On Knowing and Talking with God: How Can I Talk with God?

image_pdfimage_print
I REMEMBER CLEARLY THE first time I saw my wife. I don’t know that it was “love” at first sight, but I knew I wanted to talk with her. Mind you, I knew nothing about her. I had no idea where she was from, who her parents were, what her interests or education were or anything else about her. I just knew I wanted to get to know her.

Several things followed from that first encounter. My conversation with her had to be in a way that respected her as a person. I had to be honest with her about my intentions and myself. What eventually took place in our romance involved a series of commitments. Integrity was the catalyst. With time, that enabled us to move through to a full commitment when we exchanged vows and said, “I do!”

Were there questions during our romance? Sure! But part of the process in building confidence in the other person is trust that comes out of honesty with each other. We learned to wait until we had all the facts—to give the benefit of the doubt to each other. We only saw the detail when the picture was fully developed. When we were unwilling to wait we ended up with distance rather than closeness. That holds true for any kind of relationship whether it is professional or personal. Dishonesty is destructive; it’s a deal breaker. Honesty releases us from uncertainty and fear.

Coming To God
If healthy human bonding requires honesty, what about coming to God? How can that be different? Here is where we return creation for help. When God said, “Let us make man in our image,” it meant that mankind was given the markers of personality that no other part of creation had. In our spirits, we reflect the person of God. Being made in the image of God also lets us know it is easy to get to know God. We are on the same wavelength—we can tune in to the music of heaven and the word of God, if you will.

So where does this lead us? Eve and Adam had no trouble in knowing God. Their daily conversations with God made his presence real to them. While we don’t have that kind of start, the ability and the door to talk with God are in front of us. As we saw earlier, the writer of Hebrews showed us the way to enter. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

To claim I am coming to God but argue he doesn’t exist is not being genuine, is it? The path to the truth about God can’t begin on that level. The writer of Hebrews gives us the second part of the equation: God is good and wants to shower us with that goodness. We are surrounded with evidences that God is real. You may have some doubts about God, but don’t let that stop you. Take one step towards God and you will discover much more about him.

Israel’s King David also wrote about the nature of our coming to God. In his great Song of Praise, he wrote, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear (love, honor) him; he hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalm 145:17-19). David is saying that integrity in conversation with God opens the doors to his promises.

Finally, we have the testimony of Jesus. Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount he said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). So, what is the first step to God? Start by asking him to reveal himself to you! Tell God you are ready to listen. That’s where we all begin.

Perhaps you have tried to talk to God before and you feel there was failure. You don’t know why, but it seemed that God was far away. Your prayers just “hit the ceiling” and “bounced right back.” Well, my friend, you are not alone. Let’s bring in another witness to our discussion. He had the same experience.

The Story Of Job
The first book written in the Bible is the life story of a man who “feared” God. His name is Job. Job probably lived hundreds of years before Moses wrote the book of Genesis. He was a prominent man in the eastern world, wealthy and looked up to in his community. In those days, it was believed that wealth was the sure sign of God’s favor. The other side of that belief was that poverty and disaster meant God was not pleased with you. Let’s look at Job’s story.
Through a series of calamities, Job lost everything he possessed. He lost his children, his servants, his cattle, camels, sheep, crops—everything. But on top of that, Job also lost his health. He was a broken man in every way. In that culture, you know exactly what his friends concluded. Maybe you see yourself in his situation, too.
One thing he didn’t lose was his wife. Seeing the misery Job was in, she suggested, “Curse God and die.” Put yourself out of the torment, physical and mental, by cursing God. He will end it all for you. However, Job did not follow her advice. His confidence and trust in God remained steadfast. He said, “Though God slays me, yet will I trust him.” That’s unshakeable trust!
At this point in Job’s story, three long-time friends appear to comfort him. They sat next to Job for 7 days without saying a word. It may be that his condition was so bad they were speechless. Seven days, however, is a long time of solitude for such a man. When they finally spoke, what was their comfort? The bottom line, the three agreed, was that Job must have sinned greatly because he was suffering so much. Remember, Job is a believer. He trusted in God regardless of his situation. Still, these men of mature wisdom pile it on.
Job felt that he was unable to get through to God. Not only were his prayers bouncing back, he thought God was responsible for his condition. On the backdrop of his three friends accusing him of great sin, Job tried to justify himself before God. Fortunately for Job, his three comforters finally ran out of words. However, what they had said pushed Job into a corner. His trust in God was seriously challenged. But their attacks on Job set up the arguments of the next speaker on the scene.

