The Right Words

If you want entry into the secret cave, where 40 thieves hid the treasure, you need to say the right words: “Open Sesame!”  Are there right words to say if you want to open a connection with God?  I used to think so as a kid.  The man in the robe up front would look all serious and intone, “Let us pray…”  Did that do it, kind of like a religious “Breaker 19?”  What if, instead, he said, “Lettuce spray?”  Would that work?

Amazingly, no opening of the connection is needed; it’s already open and working.  At least, it is working from God’s end:

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” (Psalm 139:1-4)

How does that make you feel?  Maybe sheepish, thinking, “You mean He knows about that time I was thinking about (Here is a blank for you to fill in…)?”  Does it make you want to hide?  (I’m reminded of how babies will try to hide from their parents by putting their hands over their eyes.)  Does knowing God knows what you are thinking and doing inhibit you?  I suppose those kinds of reactions are normal, but that’s not the response God was looking for when He revealed those truths to David.  He was trying to reassure us and fill us with awe.

If you were deep sea diving, it would be mighty nice to know that someone on the surface was monitoring how you were doing.  If you were sneaking around behind enemy lines, knowing that your commanders were watching, were tracking you with drones or satellites – that would be a warm fuzzy.  Your situation here on earth is similar; God wants to reassure us with the knowledge that He is aware of who you are, what you are thinking and how you are doing.

But when we try to make sense of how that might work, we run into the limits of what our minds will handle.  David wrote:

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Psalm 139:6)

To paraphrase: David is saying, “When I try to think about how You, God, know me, it fills me with wonder and awe.  There’s no way I can fully understand it; it’s too high, too mysterious.”

Once you know that God loves you, you personally, and know that He knows how it is going with you right now, then you can open your end of the connection and communicate with Him.  You don’t even need the right words.  You don’t have to say, “Lettuce spray…”


[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

1 thought on “The Right Words

  1. peggyburns

    Dear Tom, I especially appreciated this post. Thank you for this message. How are you doing dear friend.? I think of you daily, but don’t want to smother you with calls or emails. Just know that Mike and I love you so much and pray for peace and days that are fulfilling for you. Peggy


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