Talk to God
In this first episode of what I'm calling "Faith Talks," I talk about why talking to God is so beneficial, and why we should talk to God. I'm including the video here, as well as the transcript below it if you prefer to read it.
Do you ever wonder how to draw close to God? Or do you feel an empty space inside that you can never seem to fill? Maybe this causes you to overeat, spend money that you don’t have, fill your house with “stuff,” keep changing things in your life and never really finish or become a master at anything, or maybe it causes you to read or watch TV just to numb the pain from that void. You are chasing a filler for that void, and nothing seems to satisfy.
I’ve been there. And I still return there from time to time. But I’ve made some headway. And I know the answer to stay fulfilled. I still need to work on being consistent with it, but the answer is to fill that void with a relationship with God.
A relationship with God is unlike any relationship you’ve ever had. He knows you already, inside and out. So you don’t have to hide anything from him. You might as well spill your guts to him because he is trustworthy with the information you give him, talking to him means you get to be known by God, the King, the ruler of the Universe (which is really cool), and that in turn feels great because then you know that there is someone you can always turn to—someone who gets you. Finally, talking things out with him helps you to understand yourself better.
Okay, so lets go a little deeper into each one of these points.
God is Trustworthy
I said that God is trustworthy with the information you give to him. Have you ever told someone something and said, don’t tell anyone, but the next thing you know, your next door neighbor knows your secret? That’s really annoying. But maybe you have a friend that you know you can trust not to tell anyone else, but maybe you don’t even want to tell her because its just that deep of a secret that you want to keep close to yourself. You’re not sure if your friend will want to be friends anymore after you tell her. We all have secrets of some kind. Let me say that God is trustworthy to not only keep your secrets to himself, but he won’t think any differently about you after you told them to him.
God addressed some of this in the book of Micah. He acknowledged through Micah that we can not trust our friends to keep our secrets. “Do not trust in a friend, do not put your confidence in a companion; guard the doors of your mouth . . .” (Micah 7:5). Micah, speaking prophetically and under the anointing of God goes on to say who he can trust:
Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
This is not to say that we can not have friends on this earth that we can talk to intimately. We can. But when it comes to those secrets which you want to guard closely, let God be the only receiver of those. And tell him. And as you talk through these secrets with him, he will give you wisdom about how to handle them. And that might mean that you will eventually tell someone else. But if its something you want to keep close at least for now, God is the friend you can turn to.
I’ve told God many of my secrets. Never in my life has anyone come up to me and said, “God told me that you did such and such. Shame on you.” God is just not like that. Now, God might send someone to you to tell you prophetically about yourself, maybe something that you would rather have hidden. But he would only do that as a warning to you, to keep you safe, to get you back on track, or for some other good. But not simply to shame you. God is not in to shaming you for shaming sake.
So when you tell God your deepest darkest secret, he doesn’t look at you any differently for it. First of all, God already knows about it. You are not going to take him by surprise. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God knows about it. Psalm 139:7-12,
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
At first when you consider this, you might feel a little disconcerted. But after getting over that, you can sink into a sort of relief. “Ok, God already knows about this, it’s not going to shock him, so I might as well talk about it with him. He probably has the answers to it.”
Knowing that he already knows anyway sort of opens that door for you to converse with him, to have someone to talk with about it. I don’t know how many times I’ve turned to God about something, so thankful that I had him to turn to. Its so comforting, so very comforting. And does he look down on you for it? Of course not! God sees the whole you. And this means the whole you right now and in this moment, and the whole you as you are from the past, all the way back to your conception, to your present, all the way up to your death.
You Are Known by God
Talking to God means you get to be known by God, the ruler of the Universe, the great I AM. It is a characteristic of humanity to want to be known. But its also hard to be known. It takes time. It takes trust. When I moved away from home for the first time, I remember coming back after about six months and seeing my family and some of my friends from high school—family that had known me since birth and friends I had had since I was about eight years old. It felt so good to spend time with them, not just because I missed them, but because I knew that they really knew me. I had spent almost my whole life developing relationships with these people. It was good to slip into the familiarity of these friends and family again, to reunite with them and the person that I was to them.
Does that sound like I was a different person after I left home? It does. Wherever we are in time, we are always changing, having new experiences and allowing new influences into our lives—good and bad. Each one of these new experiences and influences continues to change us. We become slightly different. And when you go back to a place with people that knew you before your new experiences and influences, you realize that they knew you before all that. It sort of “reunites” you with that “original” person that you were. And it gives you a new perspective about the new you, whether you want to keep all of it or let some go.
The thing is, with God, its not like this. I said that God knows the whole you. He knows you right now as you are, he knows the you that existed five years ago, ten years ago, all the way back to conception. And he knows who you will become in your future too, because God does not exist within time the way that we do. He sees all of what we are past, present and future. Now THAT is someone who knows you!
And God does not exist within “place” the way we humans exist within place. So when you leave one town and go to another, you are never leaving God behind. He is right there with you. He is with you as you experience new things, allow new influences and therefore, he is with you as you change. So he knows you all along. You—no matter who you are—have the opportunity to turn to him and talk to him just as you are, right where you are, no matter what. You always have that familiarity with God at any given moment.
God Understands You
And that’s good and its good FOR you. It feels good to be known by someone. To truly be known by someone—to be understood. And it’s true—God “gets” you. He understands you.
He understands your motives for saying or doing something because he was there when you developed those motives.
He understands why you like the music you like because he was there when you started listening to it and he remembered with you the memories that it brought up, the emotions that ran through you.
He understands why you have the hobbies that you have because he saw you pick them up the first time and the spark of fire that lit inside of you with those hobbies. He saw that spark.
He understands why it might seem that you are being unfair to someone when you really are not being unfair, because he understands all the ins and outs of your actions toward that person.
He understands why you love someone, how much you love them and why you feel you must separate from them because he watched the whole relationship unfold, he was there.
He understands why you have the vices and bad habits you have and why you can’t stop the pattern of them even though you keep asking him to help you quit—he understands because he sees the hurts inside of you, he saw them when they happened, saw your reaction, and cried with you even when you held back your own tears.
He saw your first fears take hold and watches as their grip gets tighter and tighter holding you in bondage and knows these are the things that are holding you back from doing what you know you are supposed to do. And he hears your random prayer about it and he says, “go, do this one thing and when you are done with that, I will tell you more to do to move forward,” and maybe you hear him and maybe you don’t, but he understands that even if you hear him, you aren’t likely to respond until the one thousand nine hundred and ninety ninth time he says it—if at all. And he “gets” this about you too. Because he KNOWS you.
This doesn’t mean he always agrees with you. But he knows you.
And you can find comfort in this. There IS someone you can turn to. Always. No matter the situation. And that’s a good thing to know. That is a healthy thing to know.
Isaiah 51:12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?"
God please let this bless those who read it.