A Mediator Is Introduced
At this point, a much younger man joins in the conversation. He had remained silent while the wisdom of the ages addressed Job’s predicament. Elihu brought some insight that was helpful to Job and to us as well. Of special interest to Job is Eluhu’s talk of a mediator—a redeemer—who can represent him before God. Job had complained that God had not responded to him—his prayers were going unanswered. He needed someone to talk to God for him.
Elihu is determined to protect God from human accusation, even by Job. In his zeal for God, he placed Job in the same boat as the three comforters had: Job was being punished for some evil he had done. While wrong in his diagnosis of Job’s problems, Elihu was correct in the cure. That is where we can get direction and hope in our own circumstances today.
Let’s remind ourselves where Job is in God’s revelation to mankind. Almost all of what Elihu said came from oral tradition, passed carefully from generation to generation. People were living into the hundreds of years. Experiences and history were passed directly from one generation to five or more generations down the line. Although the Scriptures had not been written and put together, God had not left himself without witness. Elihu gathered and organized what he has heard. He laid out an optimistic future for Job. At death’s door, someone appears: A mediator.
First, Elihu reminded Job that God speaks in many ways. “Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words? For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night . . .” Then, moving to Job’s situation, Elihu says, “Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones, so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal. His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones once hidden, now stick out. His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.” (Job 33:13-22). Those last few lines describe Job’s condition. He is fed up with life and feels he is near death. Life is not only hopeless; it’s useless.

Restoration And Resurrection
Elihu continues: “Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him, to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him’ —then his flesh is renewed like a child’s; it is restored as in the days of his youth. He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.” (Job 33:23-26). The picture Elihu draws is of restoration through resurrection. Death itself is not the final event for humanity, he says. God has something in store for humankind that will bring happiness and joy.
What does one who is looking forward to resurrection say of the path to God? What is the witness of a person who has accepted the mediator? How is it possible at the bleakest hour to be full of hope and joy? Elihu relays the testimony of the one who is restored by God. “Then he comes to men and says, ‘I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.’ ” (Job 33:27, 28).
The redeemed person has come into the light. The redeemed person recognizes the truth about him/herself and the mercy of God. Regardless of how one would apply this to Job, what does it mean for you and me? That is our question. What we see is that being truthful about our condition and God’s provision has been known from earliest times. Elihu reminds Job that there is hope beyond this life. But he is not through with what he had heard from the past.
In a principle seen from the opening verses of Genesis to the last chapter of the Bible, Elihu declares, “God is a God of second chances!” It was never God’s intention that anyone be condemned to hell. That only happens when a person rejects the continued pleadings of the mediator—the redeemer, the God of second chances. “God does all these things to a man—twice, even three times—to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.” (Job 33:29, 30). You may feel God has abandoned you: He has not! He has not left you. He is searching for you. That is the truth and you must act upon what you know to be true.
God’s Mediator
What we have read in the book of Job is also what God revealed to Eve and Adam when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. There would be a Redeemer who would come, a member of the human family, who would mediate between a righteous and holy God and a fallen human race. Moses, the writer of Genesis, would have recognized what Elihu spoke about. David saw the same thing as he wrote Psalm 22. It is what Isaiah wrote about in chapters 52 and 53 of the book bearing his name. That is God’s truth about himself no matter where you turn in the Scriptures. There is a Mediator who makes possible conversation between the human race and God.
It should come as no surprise, then, when John opens his Gospel by introducing us to the Creator. “In the beginning was the Word—he was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of (mankind). The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-5). John also adds, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
It all falls into place when John the Baptist saw Jesus and called out: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” (John 1:29, 30). As you read in Luke 1, John the Baptist was older than Jesus. Yet he recognized the truth of what the Apostle John wrote about—that the Redeemer was from the beginning, the Creator of heaven and earth.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record the human and ethnic ancestry of the Redeemer of mankind and the Mediator between God and humanity. You can read this story in Matthew, chapter 1, and Luke 2. In the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we see the Son unveiling the character of God and showing us the way to reconciliation. Not only did the Son speak of reconciliation: He is the reconciler. He is the final, complete, eternal sacrifice promised to Adam. The race, from a son coming from Eve, would receive its long awaited Messiah.

