It is important to understand the framework that God works in before trying to understand God’s will. In this sermon, Greg focuses on how God wants to exist in covenant relationship as opposed to legal relationship. This is why communing with God and communicating with God is so important.
We live in an atheistic world, and it is generally assumed that we live in a closed world. In a closed world, there is a set amount of scientific data, and if we can learn it all, then we will know everything. Our minds exist in a closed world, where we make our own decisions and make our own reality. However, God wants to open our world to the beauty of his leading our lives. He wants to lead our lives, but we must open up to commune and communicate with God.
All over the Bible are stories of people that commune and communicate with God. Whether it’s Abraham in Genesis or John in Revelation, it seems that God communicates with his followers. This seems odd to our world, because we have trouble hearing from God as a people. We are extremely busy people or are used to not hearing from God. It becomes no surprise then that we have trouble hearing from God when we try.
It is foundational to listen and communicate with God if we want to understand God’s will. But we need to understand how that communication works. If we think that God communicates in a legalistic way, then we believe that he has set down his law and we simply follow that. If we think that God communicates in a covenant way, then we must understand that he wants to speak with us relationally and commune with us regularly in order to lead us.
Communication expresses and reinforces communion. When we communicate with God, we are in communion with God. Communication is extremely important for any relationship. Imagine a marriage in which the partners don’t communicate-the poor kids would be left standing in the rain after soccer practice because no one picked them up. Who would pay the bills or would the bills possibly get paid twice? Relationship becomes extremely dysfunctional when there is no communication.
God wants this level of communion with us. He wants us to communicate all the time, and not as a way to simply lead us, but rather wants to know and be known by us. This is vitally important if we want to know God’s will. The more we know God and commune with Him, the better he is able to communicate his will to us. It’s a very simple idea, but seems to get bypassed in our world today. There are a few things that we need to know in order to commune better with God.
The first idea is that God is not controlling. God doesn’t want to control our lives; he wants to enrich our lives. He isn’t asking to dress us, choose our dinners, and decide how fast we walk down the street. Rather, he wants to help guide us to a love filled life with Him. In a legal view, he would be dictating to us the way to act in life. In a covenant view, he delights in us and wants to be a part of our lives. He is our friend and co-worker in a covenant view, and he enjoys watching us grow. That’s why he created us, to be in relationship with him.
There is no secret formula to communing and communicating with God. For some, it might be found in prayer, but for others it may be the way they prepare their meals, in dance class, or in pondering the ways in which God works. What is beautiful is that God meets us where we are. He doesn’t dictate a formula that everyone should follow, which is good because some of us are not good at dancing, prayer, or making dinner!
Even though there is no secret formula, there are some helpful hints to communing and communicating with God. The first is spending time with God. This doesn’t have to be prayer, but can be in any activity you’re doing. Just be sure to invite God in and to be attentive for his voice. Listen to however he may communicate with you.
The second is to be mindful of God’s presence moment by moment. When we go through life, we fill it with our own plans and we can often become too busy to listen to God. We need to take time and share our thoughts with God and also listen to what he says to us. We must collapse the wall between secular and sacred, and bring God into our weeks instead of just Sunday morning.
Finally, we should become co-workers with God. Oftentimes, we want God to conform to our will. But God’s primary will is to advance his Kingdom, and that might not always look like our will. In order to become a co-worker with God, we must seek his will and align our hearts with his. This takes time, and it involves us participating in what God wants us to do, as well as inviting God into everything we do. Communion and communication play vital roles in discerning God’s will.
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