Texting God: the way to Encounter His Heart
God wants us to talk with Him, because He loves us and wants a close relationship with us. It is very easy to talk with Him. Do you have a phone? If so do you “text” your friends. Well…it is time to start “texting” God. That’s right it is time to start asking Him questions and getting answers. How do you do that? Get our your phone and text God’s questions? No! Seriously get out a pen and paper and start to write. You can look at my example below to get a hint on how to “text” God. The goal is to connect with God’s emotions for you.
This assignment will draw you closer to the heart of God. It will empower you to ask Him what He thinks and feels about you and those around you. But you must work at it.
If you needed more proof that texting is on the rise, here’s a stat for you: the average teenager sends 3,339 texts per month. That’s more than six texts per waking hour. According to a new study from Nielsen, our society has gone mad with texting, data usage and app downloads. The number of texts being sent is on the rise, especially among teenagers age 13 to 17. What if we actually spent time texting God? What if we took that time to talk with God? What if we wrote back and forth with God? What would our heart look like?
Why do we start texting God? First, Jesus said “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”(Matthew 4:3-5). Daily Bread is the Bible and what the Holy Spirit says. Secondly, we want to lead by the Spirit of God and not the flesh (Gal.5). When we talk to God we are more easily lead by the Spirit, as we are purposefully asking, seeking, and knocking. We need to grow in the knowledge of God so that we can overcome the reign of Death, and live in the reign of Grace as a new Creation. Lastly, we have to believe what He said, and abide in His word, what better way to do this than dialogue with God, which actually is prayer.
How do we start texting God? The best way to text God is by starting with a bible verse. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is the way, the truth and the Life. God did His part in making know Himself through the son and leaving the Holy Spirit as a Helper. It is our job to search Him out. We do this by asking Him questions. This is a great way to meet Him and grow in an intimate relationship with Him.
Texting 3 questions – when we text God I usually asking 3 questions to start with:
Know, Resist; Pursue:
This tool is the avenue for us to practically “Know, Resist, and Pursue” (see chapter 4). We do this by searching for:
- Knowledge of God
- His thoughts towards you
Knowledge of God “what does this scripture show me about You (God)?”
Who is God? We need to know knowledge about Him. Who God is, is the foundation of our life. We need to learn about Him start by reading the scripture, writing it down and then ask Him questions. Remember write down anything that you think God is saying. God does not always speak in BIG thunder. Most of the time it is a gentle whisper in our hearts. The question I ask first is:
Question: “What does this scripture show me about You (God)?”
Finding the what He thinks about you
“What does this scripture show me about Your (God) thoughts and desires towards me?”
In this section ask Him questions about His thoughts and desires towards you? What does the bible say God thinks and feels about us? God is true, and the enemy always lies. When we are in a hard time we usually can’t hear God. It is not because He is not speaking. Instead we need to dial our self down, turn to the Lord, and meet with Him. The lies in our life always contradict God. What He thinks about me will become the cannon shooting me into a life of holiness. I ask Him:
Question: “what does this scripture show me about Your (God) thoughts and desires towards me?”
How will my life change? “how then shall I pray/obey?”
When we encounter the “knowledge of God” our life will change. The very nature of the cross demands a response in our lives. When people interacted with Jesus they had to respond. The rich young ruler had to choose either to give it all up and follow Jesus or go back home and live in comfort (Matt. 19:21). Jesus saved the woman caught in adultery and told her to go and sin no more. There was an act of obedience that God required for her to walk free. God invites us to obey so that we can grow in intimacy with Him.
At the end of each question I ask the Lord to summaries what He is trying to say in a “Builder sentence”. The builder sentence is the main point or the summary of everything you just wrote. Below is and example. This is the sentence you will pray back to God. When we abide in the vine” we will obey God and produce much fruit. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Builder sentence as a prayer – God wants to hear our voice. When we write our builder sentence as a prayer it will be in two parts:
- Face of God – write down the knowledge of God that He is showing you based on the scripture. (ex. “Our Father in Heaven”… He is a good Father)
- What He wants you to pray – write down what He has showed you in the builder sentence. But, turn the sentence into prayer. (ex. You are a good Father; open eyes to see you).
