Speaking With God

“And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and [the LORD] talked with Moses.And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”

Exodus 33:9-11

There have been seasons in my life when I walked closely with God and seasons when I did not. There were times when I consistently prayed to God and would boldly ask for all kinds of things such as flying to California, allowing my lawn mower to start, and for direction and His will. There have been other times when I could not remember the last time I prayed to Him outside mealtime. There were times I could not wait to go to church and other times I merely attended out of obligation. It was something I checked off of my spiritual list, but it was not my heart’s desire to go. In the times of non-prayer and not wanting to worship, it was clear that I was not walking with God, although He was always working on me to come back.

I recently put out an old devotional which had a picture of my dad, Nate, and me posing in the lobby of our favorite Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was closing for good and we wanted to duplicate a photo we had taken several years back. In the original photo, my dad was holding Nate as a toddler, and in the more recent picture, Nate was taller than both of us us. I looked at both of these photos, and I could not believe how quickly time had passed. I thought nothing more of it until I saw my mother-in-law, and she pointed out something to me in these pictures that I had not noticed before.

Instead of focusing on how Nate had changed over the years, she looked directly at the stark contrast of my countenance in the two photos. In the first photo, it looked like I was having a bad day as there was not the slightest hint of a smile. When she pointed it out, my mind went back to that time in my life and I thought about why I possessed a frown on my face. I know my walk with God was not what it should have been. I lacked self-control in my life. I went to church out of duty and not out of love for my Savior. I was not spending time with God, and although He never left me, we were not talking with each other as friends. He was talking to me, but I was not listening or praying to Him.

I look at the more recent picture, and I see a big smile across my face. I no longer have the sadness and lack of joy that I had years ago. I was in a much better place with my walk with God. I was not perfect (no one is), but I was striving to walk with Him and talk with Him. I enjoyed going to church, and I cherished my daily time with Him. My face looked totally different between those two photos, and I had joy that could not be taken away. I dislike taking pictures, so if you see a smile on my face in a photo, then you know it is legit. Walking with God makes all the difference in the world, and while you make be able to fake it for a little while, it’s hard to fake what only God can do. I praise God for the sanctification promise, and I desire to have the relationship with God as Moses did. He spoke with God as a friend and God’s presence filled the tabernacle.

Where are you today friend? Do you talk with God as a friend or has it been some time since you bowed the knee? Do you go to church out of duty or do you desire to meet with fellow believers and worship God? Proverbs 18:24 states, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” We have the ultimate friend in our Heavenly Father if we will only spend the time talking with Him. Joseph Scriven penned a hymn that we all know and love:

What a friend we have in Jesus,

all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful

who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,

cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;

thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph Scriven

May we have such a relationship with Him that it may be said of us that we speak to Him as a friend. Praise God, our faithful friend!

Stay in the Fight!

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