Are you connected to Wi-Fi internet right now? It is very likely that you are, even as you read this blog. Today we are going to be talking about connection.
CONNECTION IN SOCIETY TODAY
The reality today is that it is easier than ever to stay connected to people.
With various social media platforms such as: WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. we can stay in touch with people very easily. With our smartphones: we can text, we can browse the web, we can make phone and video calls to someone who is in a different part of the world at the push of a button. Today, staying connected is easier than ever.
I remember when I was a teenager, not that long ago, we had what was called, “Dial-up Internet.” Basically, this was connected to our house phone and we would be able to go on the Internet by using this method. You would literally hear it dialing and then some weird sounds until the connection was established. The connection was not the greatest, and would often disconnect but it’s what we used to connect with people in those times. I certainly don’t miss dial up and I’m very happy with wi-fi speeds nowadays.
It doesn’t matter how many years we go back- connection has always been important. Connection has power, connection has purpose, and we all desire it in some way. God created us for connection and the most important connection we have is one with God through Jesus.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Using this verse, we are going to focus on connection today.
I love how Jesus decided to use this metaphor when speaking to His disciples.
If there is one thing the people of Jesus’ day were familiar with it was grape vines.
Grapes were important in Israel for several reasons:
-They were used in their diet.
-They were used to produce wine. Wine was used in their meals, used as medicine, and it was used in their worship.
Since Grape vines, and the fruit that they produced were a very important part of life in Jesus’ day, Jesus uses this example of a vine to share with His disciples something even more important. Jesus describes Himself as the Grape vine.
What do grape vines do?
-They provide nourishment and life to all of the branches that are connected to it. This is what Jesus does in our lives daily.
As we walk in the Spirit, we bear fruit. This can only happen through the Holy Spirit and by us abiding in Jesus. No amount of self-effort will bear spiritual fruit.
It requires a total surrender to God, so that the Holy Spirit can work through us. Jesus describes us as the branches.
What do branches do?
-Branches connect to the vine. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and allow Him to live through us, we are connected to Him.
If you think of a branch that has fallen from a beautiful tree, no matter how beautiful the tree is, the branch has no life in it if it has lost that connection to the tree. It could’ve disconnected because of weather or some other reason. The point is, something impacted the connection and actually caused it to disconnect.
Just like our wi-fi connections may be a bit slow at times, and just like how branches sometimes disconnect from their main source, there are things that can actually impact our connection to God.
Here are 3 things that can impact our connection to God:
1. Life Circumstances
We all go through different situations and we also deal with situations differently so life circumstances are very unique to each one of us. These can include: challenges, trials, etc.
When I was a fairly new Christian on fire for Jesus, our family went through an unexpected difficult situation. On Christmas Eve, my father, who according to the doctor was in good health, suffered from a heart attack at the age of 48 years old.
I will never forget the moment when we were informed that they did what they could, but that he did not survive. Everything stopped for a moment as if life paused. God gave me amazing strength and comfort during the whole process and then after everything set in a few weeks later, I began to grieve. I remember not being angry with God but just so sad and hurt. This affected my connection with God. I still loved God, prayed, went to church, etc. but there was an impact on my connection with God.
I want to mention this because we need to be aware of what we experience in life and fully surrender it to God and allow Him to heal us in all areas: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
1 Peter 5:7
7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
18 “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
By casting all of our anxiety on God and by accepting His healing and comfort, we
can strengthen and build up our connection back to God.
2. What we feed our souls with
What we feed ourselves with on a daily basis is so important. Because the world is imperfect, we need to constantly be vigilant to what we feed our souls with…what we listen to, what we watch, what we read, what we engage in.
8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
This verse is pretty clear and an excellent guide to help us make choices about what we allow our souls to be fed with.
I love to listen to my satellite Sirius Christian radio station. We do pay each month under $20 for mainly one channel, with access to many others but we feel it’s definitely worth it. So whenever I am on the road, I have it playing. It’s encouraging, it’s worship to God, its powerful, it’s uplifting, it connects me to God. We need to feed our souls with things that allow and encourage us to connect to God.
There are a few different yearly performances that a lot of people see as great performances and entertainment. The reality is that a lot of times there are many hidden messages which are disturbing: occult rituals, symbolism, and a very twisted idea of women empowerment: women are sexualized and degraded.
We choose what we listen to and engage in and whatever that may be, it will either bring us to a closer connection with Jesus, keep us where we are, or further from Jesus.
I would encourage you to feed your soul with what allows you to have a closer connection with Jesus. This is vital in our spiritual growth.
3. Other People
The people we choose to spend our time with can have an impact on our connection to God.
1 Corinthians 15:33
33” Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
We need to surround ourselves with people and things that encourage and help strengthen our connection with God. This is so important. We need to stay connected. Let’s talk a little bit about how we can do that.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we will ever have. Through prayer we build our connection to God and we grow spiritually so that we could do all that God has called us to. The more time we spend with God in prayer, the more connected we are to God.
And the more connected we are to God, the more we become passionate about what He is passionate about. Prayer is a powerful tool that we have and at any moment of the day. Through Jesus, we are automatically connected, no dial-up necessary-direct connection!
2. Other Christians
23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Spending time with other Christians is so important to our growth. We are there to encourage each other and genuinely want the best for each other. I personally have a handful of people in my lives that I know care about me, pray for me, and have my best interest at heart. It’s important to have at least one or two people like this in our lives. It will help us grow in our relationship with the Lord.
3. Make it a lifestyle
6” Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.”
As Christians, we represent Jesus wherever we go and we need to remember that being a Christian is not about religion. It’s about having a personal relationship with God through Jesus and a lifestyle where we daily connect with God.
Noah is one of the most important people in the Bible. In a world taken over by evil, violence, and corruption, he is presented as a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Not only that, he was the only follower of God left on Earth. We all know the story of how God called him to build the ark. You can read the story in Genesis chapters 6-9.
It amazes me the connection that Noah had with God. He received very specific details about building the ark and he followed God's instructions. Even when people would ridicule and make fun of him, he still did what God asked him to do.
This tells me that Noah had a strong connection with God and he made it a part of His everyday life.
Are you connected to God’s network?
-God's network is always strong
-God's network never fails
-God's network offers us unconditional love.
-God's network offers a clean slate each day, new mercies.
We talked about connection today and this is the most significant part of the connection we have with God because it actually determines eternity for each one of us. God doesn’t force Himself upon us, He allows us to choose Him. He allows us to choose to accept Jesus as our savior and be connected to God
What is also significant is that our life on earth is where we get connected to God and maintain that connection with His help. In heaven, we will enjoy that connection forever. But it’s here, where we need to maintain it. None of us know when this part of the timeline is for us, and that’s why we need to always be in communication with God. We need to be connected and stay connected.
Now is not the time to tap out, but instead to tap into our connection with God.
It’s also not the time to not tell others about this connection. We need to share this connection with others. Feel free to pray with us on Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings via zoom. Contact us to get the zoom links.
Maybe you’ve lost some connection? That’s ok: God is saying right now you can
re-connect with Him, right now we can build our connection with God. My prayer is that you would stay connected to God wherever you’re at in your walk with the Lord. God is for you. Be encouraged. May God bless you as you stay connected to Him.