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Connect with God

February 2, 2020 Speaker: Ted Detiveaux Series: Connect

Topic: Prayer Scripture: Matthew 6:6

Connect with God

Have you noticed the more timeyou spend with people the more you understandtheir dialectand what they are really saying?  But it is not always the case when you talk to a stranger.  You don’t necessarily know where they are coming from, you don’t know their back story, nor do you know their intents. So, it is easy to misunderstandwhat a stranger is speaking.

Two instances happened to me recently, (A/C guy & grandfather(Lawrence Flue)) These misunderstandings took place because I have never connectedwith these guys before.  I did not know them, nor did I recognizetheir voice.   Had I previously spent time with these guys I would have learned who they are, I would have known where they are coming frommore importantly, I would have understood their reasoning for coming. 

The word connect means to become joined.

One of the firstconnections that we must establish in our lives is our connection with God.  The more that we connect with Godthe easier it will be to recognizeHis voice when He speaks into our lives. As we connect more frequently with God, we will begin to learn what His heart beats forand what He is against.  

Sin enteredthe world through one-man Adam, since then there has been this dividingwallwhich keeps us from wholesome communion with God.  Sin separatesus from God. Sin has been passed on from generation to generation.  We have all been born with this sinfulnature which opposes God.  It strives to do its own thing,yet we must learn to bring it into submissionto the obedience of Christ daily.  Consequently, we are all separatedby God because of our sin.

The idea about connecting with God is that He initiatedthe connection.  He made a bridge for man to be reconciled back into a right relationshipwith Him through His Son Jesus by dying on the cross for the sins of mankind. As a result of the finished work of Christon the cross, we can connectwith God through severaldifferent ways, through prayer, mediationof His Word, Worship, givingthanks, through fastingand even through ourwork.  As believers we can connect with God in every aspectof life. 

Colossians 1:16b

All things were created through Him and for Him. 

You can connect with God as you weld in the shipyard, knowing that you’re not welding for man, your welding for God.  Your using the talentsthat He has given you to fulfill part of His planfor your life at this moment in time. So, if you are working to the Lord, as though the Lord is your boss, then you are not only connecting two pieces of metaltogether, you are also connecting with God.  He becomes your foreman.

The more that we connect with God whether through our work or through prayer, the more we become like Him and less like the world.  Which in turn makes us better employees, students, citizens, children, parents, spouses etc…  Your life radically improvesas you connect with God.

  • So, what does it mean to connect with God?

As I mentioned there are several waysto connect with God, but one of the greatest ways that we can connect with God is through prayer.  Prayer is basically having a conversationwith God.

Good conversation includes both speaking and listening.  To experience the fulness of this connection you should first:

Connect with God Through Quiet Time

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your roomand shut the door and pray to your Fatherwho is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

We are bombarded with distractionsfrom every direction.  We have so many things that are competingfor our attention.  Jesus teaches us to go into your room and shutthe door.  So that it is just you and God. 

Though it is not wrongto pray corporatelywith other believers, we see in the book of Actsthat 120 people gathered to pray.  Jesus even institutedcorporate prayer. 

Matthew 18:20

20 For where two or threeare gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Corporate prayer should be an overflowof what is happening in your personal prayerlife.

 It is necessary to pray together as a church, but it is equally as important to find time in which you put aside all distractions, quiet your heartand get alone with God.  

Jesus often escapedto a mountain where He could get away from the crowdsand the noiseof life to be with His Heavenly father.  The idea is that you should dedicate a place and timewhich is freefrom distractionsto get alone with God.

He wants to connectwith us not just on corporate level but also on an individuallevel.  

We are to shut the door; this is not only the door to a physicalroom but shut the door to any thoughtsthat would try to occupy your mindduring your time alone with God. 

These thoughts may be pertaining to the business of the workweek, or overwhelming circumstancesthat are beyond your control, or thoughts regarding your familylife etc… These thoughts can wait, they should be quieted duringyour time with the Lord. 

Fight to focuson God honoring prayer which is prayer that is birthed from His Spirit.

Colossians 3:2

 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

As we quiet our heartsbefore God, we will be able to obtain God’s guidance.  He will give us the rightperspectiveon our greatest problems. He will show us His will regarding certainareas of our lives, and He will show us what isand what is not pleasingunto Him.

The other powerful thingthat Jesus teaches in Matthew 6, is not only should we quiet our heart and find a place of no distractions, but that we should pray.

6But when you pray, go into your roomand shut the door and pray to your Father

Connect with God Through Prayer

(Story of eyebrow lift)

Meaning our connection with Goddoesn’t happen by some telepathic process.  Certainly, God knows your thoughts as we see in vs 8

8 … your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

Nonetheless Jesus instructs us to prayand to pray to our Father. We must open our mouthsand speak.  For the most part I know the basicneeds of my children even before they ask.

For example, when they just wake upand go to the pantry, I know that they are hungry.  Normally they will look at me and ask for help to either reachsomething or to poursomething for them.  Even though I know they will ask the question, I do not move until they askfor it.  Will they ask me for help, or will they try todo it on their ownand make a giant messin the process?

