Can you hear me now?
A worldwide phenomenon has occurred over the course of the past couple of decades. It does not appear to matter where one is traveling, we are all connected by a single source of communication – a cellphone. We use a cellphone to make phone calls, take pictures and videos, send text messages and emails, social media, music, audio books, etc. A cellphone has become a necessity in our lives, especially in the 21st century. The usefulness of our cellphones is directly dependent upon our wireless provider who provides us with service to communicate with our family, friends, and telemarketers.
In 2002, Verizon Wireless launched a new marketing campaign that they would use exclusively for the following decade. Their commercials were not groundbreaking in the sense of technological advances or the use of Computer-Generated-Images, but rather they were simply constructed around a man journeying to a variety of places and asking the question, “Can you hear me now?” In the first commercial, the actor is portrayed as exiting a city sewer manhole, walking in a swamp, rolling around a business office, walking through a cornfield, the dessert, the arctic, and finally on an old roadway. In each of these scenes, the actor asked the question and upon positive feedback would respond, “Good!” Verizon Wireless used this campaign to market their wireless signal as the strongest and most reliable in the United States. It was truly a remarkable ad/commercial that erupted into a phenomenon for the next several years.
The marketing campaign of Verizon Wireless has changed through the years, but this question remains one of the most memorable slogans of the early 2000’s – “Can you hear me now?” While this question may be helpful in choosing a wireless provider, it can also make an impact in our spiritual lives. We have been given one of the greatest blessings of communication through our prayers to God. The emphasis of prayer in the life of a Christian cannot be overemphasized. Prayer is the avenue given by our Father, so that we can talk to Him concerning our desires, needs, health concerns, spiritual weaknesses/strengths, and the need for His wisdom. The sad reality is that too many Christians have neglected this form of communication in their daily lives.
We need to always be on speaking terms with our heavenly Father. We need to develop a prayer life like our Savior Jesus. In the gospel of Luke, the writer records multiple examples of Jesus taking the time to prayer and have communication with His Father (4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; etc.). If prayer was so essential in the life of the Son, how much more important should it be for those who have been adopted as His sons/daughters? A daily need in our lives is to ask – “Can you hear me now?”
We need to recognize that just as cellphone service can sometimes be interrupted, so can our lines of communication with God be interrupted by our thoughts, actions, and location. The Bible makes it very clear that every thought and action will be judged by our God. The Hebrew writer wrote – “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (4:12). The thoughts of our heart reveal our true character, and if they are contrary to the will of God, then they can hinder our communication with our Father. We must maintain a good heart with pure thoughts. Our prayers can be hindered by the darkness we try to hide from the world inside our hearts.
Our actions can betray the confession we made at the time of our conversion, when we confessed Jesus is the Son of God and the Lord of our lives. Jesus said – “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Our faith is manifested through our obedience to the will of God, and if our actions are contrary to His will, then our prayers can be hindered by our unfaithfulness. The apostle Paul admonished the Colossians – “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (3:17). This does not allow us to live however we desire, but we have been called to submit humbly in every respect to God’s authority in our lives.
Finally, our communication with God can be interrupted by the places we choose to go. The old proverb from the apostle Paul reigns true – “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). We cannot allow ourselves to be constantly surrounded by darkness and expect to escape its influence. Sin does not overtly corrupt our hearts, but rather it corrodes our resistance over time. There are simply some places in this life, as Christians, that we cannot go. We cannot go to these places, because it will not draw us closer to God and our prayers can be hindered by our location. It may be construed as fun and exciting by our peers, but at what expense to our eternity?
One of our greatest blessings in this life is the avenue of communication we share with our God and Father. We should always be willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure the lines of communication are open and that God is receptive of our prayers. There is not a day that should pass without us asking ourselves the question – “Can You hear me now?” May God bless us with strength to withstand temptation and remain faithful in His sight.