Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our God is a living God

By Anthony:

You meet all kinds of interesting people when you travel in other countries.  And if you pay attention, they can build you up in your faith.  One person we met said something that I won't forget.

This man used to be a pastor, but is not right now.  In fact he was a church planter, but after he started a church, his bishop took the church away from him and he doesn't know why.  That was some years back and he has been working at normal jobs since.  We asked him if he would like to church plant or pastor again and he said, "When God calls me back into it, I will do it."  

He then told us that his current church he is attending wants him to get back into church planting or pastoring.  I responded, "maybe that is the sign that God is calling you back into that ministry."

He responded with a smile and a slight chuckle, and gave us a statement, a firm but gentle statement, in love, not in criticism.  "No.  I will know when God wants me to go back to it.  My God talks to me.  He is a living God."

Is this the God you serve?  Do you pray to a living God? While I was looking for clues in his life experiences and the voices of other people in his life (I do still believe God works that way in calling sometimes), this man just goes to the source, to God himself.  His relationship with God is real, a real relationship with the living God who actually talks to us.  His statement convicted me.  Too often we settle for a weak relationship with God.  When we don't hear his voice clearly, we blame God for his distance, rather than blaming ourselves for all the distractions in our lives, and the paltry few minutes we give to prayer each day.  

We need to learn about prayer from this man and other African Christians.  We need to dedicate more time to prayer and learn to listen.  We don't enjoy setting aside an hour a day just for prayer, as so many African Christians I know do.  But this could explain why they more often experience such joyful intimacy with God.   Am I willing to trade time watching my favorite television shows for that kind of intimacy in prayer?  I pray that God will give me this kind of intimacy with Him, that I would be able to listen to the Holy Spirit and have a more vibrant relationship with my living God.


  1. Hi Anthony, Part of the challenge is that listening is not part of the definition of prayer among American Evangelicals. We use acronyms like A.C.T.S. (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication). All of those involve us saying something to God. Where is the "L" for listening?

  2. Very true. But listening is hard! I try to listen but it's hard to hear. I sometimes just wish God would use an audible voice

  3. I agree -- listening is hard. It is difficult to be certain that what I hear is God and not my own thoughts. Praise God that when we are no longer looking through a glass darkly, we will also no longer be hearing through a muffled speaker!