The Creator Is The Mediator
What do we make of all of this? As we read through the Scriptures, we discover a connection being made: The Creator is the Mediator; the Mediator is the Redeemer; the Redeemer is the Creator. The gospel truth is part of the creation story. Right from the start of things, God prepared mankind to have relationship with him. Nothing was going to stand in the way of God’s plan. There was sin and rebellion, there was death, and there was the Evil One, Satan. None of these could prevent God from doing what he said he would do. His promise to the first couple was: A Redeemer will come who will reconcile you to God.
God had made a temporary or passing covenant with humankind via the blood of an animal (the animal skin clothing for Eve and Adam). That was not permanent. What was? In Jesus, God revealed to the world what his plan was from the beginning of time. “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” “. . . so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:15, 29).
Again, the Bible paints the same word picture to guide us. God could overlook the sin of Adam and Eve, Job, Moses, David and every other person of faith in the ancient world. Why? He had already arranged for the Creator to be the Redeemer of mankind. God’s sovereign will made it possible for humankind to be brought into relationship with the Triune God regardless of the time frame.
In the final chapter of the Bible we read that God has been listening to us today. We can respond to his invitation: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17). That is a timeless appeal for all to respond at any time.
Finally, in that greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus himself said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6). God made you in his image so he could talk with you. He has given you the desire to seek after him. Every person who has ever lived has been given the light to ask about and search after God. Jesus said he wants you to be filled. And he said if you desire to be filled with God’s righteousness, you will be. You are at the right place at the right time.
In your mind, you may now be thinking, “Yes, I accept that God has opened the door for me to be in relationship with him. That is what I want. That’s why I’m reading this book. How can I begin that?” Let me assure you that if that is where you are, you are already talking to God and God has been listening. How am I so sure? Well, you are responding to God’s invitation that has come to us from the beginning of our time on earth.
So let’s look at a few things you can do to make conversation with God real in your living.
Conversation With God—Coming Clean
For a moment, let’s compare the responses of Adam and Eve to God with that of Cain. Cain wanted conversation with God, to begin a relationship with him, but on his own terms. He did not want to admit to the truth about himself, nor the truth about God. He knew his parents had been expelled from the Garden, as their relationship with God was broken when they disobeyed God. Like his parents, he had a sin problem but he did not want to get rid of it.
What does the New Testament say about repentance? At the opening of Mark’s Gospel, we read about the man who introduced Jesus to the world, John the Baptist. “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way – a voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ’ ” (Mark 1:1-3). What was John’s message to prepare the way for Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Let’s read further.
“And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” (Mark 1:4, 5). After a short time of public ministry, John was imprisoned by King Herod. Right away, Jesus picked up the same message: “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.” And what was the “good news”? “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14, 15). The beginning of the gospel has to do with repentance for the forgiveness of sin.
The other Gospel writers also mention Jesus’ preaching on the need to repent to be forgiven. In his talk with Nicodemus, Jesus let’s us know that we have to come clean—we have to come into the light about the nature of our condition. In another letter, John wrote about the need to recognize the truth of our condition.
In that letter, John starts with the truth about God. “This is the message we have heard from (Jesus) and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” In other words, Jesus declared that God is holy. He cannot fellowship with those who won’t deal with the issue of sin. He goes on. “If we claim to have fellowship with him but walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (I John 1:5-10).
God has provided a bridge between himself and humanity. That bridge is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As John wrote above, his sacrifice is the only substitute that God will accept for reconciliation. Nothing else will work. Accepting God’s method will take care of the sin problem and we can receive forgiveness.
Some, however, feel they have sinned so greatly that it is impossible for God to forgive them. As you read Psalm 51 where King David confessed his sin and repented for what he has done, you get the feeling he was unsure if God could forgive him. His sin was too great. But God told him through Nathan the prophet, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You’re not going to die.” (II Samuel 12:13).
This reminds us that everyone has to come clean with God. Face up to the truth that you (we) are sinful. Recognize the truth that our sin and God’s righteousness places us under the sentence of death. We can only avoid that penalty if someone steps in to take our place. Jesus Christ, God the Son fulfills God’s demands as our substitute in all regards. The invitation to reconciliation and redemption, given by the Creator of heaven and earth, goes out over all the ages to all peoples. That places us in the right group!

