Please enjoy this episode of Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast #28 on your favorite podcast platform. Although efforts were made in editing, this transcript may include a few typos. Enjoy!
[00:00:00] lyvita: Saints, don't you wish that you could just sit down and have a heart to heart talk with God? There's so much noise going on around you. You just need to have a heart to heart, a serious conversation, and sometimes you just can't find that place. Well, That's what we're going to talk about today.
We're going to talk about developing a relationship with God through having conversation. I've invited Sarah Bowling back. She was on episode 19 and she was talking to us about Keeping in Step with the Holy Spirit.
Well, today we're going to be talking about, Hey God, Can We Talk, that's the name of her new book. Now we're going to focus on the spiritual discipline of prayer, which is [00:01:00] simply talking to God. Saints, this is going to be one of those episodes where you say, I can talk to God at any time?! So grab your Bible, journal, pen, and a comfy place to sit and write, because this is episode number 27 now on to the intro...
(Intro is deleted – on to the discussion)
Lyvita: Our Father and our God, we just come thanking You, come thanking You and praising You for Your Son for dying on Calvary's cross for us. Lord, God, we thank You, dear Lord God, that we can come boldly to the throne of grace with our Savior just talk to You. We pray Father God, that in the midst of our conversation, that it helps others to know just how wonderful, how sweet it is to come. And talk with You, not to You, but with You and listen, and just listen for us in Jesus name. We pray. [00:04:00] Amen. And amen.
Lyvita:Welcome back, Sarah.
Sarah: Totally good day with you.
lyvita: Same here. I really love how the Holy Spirit has His way of giving me thoughts about what the podcast should be about. You see, all of a sudden, I'm just cruising along and then here comes your book, but I'm talking about the one that's called Keeping in Step with Holy Spirit, how that just came about, and then how just cruising along again, and then just thinking about, okay, you know what, I want to do something about talking to God, you know, from your heart for real. And BAM. You have a book called, Hey God, can we talk?
Lyvita: So episode 19, you actually told us [00:05:00] about, book that you were going to do, but I don't remember this being the title, but praise God. Yeah.
Sarah: Yeah. I really, so, you know, the title that I talked about in episode 19 was like conversations with God. Then that was kind of the series that I'd kind of worked through for a couple of months, several months, actually. and then when I worked with a publisher they said, you know, we think it's a little bit of a stronger title to call this. Hey God, can we talk. I was like, Ooh, I like it.
lyvita: And that was beautiful. So just give us a little background on how did you get from keeping in step with Holy spirit to talking with God and being authentic and real from the heart?
Sarah: Yeah, I think, you know, I think that with Holy Spirit, I always have this sense of communion and connection, dialogue together, you know, even if it's not necessarily [00:06:00] words, but just that sense of togetherness. And so I was thinking about it and I was like, well, I get that. You're we're together. And we're doing life together in step. Right. But I was like, you know, what, what about, what do we look at? Like what does conversations look like? Because for some of us. Things that seem a little bit esoteric, you know, that are floating.
It helps if we can get our heads around something a little bit more familiar, like a conversation. And so I just thought about that. I was like, well, what's the first conversation between God and him and a human. Um, and that is kind of what initiated, like just kind of lit me up for this massive adventure, which has been fantastic.
lyvita: I know this because the book contains your adventure. It was wonderful. I mean, I learned a lot from it and about you too, by just reading the book [00:07:00] That also, brings to mind, your work with, saving Moses, so you have the opportunity to travel. So I was just wondering, did you find that people in other cultures and other countries are also having, um, not problems with talking with the Lord, but having a sense of, can I really share the truth of my heart to the Lord? Do you find that in all the countries that you're seeing or is that just basically an American thing?
