Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have a Divine Conversation!

Psalm 116:1-2  I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

#TrustTip 53: If you want to be heard, first listen; if you want to influence, first listen; to sell--first listen. – Andrea P Howe

We’ve talked about prayer, before, here.  If you recall, we described it as our half of a divine conversation.  In order to understand the whole picture, let’s think about what conversation is and is not.  Conversation:
  1. Involves two or more parties.
  2. Is not one party having a preset laundry list of topics, ignoring what the other party has to say.
  3. Is not an expectation of a preordained response to what either party is saying.
  4. Is respectfully hearing out what each party has to say.
  5. Is having a respectful dialogue with each other till there is mutual agreement.

That’s one of the places where God is really good.  In fact, much better than we are. 1 John 4:19 says that we love Him because He first loved us.  And in Psalm 116, verses 1 and 2 above, it basically says that we love God because He intentionally listens to what we have to say.  And we intend to continue taking advantage of that.  That still doesn’t sound much like a conversation.  But it’s pretty clear that God knows how to handle Andrea Howe’s Trust Tip #53.

God really wants us to internalize that tip, too.  So that we can live it instead of having to think about it.  The first part is our own prayers.  Yes, God listens.  But we also know He’s omniscient – all knowing.  He already knows our hearts and desires.  And the content of our prayers.  By coming to Him in prayer, we start learning to listen…to ourselves.  Sometimes we have to verbalize what’s on our hearts in order to fully understand and recognize it.  God already knows that, too.  So, He gave us prayer to help that process along.  There’s more.

God doesn’t want us listening just to ourselves.  The possible positive results of that are limited.  Which is why God gave us other opportunities to listen whose possibilities are infinite and eternal.  His Spirit outside us can connect with His Spirit in us.  But that’s one we need to be careful with.  We can subjectively interpret that in ways that don’t match what God wants for us.  Which is probably partly why He gave us an alternative.

We have the Word of God!  The Bible.  I’m not talking about whichever English translation happens to be our particular favorite.  When 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”, it speaks of the original Scriptures in the original languages.  There are limitations to any of the English translations because we limit the meanings of the vocabulary in ways the Greek and Hebrew did not in the Scriptures.  When we use the original languages or tools provided by Bible scholars like those from AMG, we get to “listen” to God’s thoughts for and about us.  As we meditate on the real richness of the Word, we get to find God’s answers for us – the one’s that bring solutions beyond circumstances.  And we begin to understand that the Bible really is God’s love letter to us.

God really does want to be influenced by us, after we’ve listened to Him so we can have real dialogue.  He’s given His Word to bless us in so many ways.  Including giving us the answers we need before we even ask the questions.  What are you going to do, today, to have that divine conversation?

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