God invites us into a relationship. He doesn’t just want drones that do His bidding and leave Him alone. God wants us to know Him, to engage, to interact. It’s all about relationship, not just rules.
The problem is that we often tend to lead with our mouths, not our ears when we come into a time of speaking to God. We do, after all, have things to say: there are points to be clarified, requests to be granted, cases to be made. In truth, most of us never think of coming to God and spending time with Him unless or until we have something we want or have been victimized by the world in some way.
It’s not natural for us to come to God just to be.
But look what Solomon wrote regarding time spent with God:
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. Ecclesiastes 5:2-3
What he seems to be saying is “talk slowly, be intentional, think before you speak.”
“But I thought God wanted to be in relationship, to be our friend? I thought we were safe with Him and could tell Him anything!”
We can. God is a big boy and He certainly can take our rants and our unfair assessments of His action or apparent in-action. He can handle it when we fly off the handle, and He loves us regardless of what we might say…or do.
But again, it’s a relationship.
Have you ever said something you regret to someone you are in relationship with? Ever stuck your foot in your mouth or spoke in anger or ignorance only later to wish you hadn’t said anything until you understood more?
I know I have. And I’ve always wished I had thought a little more before I spoke.
It’s a relationship, and God is the grown up. He’s the one with all the answers here. He has the complete perspective—he controls the whole enchilada.
“God is in heaven and you are on earth so let your words be few.”
This is not a call to a limited relationship or to holding back with God. It’s a call to being more intentional. A call to listening first. To remembering my own ignorance.
It’s about being honest with God. And being honest with God starts with recognizing that we aren’t equal. He knows more, loves more, see more, does more, is more. So it might be smart to listen first. And to speak with intention.
That’s why Solomon follows with these words about speaking to God:
“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.” Ecclesiastes 5:7
Solomon isn’t saying don’t talk to God. He’s saying, take your time, listen, be still before you be vocal. Take your time. In this hurried culture of go, go, go, this may be one of the greatest challenges on our spiritual journey.
When was the last time you slowed down enough to really listen to God, before launching into your own agenda of words, words, words?
Before you say what you want to say, ask yourself, “what does God have to say?” You might be surprised.