Remember section #1 – the section about God, and to God, “Who is God”. Our prayer is just to God. We are declaring back to God who He is (this is ministry to God). The bible says, “You are enthroned in the praises of your people”(Ps.22:3). As we speak words about God we are building His Kingdom in the hearts of those around us.
My son asks me how to minister to God. I answer his question with a question. “How do you make me smile when you say things to me” I ask? He answers, “I say words that make your heart warm.” That’s right, I replied as a proud father! When my son tells me how much he loves me, it touches my heart in a great way and causes my heart to feel “warm inside”. When he says, “Dad! I love you. You’re the best dad in the whole world,” I melt inside. In the same way we want to speak right to God. Close your eyes and speak right to His heart. When you speak let your words move His heart with joy. Only you can love God exactly as you do. Say your “builder sentence as prayer” right to His heart.
- Write down the scripture verse(s).
- Encounter God (remember the teaching called “encountering God”)
- Write down the question “what does this scripture show me about You (God)?”
- Text God (remember not to just write down one answer fill up a half of page)
- Builder Sentence –write down your builder sentence. This is the sentence you will pray back to God.
- Builder sentence as a prayer – lastly, write down the builder sentence as a prayer (remember: Face of God; followed by your prayer)
Here is an example of “texting God”.
- First, I write down the scripture.
- Secondly, I encounter God.
- Thirdly, write down the question and then I text God.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. (Matthew 6:9)
Section #1: Q: “what does this scripture show me about You (God)?”
BA: Father of Glory “what does this scripture show me about You (God)?”
Father: It shows that I am your Father and I am “our” Father
BA: what does that mean you are “our Father”?
Father: There is no one like Me
Father: Ask Me what that means.
BA: What does this mean?
Father: I am not like your earthly Father.
BA: How can I trust You?
Father: wait and see I will show you that I am good
BA: Father what is the “builder sentence”?
Father: I am the good Father worship Me
Builder sentence as a prayer: Our Father is a Good Father
***Remember this section is about “Who is God”. Our prayer is just to God. We are declaring back to God who He is. The bible says, “You are enthroned in the praises of your people. As we speak words about God we are building His Kingdom in the air. Close your eyes and speak right to His heart. When you speak let your words move His heart with joy. Only you can love God exactly as you do. Say your “builder sentence as prayer” right to His heart.
Cute story—ministry to the heart of God
When working with 0 to 5 year olds we have to train them to minister to the heart of God. So I always start off by asking who wants to give Jesus a hug. They all squeal and say—I do! Then I tell them to be quite—get them to silence their heart—have them close their eyes. Then I tell them we are going to sing. And let your words go straight to God and give Him a big hug. They love it. We sing simple phrases: I love You, You are God; You are strong…they love this. And they are learning to touch the heart of God.
Section #2 “what does this scripture show me about Your (God) thoughts and desires towards me?”
BA: Father of Glory “what does this scripture show me about Your (God) thoughts and desires towards me?”
Father: That I will love you as “our Father”
BA: when you say “our” Father it sounds like you are everyone’s Father
Father: I am a Father to those that accept Me
BA: Does it hurt you when we don’t accept You?
Father: I long to be with each one of my children. I long to be with you—forever
BA: Father how do I know Your loves is real?
Father: come to Me and I will give you rest
BA: you mean I have to come to you?
Father: like the prodigal son in Luke 15 I want you to come home…there I will give you rest.
BA: Father you want me to…
Father: stop trying to do it on your own. Stop trying to provide for your self. Come to Me and let me be your Father.
BA: Father what is the “builder sentence”?
Father: I am a “Good Father” I will give you true rest
Builder sentence as a prayer: You are the good Father; give me rest
Section #3 “how then shall I pray/obey?”
BA: Father of Glory “how then shall I obey?”
Father: I want to you near me.
BA: what does that mean?
Father: I want you to walk closely with Me.
BA: Thank You; teach me..
Father: give me your time in the morning and bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse.
BA: Help me God you know how I love to sleep, just like anyone else.
Father: I will meet with you early in the morning
BA: help me to give
Father: don’t let money rule your life, give as I lead, and I will open the windows of blessings in your life. Watch and see!
BA: Father what is the “builder sentence”?
Father: I am the Faithful Father
Builder sentence as a prayer: Faithful Father help me to rise in the morning to worship and pray; teach me to give with You.