At least that’s what some people think. But, it’s not true. Actually, asking God questions is one of the very best ways to cultivate intimacy with God.
Jesus had made his last trek to Jerusalem. He’d entered triumphally, cleansed the temple, and told stories that left the religious leaders speechless. He’d told of coming trials: his, Jerusalem’s, and the whole world’s. He’d joined Simon the Leper for a meal where a woman lavishly did “a beautiful thing” for him. And he’d secretly been betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by one of his very own disciples.
But, morning dawned that Thursday, and the disciples came to him with a question.
“Where do you want us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
That night Jesus would remember the Exodus story through the beauty of the Passover. He would remember it infusing it with deeper truth and greater beauty than ever before. He would give his disciples the truest meaning of the wine and the bread. He would look ahead to the new Kingdom when all would be right, and good, and as it should be. And he would sing a hymn with his disciples and set his face like flint to the cross.
But the disciples didn’t know all of this. What they knew was that tonight they needed to celebrate Passover. And rather than going their own way and making their own plans, they asked Jesus,
“Where do you want us to go and prepare for your to eat the Passover?”
Jesus answer was bizarre and potentially dangerous.
“Go into Jerusalem. You’ll see a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him. When he goes into a house, say to the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says, ‘Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'”
This man will show you a large upper room that will be completely furnished and ready. You finish doing the prep work for our Passover celebration.”
Can you imagine? But they did exactly what Jesus told them to do. And it worked out exactly as Jesus said it would.
They asked God a question. Because of this they were able to:
- clearly hear his instructions,
- courageously obey his will, and
- confidently serve him with joy.
Don’t you want this in your life?
Asking God questions is one of the very best ways to cultivate intimacy with him and know exactly what he wants you to do.
Here are some great questions to ask God.
- Who would you like me to talk to today?
- What can I do today to serve you?
- When would you like me do the work you’ve given me to do?
- Where would you like me to go today?
- How can I partner with you in what you’re doing today?
Several things to notice … In this list of “w’s and a h” you journalists know that one “w” is missing, the “why. I’m not saying that you can’t ask God “why,” but it probably shouldn’t be your first question. If it is, most likely your “why-ning” about a situation that you don’t like and don’t understand. Go to God with your “whys,” but do it after you’ve taken your other questions to him.
Another thing to notice is that these are questions about today. Asking God the big questions about the meaning of life, your life purpose, all of that is good. But too often we fixate on those big questions and we miss what God has for us today. Ask God questions for today.
And this one’s kind of obvious, but asking God these questions means that you have to listen to him. And you listen to God in prayer and by thoughtfully reading your Bible. If you’re not praying and reading your Bible, you’re not going to hear from God. And if you’re not hearing from God, you won’t have the joy of hearing him, obeying him, and serving him with joy. Ask God questions so that you can serve him with joy.
Today’s January 1, 2013. If praying and Bible reading haven’t been part of your lifestyle, resolve to make it part of your daily routing for thirty days, and then see what happens. While I address the question “Should you read through the Bible in a year?” and give you a link for the Bible reading plan I follow, I do have another resource that might be a fit for you. This plan can help you have a consistent meaningful quiet time in just 15 minutes each day.
Asking God questions is one of the best ways to cultivate intimacy with Christ. And when you cultivate intimacy with God, he will equip you to impact the world through Christ.
To dig deeper: Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; Isaiah 30:21-23; John 10:27