Connection is a warm word. It draws us together. It says we belong. It is relationship with love as the glue. We need connection. So does God.
He Loved First
Genesis 1 tells of the world that God created. He created people in His image. Then He loved us first, despite our sins (I John [4:19]). While we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), He gave His only Son as a blood sacrifice to pardon our sins and allow us entrance into heaven (John [3:16]). Now, He is in heaven preparing a place for us to live forever (John 14:2).
What a vivid picture of connection! God extended His open arms and drew us to Himself with love.
Salvation, the First Step to Connection
Permanent connection with God is simple. It is not by doing good works or paying penalties.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
Salvation is a humble prayer to Jesus:
because, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10-9-10 ESV)
I prayed for forgiveness of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was 10-years-old. I became permanently connected. Have you taken this step?
Read the Bible, the Second Step to Connection
Have you ever been out in the woods and lost the path home? You pull out a compass and easily walk in the right direction.
The Bible is God’s love letter to us. It tells us that He will take care of us, He will never leave us, He is closer than a brother, and so much more. The Bible is also our moral compass, our guidebook for life. If we follow it, we will have happiness and peace overflowing and to the full.
Without it, we lose the direction God gave us. We are lost in an emotional desert, hungry and thirsty. We begin to do what we feel like, make the rules we prefer, and expect others to live according to our desires. Chaos ensues; look at the world today. How many are using their compass? How far from Truth have we strayed?
Prayer, the Third Step to Connection
I’m eager each night for my husband to come home from work. I long to connect with him, to hear how his day was and what’s new. My husband reciprocates and listens to my day’s activities. Part of being in a relationship is the eager need to connect through conversation.
Even though God sees and knows what we are doing, He desires to hear our voices raise to Him in praise. He longs to hear our words that express needs and desires so that He can deliver. He also wants us to listen for His voice so He can direct us. He needs to connect with us.
For many years, I could not read my Bible. I’d open and read about someone who sinned and the wrath God poured out on them. Then I would read about Job and how God blessed him. But then God allowed the devil to tear away everything. To me, the Bible was nothing but condemnation. I read the prophet’s books where again it was God’s anger against His people. Eventually, dust gathered on the cover of my closed Bible.
While this barren land of my heart existed, prayer was not easy. If God were mad at people all the time, then why would He want to hear from me? My faith was so shallow that I refused to believe God would act in my best interest.
My life traversed through many valleys growing up and into adulthood. God sought me, and little by little taught me He could be trusted. I began to understand the need for connection with my heavenly Father. A slight thirst and hunger developed so I started to read my Bible, but only in the feel-good parts. I prayed, but felt in my heart He was not proud of me.
When I had children, I was able to conceive of a love that superseded behavior. Finally I could grasp God’s unconditional love. For the first time in my life, I decided to try to please Him, to develop a connection. He took me to the mountaintops and we celebrated. I opened my heart and shared all my fears and needs. He never left me nor abandoned me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
This year, I finished reading the entire Bible. You know, it was a delightful experience! I understood the big picture by reading of the same events as authored by different writers’ styles. I saw how God orchestrated events to bring His perfect plan into reality. All of these events were through people who were not perfect but who wanted connection with God.
As I gained a deeper understanding of God, our relationship grew. My thirst and hunger for God became insatiable. My eyes were opened to His love for which I still marvel and try to fathom.
Salvation, prayer, and Bible reading combine to form the essential cornerstone of Connection with God.