Why is it that Christians commonly believe that God loves us enough to die for us but doesn’t seem to want to talk to us?
It’s a question posed by Pricilla Shirer in Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks, and she’s probably not the first person ever to ask such a question and most certainly not the last. However, it was the first time I’ve bothered to consider such a thought. Why is it that it’s so difficult for most of us Christians to believe that a God who loves us enough to die for us also loves us enough to talk to us?
This question flipped upside-down my approach to communication with the Creator and Master of the universe. I use to look at God as someone who would, indeed, listen to me. He already knows everything about me, so why wouldn’t he listen to my words and thoughts and hopes and fears. But when the line of communication was reversed, in my mind, it became much more confusing. Beyond reading the Bible, for me to even begin to hear from God was more like attempting to figure out the answer to a complicated calculus question. I needed equations and formulas, skills and steps to begin to determine what the answer would eventually be. There was an answer, and my job was to work really really really hard to find it.
As I type these words I realize the silliness of such thoughts. Does any relationship function like this? Do we need formulas and multiple steps to hear from a friend? Does it require equations with the correct steps along the way to get an answer from someone who loves us? Of course not!
So why did I approach listening to God with such difficulty? Why did I assume that God was trying to hide from me and that my role in the relationship was to figure it out? If I truly believe that God loves me and wants good things for me, why would I think that He’d make hearing from him such a challenge?
He doesn’t. He just doesn’t.
God wants to talk to us. And God wants us to hear Him. And that’s pretty amazing. I’ve known this intellectually for a long time now. Memorized verses about it. Even taught on the subject and can tell stories of when I know that it was true for my life.
Nonetheless, I wonder if I looked back at those times when I am confident that the Lord was talking and I was listening as the exception and not the rule? What might change in my relationship with Him, my relationship with others and the details of my day if I were to expect and anticipate the God who created the universe to be in constant communication with me as I position myself to listen?