In Genesis 11 we read a very interesting story. It seems a whole bunch of men got together and decided they would build a tower that reached to the heavens. To build such a tall building, the best architects were brought in. They had to come up with plans to make a wide enough and strong enough base that it would support such a mighty tower. They had to figure out how to best taper it as the went up so that it would point right to the sky and present an awesome sight to anyone who would look upon it. Once this was all drawn out to the exact specifications, they would need to prepare a material list and decide where the materials would come from. All the materials would need to be gathered and workers would be brought in to build this magnificent structure. Their ultimate goal was to have a building that would reach God to that they could make a name for themselves.
They made the bricks for the structure and made mortar to hold those bricks together. The building was proceeding along nicely, but their goal was not pleasing to God. He heard their intentions and decided to do something about it. It wasn’t long before the men realized that, all of a sudden, they could not understand each other. They were all speaking a different language. And since they could not understand each other, they could not effectively communicate how work on the tower should proceed. Very quickly the workers started to get frustrated and walk away, going back to their villages and countries. The tower was left incomplete. Our modern word babbling, meaning talking in confused words, comes from this story.
The third step to effective communication is that we must be understood. If I am going to give a lecture to a room full of Spanish speaking people, I better use Spanish or my lecture would be useless. I must use the language of the people I am speaking to. I must communicate to their understanding, not my own. If I try to communicate with them on a level that I understand but they don’t, I will not be very effective. Lately I have enjoyed watching a TV show called “Eureka” on Amazon Prime It’s about a community where all the smartest people in the world are brought together to work for a company that experiments with every kind of technology and science you can imagine. Into this mix of genius is brought a Sheriff of normal intelligence. When strange situations pop-up, and they always do, the Sheriff is out looking for answers and the geniuses try to explain things to him with their own understanding. He asks at least twice in every episode that they please speak it in his language of understanding.
I am well aware that God understands every language on the face of the earth. After all, He gave everyone their voice, and He is the one who started the whole different language thing that day at the Tower of Babel. He even knows our prayer language. He also hears every word that is spoken, because He tells us that we will be held accountable for every word that is spoken (Matthew 12:36). But there is one specific way that we can make sure we are understood by God, because there is one thing that God says He rewards. And He tells us that we must practice this one thing if we want to be rewarded. That one thing is faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”
First, we cannot please God without faith. God is a loving Father and He says He desires to give good gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). When we come to Him with faith, we can move mountains and obstacles in our way (Matthew 17:20). When we come to Him with faith, He will do what we ask of Him (Mark 11:24). A Roman Centurion, enemy of the Jews, came to Him with faith and his prayer was answered (Matthew 8:5-13). A Canaanite woman’s (an unbeliever) prayers were answered because of her faith (Matthew 15:22-28). Faith, no matter who has it, will be answered.
Second, if they come to God with their requests, they must believe that He is. Why would I bring a prayer request to someone I do not believe even exists? I would not. It does not say here that we must believe Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord. It simply says we must believe that God is, that He exists. And I don’t know anyone who would pray, or bring a request, to someone who does not exist. If an atheist ever says to you he will pray, ask him what or who he is praying to. The God of the Bible does not care where a person stands in our religious vernacular. All He cares about is that the person believe that He is.
Third, the person that comes to Him must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Here is faith again. Must believe – must have faith. Again, why would I take my request to someone I did not think would answer it. When I pray to God, I must know that He will answer me. The women with the issue of blood gave her all to get to Jesus and she was rewarded (Mark 5:25-34), The paralytic man benefitted by the actions and prayers of men who gave their all to get him to Jesus (Luke 5:17-39). These people knew that if they diligently sought Him out, they would be rewarded. And they were. We will be as well.
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