Image via Author, Bighorn Range, Wyoming.
That our God speaks to His people, to those who hearts are fully committed to Him, is a theme that runs through the scriptures. Adam and Eve, Cain, Enoch, and Noah are notable examples in the ancient times recorded early in Genesis. These are not people who occasionally heard from their God but seemed to be comfortable in His company and enjoyed companionship with Him. Later in Genesis, we encounter Abraham who walked in conversational communion with the Lord and was accustomed to His company. Moses was another who is called the greatest of the prophets because he spoke to the Lord as one does a friend. Other great leaders and the prophets in the Old Testament were confidants of our God as well.
2nd Samuel 5 gives us a peek into the nature of the conversational communion David had with the Lord. It was truly conversation. David inquires of the Lord, and the Lord responds to Him verbally. David inquires of Him again, and this time the Lord responds with detailed instructions. I have found that our God will speak to us today as He did to David.
2 Samuel 5:17-25 “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” The Lord said to David, “Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” So, David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. He said, “The Lord has burst forth against my enemies before me, like a bursting flood.” Therefore, that place is called Baal-perazim. The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.“
“Once again, the Philistines came up and were spread out in the valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear and come upon them opposite the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert; for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” David did just as the Lord had commanded him; and he struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer.”
The practice of hearing our God speak clearly and without confusion is a relationship factor that develops over time, just as it does in any relationship. Such intimacy and responsive communion are built upon a mutual love relationship. If we love Him above all other loves, that love and devotion will clear out a lot of competing voices, including our own desires and selfish motives in listening.
As we come to love our God more, we also come to know Him more intimately. This intimacy becomes the foundation for give and take of conversational communion as He fills our thoughts and captures more of our attention every day. Out of this grows our conversational communion with Him.
Here is a critical point to remember: Daily conversational communion with our God is the point and purpose of His offer of salvation to us. If we are not willing to give over our living to our God, to love Him more than life and to be fixated on an intimate relationship with Him, the very purpose of our salvation will escape us.
Jeremiah the prophet records our Lord’s promise concerning this relationship in Jeremiah 12:11-14 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord….”
Jeremiah is making it clear that the promises of our God for our welfare, our future, our hope, and our conversational relationship with Him are for those who seek for Him with all the heart. We are not saved for a part-time, partial expenditure of focus and energy in our relationship with our God. He desires and deserves all our heart, all our fixation, all of the time.