reciprocal conversation

F_listen
God wants to chat with us… but we often find ourselves too busy… too preoccupied… too full of ourselves to actually have a conversation… too loud to commune.  We "pray"… but that usually involves us talking, blabbing, using God like we would a paid psychologist or a call-in radio talk show.

Have you ever had a one-sided relationship with someone who talked all the time?  It's difficult.  It takes great patience.  It saps you dry.  But you love the person so you put up with it… hoping for the day when the friendship becomes a bit more reciprocal… mutual… friend-like.

I've decided this week that I talk to God too much.  Well… that might be overstating it a bit… Okay… a lot.  I'm sure I don't spend enough time talking to God… not even close.  What I mean, though, is that when I do talk to God… I'm the one talking.  Rarely do I pay attention to God in our one-sided conversation.  Rarely do I ask God what's going on with him.  Rarely do I just sit down and ask God how he's doing.  Rarely do I shut up long enough and open my ears so that I can hear what's on God's heart at that particular moment… and how I can be a good friend to him.

It's not that I think God needs me.  It's just that I think God would like to talk to me.  Too often I'm too arrogant and too thick-headed and too full of my own hot-air and too drowned in noise to even notice that God has something he'd like to say.  1 Samuel 3:1 says that in the early days of Samuel that God's word was rarely heard by the people.  By the end of the chapter, Samuel is communing regularly with God, hearing and sharing a reciprocal conversation with the Creator.  People noticed this… and were inspired to listen to God too.  The change happens in the middle… when Samuel chooses to listen to God and hear what God has to say.

Friends listen to friends.  That proves to me that God has acted as my friend.  I wonder if I am a true friend of God.

image from statsfone.com

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

5 thoughts on “reciprocal conversation

  1. 5 minutes can seem like an eternity… and perhaps it is… if we are truly able to sit and listen to the Word of God, which has no beginning or end. It’s a wild concept to think that we struggle with the length of time we would spend with our timeless God. Hmmmm.

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  2. I think this is a very timely entry. At the last Hub, befor I read this post, I spoke about how we often don’t listen, and took 5 minutes out of the night to get everyone to just be still and listen… It was difficult for some, some found that 5 minutes was to short a time to empty their minds from distraction and listen. I am glad we had the opportunity though.

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  3. I like the idea too. I then wonder, how do we find out? What will that communication look like? Is God sort of pathetic and upset (like the God of the Shack) or is He joyously content in Himself? Does that change? Hmmm. Keep me in the loop on what you find out.

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  4. I’m blessed to be connected with you Robert! Thanks for the comment.
    I like your query. I have the same query. The idea of asking God what’s on his heart was a new idea for me. I haven’t researched the theology of it all… it just seemed to hit me like a wave on Sunday afternoon. It deserves more thought for sure.
    Basically, the idea is that I want to be shaped after God’s own heart. But how often do I actually ask him what’s on his heart? What does his heart care about? How often do I listen to him tell me what he’s doing and what he’s interested in? Not often enough, that’s for sure. A true friend takes initiative to know what’s going on with the other… To often I simply study and “know” what God’s heart is like… but I don’t think I sit down with God and try to discover it.
    Biblically… I wonder what suppers were like with Jesus. I wonder what it was like at Mary and Martha’s house, with Lazarus hanging out…

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  5. Hello my friend, I hope you are well.
    I love the imagery of friendship with God. I like the way Abraham is described that way because of covenant and the disciples if they keep his commands. My favorite is John the Baptist describes himself as a friend of the Bridgegroom who takes joy in the marriage.
    I am trying to think of a time in the Bible when friendship is described as conversation like this here. Or when when someone asks God what is going on with him.
    Not a challenge, just a query.
    Blessings to you my friend. Thanks for all your time you spend to bless us through this blog.

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