Sarah: No, I think it's a human thing, you know, I think regardless of your upbringing and I think it's human, whether you have a lot of money, you have no money, a lot of education, no education. I just think human, our human entity, talking with God, you know, divinity and conversation. [00:08:00] Is challenging. And I think depending on your culture, depending on your upbringing, you know, there's some unique, challenges, but I still think there is fundamentally across all humanity there's a sense of, you know, w upper and less than, you know, which I get it. I mean, it's rightfully so infinite versus finite, you know, all knowing versus. Kind of sharp. So I just think those things are just the natural, like, okay. If I'm going to talk with God, you know, that's interesting. That can be intimidating. So.
lyvita: Yeah. Yeah, it can be. Yeah. If you think about it. So let's just be clear. I want everybody to understand when we say that we're having a conversation with God we're not talking about just praying. And [00:09:00] that's it. We're talking about praying, listening to what He has to say, responding. We're talking about having a true conversation. So can you share with what that looks like or feels like, or cause your book does, uh, she has some of that insight.
Sarah: Yeah. In Lyvita like you and me right now. I mean, you're asking questions, I'm talking, you know, if we were like offline or whatever, we would just talk, you know, I'd ask you questions, you know, we, and so it's just kind of the weather we talk about the weather, the deeper, the relationship, the less superficial we talk sometimes, you know?
lyvita: And I, yeah, I agree with you on that one. Cause that's, that's a good point because it does have a lot to do with your relationship. To God, how you actually view God. Yeah.
Sarah: And I think that that can be, that can be a problem. Cause if you have these preconceived ideas, like God doesn't like me or, you know, well, I mean, [00:10:00] Adam, this that's the quintessential conversation because Adam completely messed up. I mean, he was in the perfect environment. And he only had his not do one thing, which is the one thing that he did. So he completely screwed up, but what human on the planet that can't relate to completely messing up. God. I mean, there's just a human existence. And so watch Adam's behavior because once he screws up, he does what we all do.
We hide we're embarrassed. We're afraid. We're ashamed. You know, we try to like disconnect, unplug, isolate ourselves. Adam did exactly what we do. You know, how many people drop out a church or they get, you know, they disconnect with their friends or, you know, they're ashamed, they're embarrassed. And so, you know, and it's just smoke and mirrors.
And so I [00:11:00] appreciate that conversation with Adam and God, because it's so formative. And so, so much like a rubric kind of for human reaction, but I love God's reaction because God isn't put off. By Adam's humanity. God asks Adam, where are you? And it's not an accusation question. It's not to be so stupid. God already knows where Adam is. Right. I mean like that's given, so it's a relationship question I want to be with you. Come out of hiding. And, you know, Adam is like embarrassed, look at his behavior, look at what he’s done. And so I love that conversation because I think that's the very, very first conversation between God and a human and it's dialogue.
It's back and forth. Like it's question, it's responding. It's you know, this and that and that's conversation. It's not God [00:12:00] telling him you should do dah, dah, dah, dah. It's not like us. What we think a lot of times is us just telling God, dah, dah, dah, our shopping list is dialogue is not a monologue is back.
lyvita: And I liked that. The fact that God asked the question. Because most of us do go on the attack. We, you did some, you should not have done. So I liked that. And I, and, and, but it also shows us that even when we mess up, I mean, big time, little time, it doesn't, it may, but when we mess up. God is still trying to have a relationship, still trying to have a conversation with still trying.
He wants to have a relationship. And I know that God can't be around us when we said, I know that He has to set us up apart from Himself when we sin. That's why we got Jesus. When we go to God, we go with our Savior. Jesus [00:13:00] Christ because we actually say our father and that indicates its I in Jesus, you know? So we go to God with Jesus already being washed in the blood. So we don't actually have the fear, you know? And that's the beauty of it, of it all. Even in the midst of all that I could still, Adam could still have a conversation with God that changes your whole outlook on. What it is that you did, but there's another part that comes with that. And that is the consequence of your sin.
Lyvita:Yeah. So we had to remember that also. Um, but what is it that you really would like for us to take away from in your story? Because it is your story and it's a, it's a story that we can all relate too. You know what I'm saying? It's relatable, the book is so [00:14:00] relatable. It's about now we're going through a lot, you know, right now.
And just reminding us that we can go to our God, no matter what, for some that is comforting. So I just want to know what would, what was your, um, what's your, what is it that you want your readers to take away from? From the book.
