A few weeks ago, our Pastor used this passage in a sermon on a Sunday morning. As I was reviewing my sermon notes, I re-read this passage and the Lord dropped some thoughts into my mind that I thought I would share.
It made me think about my expectations and actions in the house of God. I am a sanguine. I like to talk so these scriptures were especially applicable to me. I like to talk to God and do regularly but today I let Him talk and you know what I found? I found that when I shut up, He will actually say something!
He said the following things to me as I read this passage. I think I've been guilty of almost all of them at some point in my life:
1) Don't be flippant with God. Don't use flippant words with God. How often do we come into the presence of God with a flippant attitude? Flippancy means we do not show a serious or respectful attitude.We forget about who He is. If we stay up til all hours of the morning on Saturday night because it's the weekend and then sleep through church, that's showing disrespect and flippant. If we take scripture and inject it into our conversations in a common way or quote it in a sarcastic way, that's flippancy. If we talk to God as if He's on our level and one of the gang, that's flippant and disrespectful. It's about the heart attitude. Whatever we say to God must be said with a reverent heart. We must remember who He is and who we are. Remember "He is in heaven and we are on the earth; therefore let our words be few." And I would add, let our attitudes be humble.
2) Always speak faith filled words to God. Faith moves the heart of God and causes Him to listen. When we speak words that truly reflect who He is, what He has said, and what He will do, we will live the reality of those words here on earth. On the other hand, when we whine or rehearse our situation, as if He doesn't already know about it, this dishonors God and He will not answer. We don't need to explain anything to God, especially our situations or the reason we do things. He already knows. To retell it to Him is an insult. It's okay to let God know how you are feeling as long as you as you are well ready to admit that you are wrong when your feelings do not line up with His Word and to speak, by faith, His will into your situation and life.
3) Don't question God. Don't accuse Him in any way. Instead question your knowledge of His will and ways and ask Him for wisdom and revelation. Whatever God does is always perfect. To question Him in an accusatory way is wrong. To question Him with the attitude of wanting to understand what He is doing is godly and productive. God doesn't cause evil but sometimes He has to allow it.
4) Don't get angry with God. That is sin. Scripture clearly tells us to "be angry and sin not." Be angry with what causes sickness, trouble, discouragement and sadness-sin and the devil. Don't blame God for your troubles. He didn't cause them. If you alienate yourself from your only true source of help by accusing Him of things He didn't cause, where does that leave you?
5} Speak less and listen more. "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger." James 1:19. If we would listen more to people and talk less, we would probably get angry less with them because we would actually be hearing what they are saying and would understand. We would ask questions for clarification and gain a true picture of what is on their heart so that when we do speak, our words would be effective and helpful.
Bottom line is that we must be intentional with God. We must approach him with a humble and reverent heart because He is God and we are only there because His love has made a way for us to be in His presence at all! We must speak in a way that represents and honors Him.
We not fear Him if we are saved, but He must never become common because He has never been or will he ever be common. He is divine. He is eternal. He is all powerful. He is God Almighty!