21st February 2013

Communication Is Two-Way

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
Isaiah 59:1-2 (ESV)

The plane descended towards Burbank Airport. On reaching the first landmark the pilot, Dave, switched the radio off and on as instructed. Over the next navigation point he repeated the procedure, but this time twice. A radio malfunction meant Air Traffic Control couldn’t hear us, but the spontaneous action of the Controller re-established communication and he calmly guided us in until the Piper Cherokee touched down safely.

Relieved and thankful, Dave and I were soon motoring down the freeway. We arrived at our destination, slumped in front of the TV, just in time to witness astronaut Neil Armstrong take his first historic step onto the lunar surface. “One small step for man…”  The day had been a triumph for technology and communication: walking on the Moon or, in our case, simply landing on Earth!

Communication technology has changed since the ‘69 Apollo mission. Every day, for example, some 144.8 billion emails1 encircle the globe, in addition to Social Networking and Instant Messaging. The message, though, is still the same, “To be effective, transmissions need to be received and understood”. Anyone can bark out orders, issue instructions or broadcast information. Yet effective communication is two-way. It is a process, which functions best when it is interactive and sensitive to the understanding of all parties. Poor communication can be a harbinger of broken relationships, failing businesses, ineffectual and lonely lives, even a precursor of feuds or war.

Although God worked with individuals like Moses, Abraham and the prophets, since Adam, man had been separated from and incommunicado with God, because of sin. Through Jesus’ incarnation, selfless love and the spontaneous gift of the Holy Spirit, the Father has restored direct communication and a relationship with those who believe. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ…For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:13,18 NIV)

God does issue commands and expects a response, but not because He can. With God it is never a one-way channel. His communication with us is relational and based on love. Even if His instruction is, “Go!” He goes with us and holds out a hand if we start to sink.

Amazingly our spiritual forgiveness and restored communication with God also means we can begin to communicate with our ‘enemies’, because they are also forgiven. Two-way communication then becomes the life-blood of lasting relationships. We can also begin to view our prayers and other spiritual disciplines not as one way requests, but as two-way communication with God and building blocks of an eternal relationship. This is a gospel message worth living and communicating, but don’t worry if we appear to be malfunctioning occasionally. The Holy Spirit will guide us in! 

Thank you, Father, for restoring communication with us through the self-sacrifice of your Son and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for inviting us into an eternal loving relationship with you and for equipping us to communicate the Gospel message with others. Please help us to be received and understood.

Study by Stuart Foster 

1 Radicati, Sara, PhD. Email Statistics Report 2012-2016, The Radicati Group,Inc.

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