Sarah: Well, I think, you know, in the book there's like lots of different chapters that I think our super relevant, you know, there's a chapter that what's a conversation with God, you know, when life is in total meltdown. You know, I mean, that's a major conversation. and then, you know, there's conversations with God. What about, and I love this one, you know, you think about the conversations between Martha and Jesus and Mary and Jesus. [00:15:00] And both of them had very unique personalities. You know, one of them was probably little more contemplative.
One of them was more of a type, a personality get after it and go achieve. And Jesus had great conversations with each of them, great connections with each of them. It wasn't based on their personality, their fearfully and wonderfully made. So, I mean, you can't grow and change and improve, but at the same time, I think sometimes we disqualify ourselves because we think, well, I don't have that right.
Personality, you know, or I'm not like her or whatever, or maybe, or maybe there's a pride thing where we're like, Oh, I'm better than they are because I da da, you know, and I just, yes. Right. Yeah. God is kind of steps through all of that, you know, static smoke and mirrors, and just kind of sits in with us and says, Hey, I like you.
I like the way you're made, I made you and [00:16:00] conversation, communion fellowship together. So in the book, you know, to your question, I think I want every reader to read and look at their own life and see their own life in light of these conversations. And wherever we're at in life. There's one that talks about, you know, I'm at a fork in the road at a crossroads.
So what does that look like? And that's a really powerful chapter. I mean, life in meltdown, we got, you know, when life doesn't go the way you thought it would and expected, you know, it turned whoop. That was a left. I didn't see that coming. So now, you know, and so I just think these are normal human experiences.
And I believe that God invites us into conversations within these normal human experiences. And these examples, these chapters kind of invite the reader to think about and also participate. [00:17:00] And I hope it's my hope that every reader increases grows in their conversations with God. That's ultimately. Ultimately what I really want more than anything.
lyvita: Yeah. And, and I think that is so own point because in your book you have conversation starters. I mean, that was a game changer. You know, once we had the back method, we have your experiences in the background and then you actually teach us how to do it, but not to just do it your way, but to do it according to our personalities. And that, that was, I mean, because, okay. I took one of your conversation starters, the last one, and I applied it to our, March calendar. So we had like five days and they were [00:18:00] different days that we actually did that last one. And I'm not saying what that last one is, because I want everybody to get the book.
Now we did have, I did put the book. Um, on our February block to let everybody know that, you know, it was coming up. And then in March, I actually put that activity on it. It was cool. It was cool, but I, but I did learn one thing. I need to talk to my listeners sooner because when I put that the calendar in there, I was getting all kinds of emails, even phone calls from people who, you know, I talked to on the phone, that listeners, uh, Lyvita I'm already doing a Bible state is Lyvita.
I can't do it. So I learned that, February and March is not the months for challenges because pastors are into getting their congregations together for Easter.
Lyvita: And I just never, you know, [00:19:00] so I said, no problem. So, you know, I'm gonna turn that March into, uh, may or June. And so this as you be ready for that then, but, but going back to the, um, conversation starters, especially that last one that I did try. It, it kept reminding me of praying without ceasing. It actually allow me to remember scripture because there's sometimes like this, the scripture that kept hitting me 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 where it says, what Paul is urging Timothy to always do, is supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving that he's urging him to pray that for all people, including kings and all of them. Okay. So with that, [00:20:00] I started paying attention to, you know, I was like, okay, that's good. She kept coming up. There were other scriptures that just kept coming up as I was, you know, spending my three minutes. And I thought that was beautiful. I mean, that allowed me to do what God has been telling us all to do, pray without ceasing. And it's all about developing a relationship and that now what does developing a relationship? I find that talking is crucial. Yeah. But there's something else that we need with that they're talking. And that's the word of God.
And I thank you in your book, you do do that.
Sarah: Chapter is one specific conversation between somebody in the Bible and God, [00:21:00] and there's a lot of chapter and verse reference through through the whole book, because I think that's got to be kind of our. You know, our ground zero place for these conversations
lyvita: It’s vitally important and even doing these, these times that we're going through now share with the listeners about, um, you know, talking to God, getting rid of the fear. And
Sarah: yeah, one of the things that's been helpful to me on that is, is one of the conversation starters, um, And this helped me a lot. I did this last year, actually, during the peak of the shutdown with COVID, you know, when we're all locked in the foam and you know, more like sheltered home thing, memorable that yes. that was tricky for me because I have got three teenagers, you know, and there's not enough wifi in the world at [00:22:00] home, two adults, right. And so, and it's just stressful. You know, one of my kids said to me, we don't need more family time. We got enough of that.