How Can I Start?
Everyone who has come to God has talked with God something like this: “Yes, God, it’s me. I need your Mediator—your Redeemer—Jesus your Son, to rescue me. I accept your Substitute and his death and sacrifice and take him as my own Redeemer.”
Being reconciled to God brings a radical change in our lives. We have a new “Director,” if you will, running our lives. Why is that important? There are two reasons: Without repentance, without changing the direction we are headed, have we truly been reconciled to God? If we are still calling the shots, so to speak, have we turned anything over to him? Jesus brought this up when he talked with Nicodemus. Jesus said, “Nicodemus, you have to be born again to see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus came to understand the radical nature of “being born again” and he took that step. He turned his life around.
Repentance is important for a second reason. Unless we recognize that God requires a change of direction in our lives, we won’t be inclined to follow his guidance or instruction for our lives. There may be those who feel that “accepting Jesus as my personal savior” means I now have a ticket to heaven without getting on the train that is headed in that direction. It’s like this: I am on my own private train headed south; I am the engineer; I am the conductor. But redemption demands that I get off that train and board the one headed north, God’s train and God’s direction. That’s repentance.
And, my friend, when you do that, here is what will happen. In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-3). It is worth everything to let go of your sin and let God run the train.

Taking God Into Your Life
I hope the thought of taking God into your life encourages you. God is easy to live with. All us were born with a “God-sized” hole in our lives that was intended for him to fill. If we aren’t in fellowship with God, we are not the whole person God intended us to be. So it bears repeating: God is easy to live with.
Your talking with God starts with what is often called prayer but I will term conversation. There are hundreds of prayers in the Bible. It’s good to know that kings and priests, prophets and plain people, shepherds and servants, captives and citizens, the up-and-out and the down-and-out—all talked with God and God responded. It is also reassuring that Jesus prayed—often spending the night by himself in conversation with his heavenly Father. There are short prayers as well as long prayers. On one occasion, the Apostle Peter cried out to Jesus when he was sinking into the Sea of Galilee, “Lord, save me!” His prayer was short, but it was effective. People prayed in prison and lions’ dens, during storms and in the solemn quiet of the desert. There is never a place or a time when you cannot have a conversation with God.
Peter as well as the other apostles took Jesus’ example of prayer and made it their own. If the Son of God felt the need and made the time to be in touch with his heavenly Father, then surely, as a follower of Jesus you need to do the same. As you read the early history of the church in the book of Acts, you will see the way the young church prayed and developed in strength. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42). All the writers of the New Testament were diligent in teaching us to seek God, to let him into our lives by talking with him. That story can to be written about your life, too.
Call it what you will, conversing with God is where we all start. If God is someone you want to share your life with, start by giving him equal time with what you spend on other activities in your life. Would you consider getting married only to live separately from your spouse? God is asking you to share with him the most intimate part of your soul. Don’t let anything get in the way of talking things over with him. He has invited you to be his friend. He’s been waiting for you. Start trusting him. That’s called having faith in God.

