One of the discoveries I’ve been privileged to learn over the past few years is how relatable God is. In my younger years when I wasn’t as familiar with Him, I would relate to Him as if he were an intense legal system. When I would pray, I was convinced that he would hear me if I prayed in a certain way, or enough times. I figured I had to speak to him in a certain way. I would never dare be angry with him or try to discuss my life’s problems. After all, I didn’t want him to know I had them. And when I would talk with the Lord, I figured there were many things I had to be doing right for him to respond or for me to hear. I only expected God to speak when it was really important.
However, in these last few years of many conversations I have began to evolve the way I relate to him.
I’ve discovered a simple truth.
God is a person.
You are not talking to someone that cannot be moved with sympathy. You are not talking to someone who is very particular about how you pray. You are not talking to a judge who cannot understand your problems or anger. He wants to be your friend, companion, guide, father, and God.
This means you can talk to him about anything, and he relates to you in the way you need best. I heard one sermon say, if you can’t hear God it’s because God wants you to hear him a different way. I did go through phases where it was hard to hear God and finally I asked, “God when you change the way you speak to me will you go ahead and warn me that your switching? Like just simply tell me you want to speak to me a different way and not leave me in confusion?”
Of course, I found out later that is not how God works. He speaks to you in the way you are most comfortable hearing him or the way you want most (although I haven’t heard him audibly that often). Sometimes though we have funny beliefs that convince us we can’t hear him and those cause us to feel like God isn’t speaking.
Sometimes we are so used to relating to God as a legalistic, un-relatable system that we make God… well… really weird. We don’t know how to speak his language. And the truth is, you don’t necessarily have to learn his language because he knows yours. He understands you better than you know yourself. I used to think all my prayers had to be audible for God to hear them. Now the majority of my prayers are in my mind or heart and God listens and answers them. It’s really surprised me how friendly he is. If you are in a goofy mood, the Lord will joke with you. If you are having a hard time, the Lord will listen and comfort you. It even surprises me how casual and easy-going he can be. What?! God easygoing? He’ll ask me how my day was or talk to me about things that interest me. Yet almost all of his conversations have an epic nature to them. They are full of wisdom and peace. They reveal his goodness and help me understand myself as well.
Now it may sound like I have been selfish or self-occupied. (God speaks my language, God talks about the things that interest me, etc…) Actually I didn’t start off that way and I am not doing it out of self-occupation, I’m giving glory to God’s love, nature, and kindness. I used to try so hard to learn his language, and I would always be asking God what he wanted. But I would say, “God what do you want to talk about?” And he would reply, “You.” I would say Lord what is my calling, and the Lord would say, “What do you want to do?” He showed me later that our callings begin in our hearts and desires inspired by the Holy Spirit. I would try to learn God’s language and found that God wasn’t too concerned about that, he already knew mine.
I hope as you continue spending time with the Lord you find out his personal nature. This is not necessarily something a teacher can tell you, it’s something you must discover for yourself.