or on paper.  If we have a written record of what is covered in our quiet time, various trends in our walk of faith will be revealed.  In addition to this, we will see progress that has been made in different areas of our lives that would go unnoticed if it were not written down. 

Use various devotionals.  The one that I have been using the most is My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Make sure that you read both the devotional and the Scripture that goes along with it.  In other words read both books. God has promised to bless His Word, not our illustrations about it (2 Tim 3:15-16)  Look at the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was perfect and never sinned, yet He looked for undistracted time with His Father.  Why?  Because Jesus functioned on earth as every human being was intended to function  —  in total dependence on the Father.

Jesus put the priority on Prayer.  Read this account in Mark 1:35-39.

Seek isolation and communion  “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”  (Mk. 1:35) 

Well, that is enough meat for tonight.  I will finish this article tomorrow night, when we learn to listen to God’s direction amid distraction.  Now we need to get down on our knees and talk with our Father.  Abba, Father.  We come praising Your name.  We will praise it until the trumpets blow.  Father, we come confessing our sins (all of them, not just certain ones) and asking forgiveness, even though we don’t deserve it.  We ask you to come in and sit on the throne of our lives and give us direction. Mold us Father into the men and women that You Want us to be, not the ones we want.  Father be with our churches as they come to grips with turning back to You and the way Church use to be.  We ask that you be with our families and protect them.  We ask you to send your angels to protect those who are sick and in the hospitals.  Give them a word of comfort, Father.  Now Father we ask that you grant us wisdom and knowledge to make the right decisions and to listen for Your voice, to guide us along the way.  We ask this in Your Precious Son’s name, Amen!  Amen!

Until tomorrow, brothers/sisters,  ‘Ole Silver Streak is gonna back on out of here now and take a slide into the bunk.  You’all take care now and we talk with ya.  I’m gone, bye-bye



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