Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. —Malachi 3:16
I read the Bible over and over again without really seeing what was in verse 16 until a preacher said, "The Lord will eavesdrop on what you say," because the Bible says, "Those who feared the Lord talked with each other and the Lord listened and heard."
Why is this important? First, when you know that God is eavesdropping, it will affect what you say. Sometimes, when you are talking with a friend, someone else comes and you stop talking out of courtesy or change the subject. Keeping that in mind when you are talking with somebody and you suddenly are aware that God is eavesdropping, would you keep saying the same thing? Would you change the subject if you became aware that the Lord was eavesdropping? That is exactly what He is doing day and night.
Second, you should choose to spend your time with people who fear the Lord. On what basis do you make friendships? If you seek someone who fears God when looking for a friend, a partner, or when seeking advice, you will save yourself a lot of trouble. A person is known by the company that he or she keeps.
Third, you may be praying without knowing it. Wouldn't it be something if, when you get to heaven, you find out that the prayer that was answered was simply a desire you had expressed when you were speaking with somebody who feared the Lord? You may not realize it, but by talking to another person who fears the Lord and sharing your deepest thoughts and needs, God's heart is touched, and He hears the conversation as prayer. He listens and hears.
God, the Eavesdropper, is so faithful that He turns your conversations into petitions. When He hears the desire of your heart, He turns it into a prayer and answers it. That is how God is, and I just love Him for it.
Excerpted from Between the Times (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2003).