Taking God’s Word Into Your Living
We have been talking about how we know that God hears us. Can we follow that with an equally important question? How will God know I’m listening to him? That’s a fair question don’t you think? After all, conversation has to be going in more than one direction.
Again, we go to the Scriptures to see what others have done. King David, in his introductory Psalm wrote the following words that I’m paraphrasing: The blessed person is the one who doesn’t let the culture or even friends steer him or her around. But the blessed person is the one who reads and meditates on the Scriptures every chance they get. (Psalm 1). As you read about Jesus’ life, you find that he was familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures. He used Scripture to ward off temptation and to respond to those who had questions about life today and hereafter, too. (Luke 4:1-27). The knowledge and understanding of God’s will and word comes through reading and using Scripture.
Allowing God to speak to you through Scripture will develop and increase your faith in him. That is a positive act you take with the intention of getting to know God and letting him talk to you. The Apostle Paul brought that out in his letter to the Roman Christians. “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ (Scripture).” (Romans 10:16, 17). Do you want to be strong in faith? Let God talk to you as you read the Bible.
If you have not read the Bible at length, I would like to give you some suggestions. There are some shorter passages that will help you understand God’s plan for you and your walk with him. Read these over several times as they form the foundation of your faith. Then, I’ll list several chapters or sections of Scripture that will give you a broader understanding of what God wants for you. Finally, I will outline a systematic way for you to read the Bible. This method will allow you to explore and mediate on God’s word regularly.

One Day At A Time
From here on, it’s important not to put things off. One day at a time means that the first day is critical. As you already know, delaying your plans can lead to forgetting your plans. If you don’t already own one, get a Bible in present day language. There are several good ones. I use the New International Version or the NIV. Another good translation is The Living Bible. That’s the one my wife likes to read. There are others, but put getting a Bible as #1 on your “To Do” list.
Let’s begin with some Scripture verses that will answer questions you may have. As you read, have some paper handy so you can write notes to yourself. Begin by asking God to talk to you through your reading. Tell him you are waiting for him. Take time to think about the verses and questions. When you can, read the verses out loud to yourself. Some verses you will want to memorize. If you can, take a week to read and meditate on these verses. That way you can review them as you go through the week.

Growing Your Faith

1. How do I know that God loves me? John 3:16, 17; John 10:27-30; John 14:23.

2. Will God forgive my sin? I John 1:8, 9; Psalm 103:11-18: Romans 8:38, 39.

3. If Jesus is my Redeemer, what does that mean? John 1:12, 13; I John 5:11-13; John 3:36; John 5:24.

4. What can I do to earn eternal life? Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 4:5-8; II Timothy 1:9, 10.

5. How will my life be changed? I Corinthians 1:7-9; Galatians 5:22-25; Philippians 1:6; II Corinthians 3:18.

6. Can I help God in changing my life? I Peter 2:1-3; II Timothy 3:15-17; Psalm 119:97-99.

7. How will my life influence others? Romans 12:9-16; Matthew 5:14-16; I Corinthians 10:31, 32.

Strengthening Your Faith
In this section, you’ll find some chapters that retrace the trail we have followed in this book. Reading and thinking on these chapters will encourage you in your decision to follow God. Feeding on Scripture for spiritual strength is what Jesus meant when he said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). Again, you can follow a 7-day schedule, reading them more than once. As you start, ask God to open your mind to his word.

1. God’s creation plan for mankind is disrupted by Satan and Sin: Genesis 1-3.

2. God leads ancient Israel through Moses, Joshua and David: Joshua 1:1-10; Psalms 19, 90 and 91.

3. Through his Prophets, God tells more of his Kingdom plans: Isaiah 53; Isaiah 55; Micah 4:1-5.

4. In Jesus, God becomes human to rescue the human race: Luke 1:26-37; Luke 2:1-14; Matthew 2:1-12; John 1:1-18; John 20:30, 31.

