Connection, it’s a buzzword today. When reading books, blurbs, blogs, and church announcements, it seems everyone is talking about connections or being connected. I believe in connection! Our church has small home meetings and we’ve called them, “connect” groups. We all need to be where God has made us to fit and serve; until we find that place, we will ever be searching for that place that we “fit” and are accepted.
The importance of being well connected in a community can’t be overstated. But lately I’ve been challenged to think a bit “outside the box” when it comes to being connected and where exactly God wants us to connect. Most of us would agree God’s is the most valuable opinion overall – yet our lives betray our divided opinions.
If God’s is the most important opinion, why do we find ourselves living as if by accident on a daily basis, rarely making contact with Him as we go about our days? Why do we spend more time talking to friends, relatives, and even our bosses about day-to-day life? Where does God fit into this life of ours?
We’re too connected. Too connected to this temporary life, too concerned with being accepted, and we pay far too much attention to what is temporary at the expense of what is eternal. We agonize over opinions of people; we ache to “fit” with our local community. The effort we put into fitting in and making sure everything flows smoothly betrays our loyalty to fitting in with our societies over connecting with God.
I had hoped that peer pressure would have come to an end in adulthood but, shamefully, it hasn’t. It simply appears under a new name: “relativity.” Everyone wants to be relative in order to fit in and eventually be connected to something new and exciting. But, there are strings attached to being accepted and ultimately, connected. What are those strings? Staying within acceptable boundaries – color in the lines and no further.
You didn’t think that we want to really mess up our tightly knit community and mix with people who don’t fit do you? It’s fine to reach out and mingle with others but when it comes to fitting with us, we really don’t want to rock the boat. Church has become little more than a place for social gatherings where we tip our hats to God, give Him a nod, and give a nice handclap. See you next week – the message is sure to make you feel more relevant and fit in with society so we can be more “palatable” to the world.
The problem with being relative to the world is that the cross makes me unacceptable to the world – I am totally “non” relative – quite unpalatable at times, if the truth is told. I can try to fit in as much as possible, use the current buzzwords and catchphrases, but if I fit so much into the culture that surrounds me that I am undistinguishable and invisible among the crowd, then there’s a problem.
The disconnection we need to have with this world is vital in our role as ambassadors in this earth for God’s Kingdom. We need to be able to speak from God’s viewpoint, not our own. This comes when we detach, disconnect, from what is natural and connect with the eternal Kingdom.
This isn’t really a popular message in our day and age where we struggle “to be heard.” Would that we could learn to detach ourselves from the struggle and simply lift up Jesus (see John 12:32). Imagine if we simplified instead of made things more complicated? The Gospel points to our need of a Savior – and Jesus is that Savior. He knows the way for He is the way (see John 14:6) and His way is the best.
Luke 14:23 Weymouth “No one of you who does not detach himself from all that belongs to him can be a disciple of mine…”
Newsflash: Jesus Himself is enough and He doesn’t need us to make Him “acceptable” to the masses. Just as we met Him and His love turned our lives around, He can and will do the same for others who we connect to. None of our opinions, methods, buzzwords, or light shows can compare with the overwhelming love that God showers on those who come to Him. You see, God Himself is enough and our miserable attempts to make Him acceptable to others are only self-serving at best.
Just Jesus, that’s all – and He is more than enough.