Though your heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you even ask,

Proverbs 15:8

…the prayer of the upright is His delight.

He delights to hearHis children pray to Him. Our prayers are not a burdento Him but adelight. 

Just as my children can talk to meand tell me about their lives and even ask of me certain favors, our Heavenly Father is a better Fatherthan I could ever be, and He desires to connectwith His Children. 

He is concernedwith the detailsof our lives.  He too is wanting to see if we will connect with Himto get what we need, (our daily bread) or will we try to fix our lives on our own strength.

Jesus says to pray to your Father.  He is your Father if you are His child, You are a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:26

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons (and daughters)of God, through faith.

As a child of God, you can call Him your Father, even if you did not have the best example of an earthly father.  It does not matter, nor does it change His love for you.

Hebrews 4:16

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercyand find graceto help in time of need.

The reason you can come boldly to the throneof Grace is because of Jesus Christ.  Because of your faith in Christ you have been adopted into the familyof God.  Which makes God your heavenly Father.

 If He is your Father that means you are His child.  Just as my kids have accessto me You have accessto your Heavenly Father.

Perhaps there is still some hesitancywhen it comes to praying.  You may feel like you don’t know what to say or how to say it.  Here is an easy acronym to remember when connecting with God.

A               Adoration-praise God for who He is and for what He is doing in your life

C               Confession- confess your sins and ask for forgiveness

T                Thanksgiving- begin to thank Him

S                Supplication- Ask your request

James 4:8

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 

He is wanting to connectwith you, are you willing to seekafter Him?

You must prayto your Heavenly Father.  It is notto be an obligationbut a time in which you can connect with God.  It should be the delight of every believerto spend time with their heavenly Father.

The last part of the verse in Matthew 6:6 is

6bAnd your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Openly in KJV)

God Connects to You Through a Rewarding Relationship

This is talking about the Father’s responseto His children.  In exchange for quietingyour heart, and prayingto your father in secret, He will reward you throughyour relationship with Him.  

Reward means (compensation)

Ex. You work; therefore, you get a paycheck. You pray and connectwith God therefore you get rewarded. Not because you deserve it but because God is gracious. You get rewarded just for simply delighting in God.

Kind of like going to my parentson Sundays. Every Sunday they cook a huge mealto feed the entire family and we are welcomed to eat as much aswe want and even take home some leftovers.  They never require anythingfrom us, only our fellowship.  It is their delightto simply have us there.  

I get all these rewardsof eating this great food and feeding my kids for free,not because of what I can do for them but simply because of my relationship as their son.

This has helped me to further understand the love of God for us.  He too takes great delight in uswhen we arewilling to delight in Him.  He connects with us through a rewarding relationship.

Because of our position as sons and daughters of God, He gives us unmerited rewards. 

One-way God connects with you is by rewarding you with an answered prayer.  Though He may not answer every prayerin this life, but certainly in the life to come every prayer that was birthed from His spirit will be answered. 

I’ve seen many times where God answered the prayers of a new believerto convince them of His goodness. Maybe it was finding a job, healing in a body, or providing for a need.  He rewarded them with an answer to their prayer as they quieted their mind, shut the door, and prayedto their Heavenly Father.  When the Lord answers the prayersof the righteous it is credited to them as an outward rewardfor all of man to see.  It is a stamp of God’s approvalover their lives.

Even if you do not see the answer to your prayer, you still winbecause you were in the secret placeand that is where the Father is. He is our greatestreward.  If we have Him then we have all that we needfor righteous living.

Another way God connects to us is throughHis written word.  He will reward you with a much-neededscriptureto get you through whatever it is that you are currently facing.  Or perhaps He will lead you to a scripture that deals with your issues.  This too should be considered a great rewardas He is attempting to spare you from destruction.

A third way that God connects to us is by extending His favorupon our lives.  We get what we do not deserve.  Things fall into placethat would not normally do so on their own.  God uses other people to be a much-needed blessing at our time of crisis. We get the promotionor the raisewhen others don’t.

But notice the reward comes in response to obedienceto do what the Lord Jesus instructed us to do. 

Our greatest calling is to go to the secret place and connect with God, so that we are completely satisfiedand delighted by Him.  We should not do it out of obligationbut as a means of satisfaction.

Many Christiansare guilty of going through their everyday livesand forgetting to conncect with God.  We don’t do it on purpose, we just get so occupiedin our daily lives that we lose sight, we forget that we must go to that secret placeand connect with God.

We must commit to a regular timethat we set apart each day to quiet our mindsand pray to our father. Through that connection we will grow spirituallyand will reap the rewardsfor walking in obedienceto what Christ has calledus to do.

If you don’t feel connected to Godif you don’t feel likeGod hearsyou when you pray, ask yourself are you making a conscious effortto quietyour thoughts each day and are you praying to your HeavenlyFather.  Is He your Heavenly father?

If we connect with Christ daily through personal devotion, then it will become easier to be mindful of His existence and nearness in our lives.  We will recognizeHis voice when He is speaking, we will reapthe rewardsthat are found inknowing God.  

Connect with God Through Quiet Time, Connect with God Through prayer in return God Connects  to you Through a Reward Relationship.

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