Communing With God
by Tom Stewart
August 13, 2001
When we think about our communion with God, we may perhaps consider one of the early Saints. "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24). Enoch's rapture was premised on the foundation that he pleased God. "5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:5-6). The concept of communing is represented in the New Testament Greek with the word koinonia, and is translated in the Authorized King James Version as:
Communing with God embraces the idea of sharing, as we would with
man; but more importantly, it must involve God's willingness to condescend to us. "I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven:
if any man eat of this bread, he shall Live for ever: and the bread that I will give
is My flesh, which I will give for the Life of the world" (John 6:51). True, everyone has the opportunity of calling upon God, but only those
who have actually repented of their selfishness will be heard by God. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not
hear me" (Psalm 66:18). Because
the world system into which we are born complicates and confuses the selfishness,
which is sin, that the human heart readily falls into, the communion with God
that is natural to a very young child-- "for
of such is the Kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16)-- becomes impossible unless God divinely intervenes to remove the obstacle.
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming
unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). For a limited time, we have been given
the opportunity of repenting and believing the Good News that "whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] shall receive remission of sins"
(Acts 10:43). Thus, God has mercifully and graciously done
more than His part to ensure that we may freely commune with Him, even as the LORD
Jesus Christ was able to commune with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. "And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them;
that they may be one, even as We are One" (John
Prayer is the natural vehicle for communing with God, because prayer is merely knowingly or consciously directing our thoughts to God in worship, praise, or supplication, for who but the Omnipresent and Omniscient God is capable of such intercourse? "O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come" (Psalm 65:2). Even when we are not sure of what or how to pray, the Holy Spirit quickly intervenes to place the right thoughts so readily into our minds that we would take credit for it ourselves, if we did not know better. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). Depending upon the circumstances, it is most appropriate to begin our prayer with worship, where we acknowledge who He is and the relation He sustains to us, e.g., "9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name... 11 Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:9, 11). And, we need not make apology for troubling the Father for "our daily bread", because He intends us to ask for all our needs "according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). However, as deep as our needs go, He is able to satisfy them so sufficiently, that we begin to praise Him-- "In every thing give thanks: for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1Thessalonians 5:18)-- and to intercede for others, e.g., "5 And He [Jesus] said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend [the Father], and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine [the person for whom we intercede] in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity [persistence] he will rise and give him as many as he needeth" (Luke 11:5-8). [For a basic manual on prayer, read R. A. Torrey's "How to Pray" ---New Window. And E. M. Bounds ---New Window has much encouragement on prayer in his books.]
It is strange that those who believe it possible for man to communicate to God in prayer, and that God has communicated to man through His Son, Who is the "Word" (John 1:1), i.e., "1 God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 hath in these Last Days spoken unto us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2), would have such trouble with the idea that God communicates with us through:
But, of course, we can always be sure that any communing from God
that has come through Providence, the Spirit, or a modern prophet must be consistent
with the Canon of Scripture, for the "Scripture
cannot be broken" (John 10:35).
"To the Law and to the Testimony: if they
speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). [See our editorial, "The Danger of Modern Prophets" ---New Window, for a brief treatment of the concept of modern prophets.]
Communing with God was always meant to be normal and natural for man, as can be seen that Adam and Eve originally "heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). Likewise, any strained attempt to commune with God without recognizing His immediate presence, misses the point. "Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?" (Jeremiah 23:23). If we seek utmost to please God, i.e., "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33), then communing with God is as straightforward as a little child looking into the face of a Loving Parent. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). Our lives will testify if we truly commune with God, because it will be known by God and understood by ourselves that our confidence in Him pleases Him. "11 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD: 12 in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Ephesians 3:11-12). We can only maintain communion with God, if we are trusting His Spirit to continually transform us into His likeness by His Promises. "Whereby are given unto us Exceeding Great and Precious Promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:4). [See the "Promises" ---New Window section of our website for many Precious Promises.] And, if by His grace, the LORD's tarrying finds us among those who "walk worthy of the LORD unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10), then He shall soon Rapture us Home, as Enoch. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).
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