Communication is a two-way street

Relationships require communication. What marriage could survive without talking? What friendship without texting and Facebooking? Yet sometimes we expect God to be pleased with a “relationship” in which we never speak to each other. That is not the kind of relationship God has ever had in mind. God has asked us for our prayers (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He gave His Son up to die so He could become mediator between us (1 John 2:1). Our prayers are like incense in His throne room in Heaven (Revelation 5:8).

We expect God to listen to us when we pray to Him, and indeed, He does (1 John 5:14, 15). He wants our petitions and requests (Philippians 4:6). He listens to the afflicted, providing consolation by prayer (Psalm 56:8). His children obtain forgiveness through confession in prayer (1 John 1:19, James 5:16).

But are we listening to Him? When we disregard His ideas on topics like love, marriage, and modesty? When we take His words out of context to “prove” commands that aren’t really there, or misapply passages of scripture without rightly dividing (NKJV) or accurately handling (NASB) God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15)?

God has never been pleased with just lip service (Joel 2:13)! How can we call ourselves Christians if we don’t listen to God by reading and studying His thoughts, and share our requests and gratitude with Him in prayer?

What human relationship is sustained by this kind of behavior? Does your friend like you better when you take her words out of context to use against her? Do you grow closer with your mother by willingly misapplying her instructions? Do you enjoy your relationship with your boyfriend most if you refuse to communicate with him at all? I’d call that breaking up!

Can we “agree to disagree” with God? Will that save our relationship? In Amos 3:3, Amos shares the word of the Lord: Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? God won’t change His opinions to agree with yours. Rather, James 4:8 teaches that when we draw near to God… He will draw near to you. God is perfect, righteous, and just. He is our Father and a good friend to keep. We must study and pray as He asks us to so we can keep our relationship strong.