11 August 2010

Discipleship: Part 1- Communicating With God

Philippians 4:6-7
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


How well do we really do this? How well do we really communicate with God?

My wife and I had a discussion with our children at the dinner table the other night that revolved around discipleship. Funny that Sonja brought it up, as this was something that was very heavy on my mind. We just flat out asked out kids; how do you make disciples? WE began to look at the character of Jesus and His examples alone to give us some ideas as to how to make disciples ourselves.

We broke it down to a few excellent examples, and so for the next few devotionals, that's what I wish to cover. Discipleship.

The first thing that we identified, is that to make disciples, you have to be able to teach those you are discipling. Does this mean that we all need to be gifted teachers, orators, speech-givers or highly educated college folk to be able to effectively teach those who are seeking out God? Absolutely not. What you need is a quality relationship with Jesus, and a willingness to let others into your life to see how to accomplish that. If you are unwilling to let people into your life and into your heart, how are you going to show them how to get Jesus into their lives and into their hearts? Jesus wants a close relationship with us all, and if we are not willing to allow that to happen with other believers in our local fellowships, shame on us, and expect to stagnate as a believer.

Teaching is communicating. We watched a show recently called "Top Snipers". It is a documentary about some of the world's best sniper teams going through a grueling competition together under some high stress situations. The teams that consistently performed the best are the ones that communicated the best. Students best learn when their teachers are able to communicate their thoughts, ideals and platforms to their students. Some do this by words. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with having said, "witness always, and if necessary use words". Profound as it shows us that the best way to witness and show Christ's character is to live those attributes out in your own life. That does not require a polished delivery or Master's Degree vocabulary. All it requires is dedication on your part to walk what you talk. That is communicating God, but what about communicating with God?

I'll put it to you the same way I asked my daughter Kayden. When you talk to your best friend, how do you talk to her? Do you use big fancy words? Do you address your friend as if they were royalty? Do you call them Mr, or Sir, or Maam? No. You call them by their name, and you just simply share your heart. That's what God wants too.

Now I'm certainly not advocating disrespecting God. But in dealing with communicating with God He just wants to be your best friend. Treat Him like such. Cry to him the way you'd dry to a friend when things hurt. Talk to Him and express your frustrations; He understands your anger and your feelings. God simply wants you to get close to Him. When you want to get to know people better, what do you do? You talk to them. You walk with them, you hang out with them. And if you are a disciple of that person, you emulate them.

Take the simplest most mundane things to God. You are not troubling Him, your showing Him how much you love Him. Chat with Him often. Formal prayers are nice. All set down in a comfy chair with your blanket on your lap, or kneeling beside the bed. Some people prefer head coverings or music. Praying with others is something that we are called to do. Fellowshipping with each other and bearing each other's burdens is best done through payer. But forget the ide that you need to be formal and set in your ways, hands held in a certain way, formal in your delivery, appearance set just so. Get beyond form –and get to friend. God is your BEST friend. He can do for you and through you like no other. Trust every thought, emotion, action or question to Him. Communicate with Him like He's standing right beside you, because guess what…..