This era has been hailed, "The Communication Age." Every way we turn today, people are obsessed with communicating. The confining traits of the past methods of communication have been overcome and we are now able to inexpensively communicate instantly via the internet or cell phone with anyone in the world from our home, our car, our workplace or even from the park or golf course. The industry is working overtime to be the "Firstest with the Mostest and Fastest." Billions of dollars are being spent by individuals and corporations trying to keep up with developments.
To introduce the subject that I wish to discuss let me go back to the event that so deeply convicted me of my own lack of communication and that so drastically changed my view of what communicating with God really is. It was June 1995,I was on a bed in St. Thomas Hospital recovering from quintuple by-pass surgery. My physical condition they said was remarkable. Our Church, however, was in the throes of division. Our Pastor had resigned and I was trying to pray about what God would have the Church do. "Should we get a Pastor with a bull-whip that would lash us into line or a compassionate, open armed Pastor that would draw us together with love?" It turned more into a conversation than a prayer. Immediately, He said to me (not with an oral voice, of course) "The kind of Pastor you get will make no difference so long as you do not invite Me back into the congregation, I met with you for many years and will again when you become humble again and worship Me as you did in the past." It was as if He was sitting on the side of my bed, almost as if I had opened my eyes I would have seen Him. I asked "Then what we need to do is search ourselves?" to which He immediately replied, "No, you cannot be trusted to search yourselves, ask Me to search you and I will show you what you need." There was more to the "conversation" but that will suffice for the point that I wish to make.
This "close encounter" really and truly revolutionized my approach to prayer and communicating with God. I had heard it preached that God would help us only after we had done our best to help ourselves. My previous experience with prayer was that I usually had to wait days, sometimes months for an answer. I had believed it selfish to ask God's help in our evoryday tasks. I now say "BUNK" to those ideas that I once held. I now carry on a conversation with God as I work. I now seek His help with the most minor task like working on the lawnmower or a computer as well as the traditional "out of my control" matters. I have found that it makes life easier and more pleasant. I also find that God is more pleased with me (His Spirit bears witness with my spirit) and me with Him. When He gives His help I try to remember to look up and say "Thanks Lord" no matter how trivial the matter. Not only has it improved my relationship with God, but it has given me a newfound tolerance of the faults of others and that is a dire need amongst God's people today. Unlike the Internet and the cell phone, this conversational method of communication has been with us since Adam and I regret that it I was so late in discovering it.
Adam conversed with God and God with Adam, David conversed with God and God with David, Samuel conversed with God and God with Samuel and in the latter days Jesus conversed with Saul (Who later became Paul) on the road to Damascus. We are serving the same God that they did. Malachi 3:6 says "For I am the Lord, I change not;.....".
I did not write this in order to brag on myself, but it is like a friend of ours who baked an apple pie that would put your taste buds in orbit. She shared the recipe with my wife and lo and behold it tasted the same when my wife baked it. The last six years have been the happiest of my life and I thought that maybe this recipe would be as good for someone else as it has been for me.Ed Hardee