Loved and Connected – Basics No. 2

More on Connection

In my previous post I wrote about two basics of faith: Know God loves you, and know you are connected. Knowing you are connected to God is so important that it deserves its own post.

Connection is one of the most powerful contributors to security and peace. Knowing how deeply related you are to God, is vital to growing a secure relationship with God and being secure in your life in general.

Success Magazine on Secure Attachment

I read an article in Success Magazine last month and the following excerpt stood out to me:

“Researchers at Baylor have explored the concept of secure attachment (a bond between two entities) to God when it comes to the benefits of prayer. In psychology, the focus of attachment is often one-sided—how one person views his or her bond with another person. Attachment theory was born in the late 1950s and looked at how children interacted with a parent. In a secure attachment, the child felt protected and cared for by his or her parent. These children exhibited less overall distress.”

“Our research shows that when people have a warm and secure attachment to God, prayer is associated with positive mental health outcomes,” Kent says. “But when the relationship is cold or distant, prayer is associated with negative mental health outcomes. Imagine the difference of praying to a God that loves and cares for you versus a God who is inconsistent, distant or even disappointed in or angry with you. The mental health result is not the same.”

Fearing how God feels about you

In my work as a Pastor I talk to many people who have unconscious, or subconscious, fear of how God feels toward them and as a result their prayer life suffers, and their anxiety is through the roof. It makes sense that one would feel this way especially if bad information has been given, or if good information has been interpreted incorrectly for some reason.

It’s important that we have a

“warm and secure attachment to God”

Here’s a couple scriptures that I love on this particular subject:

Jesus speaking in John 10:28-30: 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 49:16: “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands;” and in the Message version, “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never. Look, I’ve written your names on my hands.”

Nothing can separate you

Repeatedly throughout scripture the Lord reassures us that we are his, we belong to him, and nothing deceptive can take us out of his loving care.

Romans 8:38-39: “38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When you feel insecure about your connection to God remind yourself of these scriptures. Say them aloud and let the truth of God’s Word fight the battle of anxiety in your life.

Connected, Secured

We don’t have to live insecure about our connection to God anymore now that we know the truth: Nothing can disconnect you from God. Know it in your bones today that you are extremely connected to God and your connection is secure.  #ConnectedSecured

Loved and Connected – Basics No. 1

Two Basic Truths

Everything in the world of faith begins with knowing that God loves you and that you are connected to God. Your spirit, the part of you that makes you alive, is connected to God all the time. You are closer, more intimate with God, than you are with anyone or anything else all the time. There’s never been and there never will be a separation between you and God. You are that close, already, and nothing can disconnect you from God. Ever. Ever. Ever.

These are two basic truths that bad religion has attempted to destroy. In many cases it has succeeded.

Fear of Disconnection

The fear of being disconnected from God now or for an eternity later produces a myriad of unhealthy and ultimately destructive emotions. The biggest is fear of death, followed by insecurity, anxiety and shame that can be nearly paralyzing and from there the list grows.

Fear can make a person’s life a living hell inside the mind. Consider how you feel when your phone isn’t connected, that’s nothing compared to the fear of being disconnected from God.

A Better Opinion of Yourself

It’s important that you allow a better opinion of yourself to emerge: You are connected to God, and God loves you. This is the best place to start when you want to clean the slate and start fresh in your life with God. Simply begin with these two basic truths. From there, build a beautiful relationship with God, free from fear, that will sustain you for a lifetime.

Renew Your Mind

The scripture calls this concept of changing a negative opinion of yourself, “renewing the mind,” or “putting on the mind of Christ.” One of the best ways to renew your opinion of yourself is to look at what scripture has clearly taught for centuries. The Bible is packed with amazing stories and revelations of God’s love for people, written by people just like you and me. Here are a few passages that will get you started to renew your mind with the truth that God loves you and you are connected to God:

Truth #1: God Loves You

John 3:16-17: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Ephesians 2:4-5: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

1 John 4:10-11, 16-19: 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him[a] because He first loved us.

Truth #2: You are connected

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39: 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 10:28-30: 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

Colossians 1:19-22: 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

Conclusion

I know that’s a lot of scripture, but this is one of the primary ways you build a strong foundation in your life with God. It takes this much truth or more, written in different ways, to rewrite the script in your head that keeps you from advancing confidently in your relationship with God.

Simple Prayer

Here’s a prayer to help you as you open your life to God: “God, I am beginning to believe that I am connected to you and that you love me. Increase my capacity to receive more understanding of how much you love me, so that I will be rooted and grounded in your love for me. Open the eyes of my spirit so that I can comprehend what is the width, length, depth and height of the love of Christ which passes my knowledge. Fill me with all the fullness of who you really are. I trust you to reveal your love and connection to me in a big way. Amen.”