Summary: How is our relationship with God? How is our relationship with people?
Dealing with God and People
Text: Colossians 4:2-6
Good afternoon all of you!
It’s so good to be with you all this afternoon.
Let me begin our time together with some practical questions about our daily lives.
How do we deal with God? And how do we deal with people around us? In other words, how is our relationship with God and our relationship with people? How are we living our Christian life being children of God and being part of a community around us?
These are some of the hard questions that we should ask ourselves as we live our Christian life in the context of a being a part of a community. Let us see what the word of God say about dealing with God and dealing with people.
Text: Colossians 4:2-6
Title: Dealing with God and People
PI: Dealing with God Prayerfully and Dealing with People Wisely
How should we deal with God and other people?
Our text gives us two approaches on how we should deal with God and people.
The first approach is found in verses 2-4 in our text, it says, ‘Deal with God in Prayer’.
I. Deal with God in Prayer (vs. 2-4)
Paul gives an exhortation about dealing with God here in these verses. Dealing with God is our vertical relationship with God which happens through constant communication which is prayer. First of all, our prayer must be continuous. There must be steadfastness in our prayer life. We should be devoted in our prayer. This is the way the early church prayed (Acts 1:14; 2:46). Many of us pray only occasionally; when we feel like it or when there is a crisis. As Paul says in 1 Thes. 5: 17, “Pray without ceasing”, our communication with God should not stop anytime and anywhere. This does not mean that we should walk around muttering prayers under our breath. Rather, it means we should be constantly in fellowship with God so that prayer is as normal to us as breathing.
a. Being Watchful
As we deal with God in prayer, we should also be watchful in our prayers. The phrase we read in the Bible often, ‘watch and pray’ should be practiced when we pray to God. There is no power in dull and dry prayer which is like an altar without fire. Our prayers should have energy and alertness as the spiritual enemy is against our relationship with God. Satan is not happy when we pray to God constantly, so we should be watchful of him.
b. Being Thankful
When we deal with God in prayer, there must be an element of thanksgiving in every prayer. There are so many things we have to be thankful to God for and there are no other things we can offer back to Him. Paul explains his thankfulness several times in this letter when he was in the prison. Thankfulness is one of the most essential elements in our prayers as we deal with God in prayer. Our prayers should also be specific. It helps us to know when God answered our prayer and praise Him for it. We pray general prayers most of the times, but Paul’s request for his specific need to proclaim the Gospel. We should not separate proclaiming the word of God and prayer since God has joined them together in Acts 6:4. As we deal with God in our prayers, we should also pray for the missionaries like Paul who are in the ministry of proclaiming the mystery of Christ. “When we work, we work; when we pray, God works”. So in our dealing with God, let us pray and let Him work in and through us.
I would like to share my own experience here on how my relationship with God has been so meaningful through prayer. As I was studying at IGSL, God gave me an opportunity to serve in the IGSL community being a part of the student council team. It was such a wonderful time for me to trust God more and level up my faith. I would like to call it a ‘faith stretching exercise’ where I had to go to God in prayer and trust in His promises. I realized that working for a community and working in a community is not something that I can deal with my own self understanding and experience. I knew the fact that I have to deal with God in a right way if I want to deal with people right. So before doing any events, planning and preparation; I always went to God in prayer and thanked for His favors at the same time asked for more favor. There was a tendency to just ask for His favors in all our activities and forget to thank God for what He had done in and through us. So as a team, we went to God in prayer for the activities and we praised God for His favor after the activities. We did regular evaluation of our team and us as an individual to make sure that our relationship with God is right. That spiritual exercise of dealing with God in prayer for all our projects and plans was the key in creating a harmonious community.