You’ve Got Mail :: by Grant Phillips

Back in 1998 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in a nice little movie called “You’ve Got Mail.” It has nothing to do with this article, other than the title.

I happened to think about that movie though as I received email and text messages today while working on some other articles. I realized that I would immediately stop what I was doing, put everything else on hold, and check the messages. Having read the messages, whether email or text, I would then respond if need be. Are you like that?

I really enjoy the emails I get from those of you. Some will comment on an article. Some may just want to get something off their chest. Others may request prayer. (In passing, I would like to say that one of my greatest joys is praying for your needs, and if I tell you I’m praying for you, you can consider it done and continuing to be done.) Then, occasionally, I may get an email from someone who just wants to get me back on course, in their mind anyway. I read them too. All are appreciated, and all are given the attention they deserve.

As you may guess, if a message arrives on my computer or cell phone from my wife Debbie, I am more eager than ever to check that message. What she thinks is very important to me. After 21 years, seven months and 24 days, she still has my complete attention. I love to hear what she has to say.

I guess you have figured out by now that I must be going somewhere with this haven’t you, but where? I would be willing to bet, if I were a betting man that many of you have already arrived before me. So let’s proceed.

Jesus wrote messages to all mankind, then He wrapped them all up in one book we call the Bible. We discover right off the bat that He created us. The Bible also makes it more than clear that He loves us. Why, I sometimes wonder, but He does.

In my opinion, the one thing that our Lord desires is our companionship. He created us for that. For some reason known only to Him, He likes to be among us. Remember that He often called Himself the “Son of man.” He is God in the flesh. Also, if you recall, God must have spent a lot of time just sitting around talking with Adam and Eve.

Well, thanks to those two, that came to a screeching halt when they sinned. Now comes one of the reasons for all those messages God wrote to us. He wants to let us know that He made it possible for us to fellowship with Him again. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He really has a lot to say in this book, the Bible.

Okay, okay, I’ll get to the point. If I am so anxious to drop what I’m doing and put everything else on hold in order to check that email or text that just arrived, how anxious am I to do the same when I get a message from God?

I was out of town on a four day business trip a short time ago, and guess who I just couldn’t wait to talk with on the phone each evening? Yep, each evening around seven or so, I’d call the Mrs.

Do we have that same eager anticipation in wanting to talk with God?

Notice that I have been saying, talk “with,” not talk “to.” When talking with someone, it is a two-way conversation, but when talking to someone it sounds more like a one-way conversation. When conversing with God should it not be a two-way conversation?

How do we even converse with God? We can’t see Him with our eyes. We can’t hear Him with our ears. In a nutshell, He speaks to us via His Word, the Bible, and we speak to Him via prayer.

Have you ever talked with someone who monopolized the conversation? You start to talk, and off they go again. You wonder how they breathe. And then there are those conversations where either you or the other party nearly dozes off. The eyes glaze over. The head nods. “Oops! I’m back!”

In our communication, or fellowship, with God, several questions come to mind, such as;

·        Do I fellowship with God? Is He waiting for me to read His message or “pick up the phone?”

·        Am I as eager to hear from Him as, say, a family member or friend?

·        Do I respond to His messages?

·        Am I eager to “hang up?”

·        Do I monopolize the conversation?

·        Am I bored with what He has to say? “Did my head just nod?”

Someone may say, “Grant, I love the Lord, but I can’t see or hear Him like I can my wife or my children. It isn’t the same thing. You’re comparing apples and oranges.” Maybe I am. I too must deal with this same issue you point out, but maybe we should look at it from God’s perspective. He can see and hear us. Maybe He wants us to just use the faith He provides us and believe that even though we cannot see or hear Him with our physical senses, He is there.

This verse comes to mind:

“And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17)

Our physical senses are limited, but our spiritual senses are not. I’m certainly no model or guide to follow. I’m still growing and have a long way to go, but if you are checking your mail from God and responding to His messages, don’t you sense that warmth in your soul? It’s something you really can’t put your finger on, but it’s there. For example, when you’re in the presence of your beloved spouse or child, there is a warm and happy feeling in your soul. It’s the same feeling when fellowshipping with God. Even though our eyes and ears do us no good, our spirit experiences that moment.

Have you noticed times when you just don’t feel up to sorts? You’re angry, sad, depressed, pretending to be happy, or just plain blah, then you start reading God’s messages, and you keep reading. You talk to Him, in your mind, about what He is saying to you. Something magical happens. A peace in your spirit takes shape that you can’t explain. How sad that so many Christians, at least they say they are Christians, never experience this.

God has sent us many emails, text messages, letters, whatever you want to call them. Where are they found? Yes, in His Word, the Bible. Are we reading them? If so, do we respond, or hit the delete key?

Perhaps some are wondering, “Does God speak to us by any other method?” Yes He does, but we should be extremely careful in this area. Remember the serpent and Eve. Satan hacked into God’s message and totally deceived Eve. She got the message all wrong, and look what it has cost us all. Abraham and Sarah got impatient with God, decided to help Him with the message, and thanks to them, the Middle East is like a volcano prepared to erupt at any moment.

God put all of His messages in His Book, the Bible for a reason. We can be sure that every word in the Bible is from God and therefore can be trusted. That is where we need to be.

You’ve got mail! It says,

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Oh! There’s more! Well, I’ll let you read you own mail, while I check mine.