Bedtime is a special time for me with my kids. It was at bedtime a couple year ago that my now eight year old son asked Jesus to be in his heart. Since that time, our conversations have gone in many directions in regard to who God is and where he is.
My son recently told me he was struggling with prayer. He said it embarrassed him to pray. It seems the embarrassment was related to his comment that it is hard to believe in God because he can’t see him. Isn’t it amazing how Satan can cause even the most sincere child to be uncomfortable with God?
My response was to encourage him to talk to God alone when he thought about it even if he didn’t feel comfortable with it. It’s like a new friendship. The deepest of friendships often begin with some awkwardness especially if one individual has obvious superiority and respect in some area. I assured my son that he would feel more comfortable with God as he spent more time talking to him.
This week, after confirming that talking to God in your mind is prayer, my son informed me with a great deal of enthusiasm that he’s been praying more. He said all his doubts are gone and he feels much closer to God now. Then came the question: “Will Satan talk to me less as I get closer to God?”
That sounds logical but reality is just the opposite. My son and I then entered into the conversation of how to distinguish God’s voice from Satan’s voice. My logical son gave me an example of Satan’s voice – mean and rough with a scowl on his face.
Again, that seems logical but not reality. Satan is called a liar and deceiver. His desire to rule in place of God drives him to use many schemes which most often appear “good” – at least initially or for a “good” cause. How easy it would be to choose God’s way over Satan’s if every “evil” temptation were obviously mean and rough and caused us to have a scowl on our face.
God is not human. The deity of Jesus Christ was not in his humanness, it was in his Godness. The easiest way to get to know God is to read and study his written word – the Bible. Every thought God places in our minds will be in line with his character which is revealed in scripture.
Fortunately, my son likes to read. But the Bible no longer has to be something of dread to read for any age. I still prefer The New International Version for my everyday reading but often go to The Message or New Living Translation when I’m studying a topic or section of the Bible. Christianbook.com has a good article to help understand the large variety of Bibles to choose from today.
I recently bought my son a New Testament called “Magnify”. It has a fun cover and full of games and even has Codes to read with the 3-D glasses included. I gave him the same suggestion I give adults. Start with one book – I recommend the book of John – read it like you would any other book. Read for enjoyment. Stop when something jumps out at you. Meditate on those words and talk to God about them. What do those words tell you about God and his relationship with you?
The way to recognize the ideas of another person is to get to know that person. The Bible is God’s life story. Enjoy getting to know him in print so that you can recognize his ideas planted in your mind.