5. Through Jesus, God reveals his character and his will: Matthew 5:1-20; Luke 15; John 3:1-21.

6. Jesus’ death and resurrection is God’s way to reconcile mankind: John 12:20-33, 44-50;
Romans 4:22-25; Romans 5:1-11.

7. Once reconciled to God, we represent him to the world: John 15:1-17; Romans 12:1-21;
II Corinthians 5:14-21; I Timothy 2:1-6.

Daily Conversation With God
Finally, I want to leave you with a regular way to be in conversation with God. It is a method I have used for many years. It is not the only way, of course, but it is a systematic way to give you a regular pattern and time for talking with God. As you begin to follow this kind of model, you will discover that talking with God can be more than a “once a day” experience.
You have made a series of commitments in entering life with God. You are now at the point where you want to open the door of your life wide and allow God to fill it with himself. Remember Jesus’ words to some believers who had lost their way and forgotten their commitment. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:19, 20). His invitation is generous and he waits for you to begin conversing with him daily.
There are several Bible translations that have arranged the Scriptures into 365 equal parts—a “bite sized” portion for each day of the year. It’s called “The One Year Bible.” Get one of these. You can begin your reading on any day and continue through the year. Each day, you will encounter God in a portion from the Old Testament, the Psalms and the New Testament. You will also have a verse or two from that wonderful book of practical living, Proverbs.
I suggest you do this as soon as you have completed the readings outlined above. You may chose to do this in two steps—perhaps reading the New Testament and Psalms portion at one time of the day and the Old Testament section at another. I do it all at once, in the morning so my day with God gets going early. Then I refresh my soul throughout the day by what I read in the morning.
No matter what you do, always begin your time with God with prayer. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would “teach us.” (John 14:25, 26). Commit yourself to him as you read and meditate on God’s Holy Word. I commend to you the Apostle Paul’s prayer for some believers in Ephesus: “I ask that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17). Yes, we all need that! It will bring your faith into a daily experience with God.

On Knowing And Talking With God
We return to the major theme of this book and it’s title: Knowing And Talking With God. Here is an analogy that will help us reach the objective. We have been talking about becoming a member of God’s family—being born again. Now when you were born into your family, you knew nothing of your parents and their motivation to have you in their family. But they knew all about you. They had waited for you, perhaps the full nine months. Your mother knew whether you were a “kicker” or a “sleeper” in every sense of the word. And after you were born, they waited with anticipation your development from turning over, to crawling, talking, walking and all the rest until you grew into adulthood. Through it all, they were and still are your parents.
Now consider God’s view of your entry into his family. At the very start, there is little you know about God. But the relationship begins when you respond to his invitation to be in his family. As with your parents, God also knows all about you. He has been watching you and watching over you, too. He knows every good trait and those that are not so good. He knows you were created in his image, but that image has been marred by sin. Like your parents, he still loves you. As you begin to crawl and walk and talk in your experience with God, you will get to know him better as Paul prayed in the first chapter of Ephesians.
Here is the point: The longer you walk with God, the more you are in conversation with him, the better will be your understanding of him and the stronger your relationship with him. God is infinite in every aspect of his character. There is unlimited room for growth on your part. So enter your conversation with God with joy and enthusiasm. The best is yet to come! It will arrive one day at a time in your conversations with God.

A Final Word
There will be times when you don’t feel that anything is going on between you and God. Every believer that I know has gone through this experience. You’re not alone and there is something you can do about it. There’s a great chapter about people who went through this kind of situation. When the writer of Hebrews finished chapter 11, he had a word of counsel for his readers. You see, they had been in a dry, desert experience, too. Here’s the advice the writer gave:
“Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him . . . so you won’t grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2, 3). Regardless of circumstances, every day Jesus went out and lived for God. Follow his example: Go out and live for God. You’ll get to know him better by talking with him and letting him talk to you daily.
God will bless you as you do!