Sarah: Yeah. But at the same time, For people who don't have families and they're all isolated and alone, that is, this was a hard, hard, hard time, right? Absence. And so what I did, and I, this is where my segway to lead into this is I took a walk every day and it was about. I had three walks. I had the short walk, the medium walk and the long walk and, you know, I'd reverse it, you know?
So I'd go out of my house and maybe I'd just go right. One day, the next day go left. Or, you know, so I, I could mix it up, but those, those walks, those are walking and talking and I'd walk out of my [00:23:00] door. And I would start talking with God, Hey, this is really disturbing to me. Hey, the numbers keep going up.
Hey, the news is really scary right now. Hey, you know, we had this conversation around the dinner table where it was very heated and it wasn't very friendly and cordial and supportive people are like edgy. So I would walk out of my door and I just talk and I would just kind of vent. And blow my stack, you know, whatever.
Just put all the cards on the table. Um, honest and raw. And as I walked, those walks, like I said, were around 20, 30 minutes. At least some of them were 40 minutes. And then my long walk was about an hour. And so. Inevitably I would do. I would start off talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, let alone a little, little, little, little, little, you know, settle in.
And then nine out of 10 times [00:24:00] I'd be like about halfway through. And I, I could feel the shift that shift in the conversation where suddenly it wasn't even suddenly there was very oftentimes real gradual this like. The sense of presence, the sense of I'm here, I'm listening. The sense of look around you, look up, see, you know, and, and it was some of those conversations.
There was one conversation I'll never forget. I talked with God, this was the long walk and there were some questions I had. Hey God, how come. I struggle with this problem. You know, it's something that I've wrestled with my life. And I remember as about a third of the way into the walk Holy spirit started to say, okay, here is why.
And let's talk through some of the core things underneath that have happened that make this a difficult challenge for you. And by the time I got back to my house on the [00:25:00] long walk, I was in tears because we communion in this sweet fellowship and just this, this, um, I dunno support.
And it's the cleansing too,
Sarah: then it's spoken. Yeah. And to the very core of me, So I just have been there and talks that it sounds, you know, Paul talks about it, walk with the spirit, you know, and I, and we always take it like spiritually, you know, or symbolically. Right, right. But I think there's a lot to be said for actually taking a walk.
lyvita: Yes. Yes,
Sarah: yes. Sounds elementary. But I think
lyvita: it's really good. It is more than just getting out of the house. It's it's truly being open. Everything is open. So, Sarah, I just want to thank you so much for joining me and the listeners. [00:26:00] You know, this is a blessing I can't. Okay. So w w w what do you have in store?
Uh, what's coming up. Anything, anything else do I have to
Sarah: I don't know. I started a sermon series called conversations with Jesus. And so that's been at this just kind of the beginning of that adventure. So I don't know where that will wind up.
lyvita: Uh, okay. I was just looking for my next content. Right.
Hey, well, this definitely was a blessing, so I just wanna, I just wanna thank you again. Um, and, uh, St uh, you know, this is, we're just, we're just here together just to remind you that you can talk to God at any time he is there ready to listen. So, uh, Sarah, you want to pray us out.
[00:27:00] Sarah: Absolutely Father. I thank You for each person listening. I thank You for the opportunity to be with them, just even calling it indirectly, uh, pray Holy Spirit, that you would open up their hearts for conversations with You or were stations with God. Um, and whatever the obstacles might be that they might have, whether it's intimidation, fear, embarrassment, shame, whatever that you would help them to. Um, worked through those to have some really fantastic conversations with you. Thank you for doing this in Jesus name.
lyvita: Amen. Amen. Amen. Well, Saints, I have included a link to Sarah's book in the show notes and the comments. So check that out. Also remember to share the podcast and the YouTube channel so that others will know what a blessing hanging out with.
Saints, until we met again over the [00:28:00] airways, continue to daily and intentionally hang out with Jesus.
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