A conversation expects listening and talking. It is sending and receiving ideas and thoughts. Even two people talking (without listening) is not conversation. How do we talk and listen to God? How do we help those we disciple to join together these two sides of a conversation with God?
Conversation with God: LISTENING TO HIM
What can we do to listen to God? How do we get still to listen to the voice of God (Elijah in 1 Kings 19)? God can speak through nature, circumstances, and people. But we often miss his voice because we were not expecting Him to speak or have not trained ourselves to listen. He most clearly and frequently communicates to us when we open God’s Word to listen. When we open the Bible, God speaks. We are not simply studying a good book, we are listening to the author. Reading the Bible changes when we slow down to meet Him, when we expect Him to speak. For many of us, journaling can help us focus on listening. A few simple questions may help:
- What was the main point/truth communicated to the original hearers? (context)
- What do people today need to hear?
- What is He saying to you?
- How does he want you to respond? What does He want you to do as a result of the encounter?
Conversation with God: TALKING TO HIM
You opened God’s Word. He spoke. Now, conversation expects a response. What does God expect you to say? What does He want you to do? What do you want to say as a result of your encounter? God can handle your response. Are you willing to agree with Him? Tell Him. Are you struggling? Tell Him. God has big shoulders and can handle it. Commit to obey. Tell Him. Pray it aloud or in a journal. What will you say?
- What is your response?
- What do you want to say?
- What do you want to tell God?
Joining the Two Sides
Conversation is both listening and talking. Don’t forget to do both! Pray before listening. Ask Him to help you listen. Then open the Word and listen to His voice and message. Then respond to what He said. Pray again. Praise Him. Thank Him for speaking. Thank Him for communicating with you. Ask for His help in obeying Him. Journaling can train you to listen and remind you to respond (talk) to Him. And you can check on your obedience in 2-3 days. Be a disciple. Make disciples.