Am I Connected to Christ? Benefits of an Active Relationship with God

One of my biggest pitfalls as a young Christian was thinking salvation was the end of the story. I had been granted access to Heaven when I died, I was now affiliated with Christianity- besides following a bunch of rules and regulations, what else was needed? If we're honest, this is where many Christians are today.

John 15:5 says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Branches are connected to the vine. Without that connection, Jesus says we can't do anything; we can't be fruitful. 

Benefits of Being Connected to God
Exodus 33 says God spoke to Moses in the same way as a man would speak to his friend. Let's look through the lens of Moses and God's friendship, specifically in Exodus 3 and 4.

1. Accessibility and Mutual Pathways

  • When Moses was hiding out in the desert, really in a season of transition and confusion, God found him. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush while Moses was outside watching the flock. You know what that tells me? 
    • 1) God pursues me because He wants to communicate with me. This isn't a one-sided relationship. Ain't no rejection to worry about out hea' from God!
    • 2) There is 24 hour access to God. If I need to talk to Him at work, I can stop and do so. If I need to talk to Him while I'm driving, I can do that. Sometimes, we make talking to God so formal. We have specific prayers to pray and certain sayings to embed. This can make us feel like we need help to talk to God or that we can only do it at church. NO. Just like God met Moses outside in a bush, God comes down right we are because He's passionate about being in relationship with us.

2. Authenticity (Realness)

  • Read how God and Moses spoke to one another:
    • God: "Moses, Moses."
    • Moses: "Here am I."... (Here I am)
    • God: "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground..." (Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy)
    • God: "I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt... and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians"
  • Notice the simplicity of the conversation. If Moses talked to God like some of us do, it would've sounded like, "Oh gracious heavenly father, you have called me and I will answer. I raise my hand in total surrender to you so that you can have your way in Jesus name!" There's a time for formal prayers but you can still show a reverence for God by talking to Him without all the extra words. You know the best way to feel at ease calling out to God? Just say what's on your heart. He's not judging your word count or grading your grammar. He just wants to hear from us. Be authentic. Be real.

3. Advance insight and/or preparation

  • This world will chew you up and spit you out. This world does not care about you, Sis. You know why you need to have an active relationship with God? He gives you insight about what's to come.
  • In Exodus 3: 7-9, God tells Moses of His plans to send Moses back to Egypt. Moses would deliver God's people out of bondage and push them towards the Promised Land. That was HUGE! God communicating this to Moses then alerted Moses that he was going to have to man up and step up.
  • God may not still be speaking directly to us through bushes, but He has his ways of getting our attention when we have an active relationship with Him. Oftentimes, I've found that right before I go through a test or trial in life, God leads me through a study in the Bible that prepares me for what I'm getting ready to encounter.

4. Vulnerability

  • God created us with such intentionality. He thinks so highly of us and has big plans for us, greater than we could ever imagine, so He tests us and stretches us to be able to handle the calling. That's scary. In Exodus 3:11, Moses pretty much says, "Who am I that you would call on me to do such a huge thing as this?" In Exodus 4, Moses gave numerous excuses based on his flaws.
  • You know what I love about God? He allows us to call out to Him in fear because you feel flawed. We can be vulnerable and open about our shortcomings. Don't you need that? God wanted Moses to speak, but he knew he had a stuttering problem. He could tell it to God. 
    • Does God want you to be transparent and tell people your testimony but you're too scared of being judged? You can tell that to God.
    • Does God want you to start a Christian club at your school but you're too scared people won't join and you'll be rejected? You can tell that to God.
    • Does God want you to excel in school and you feel too stupid to accomplish anything? You can tell that to God.
There's no judgment from Him. Who else can you talk to and EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. know that they'll comfort you and encourage you to press on? Nobody but God.

5. Defense and Strength to Do Whatever God Wants Me to Do

  • Read God's responses to Moses' vulnerability in Exodus 4. You know, Moses kept trying to get out of doing what God was telling him to do, and if we're not careful, we can see that as pure disobedience, but think about it. Moses MURDERED someone and left town. He was a part of the nation that persecuted the people God wanted him to go help. God wanted him to use his voice to command Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, and Moses had a stuttering problem. How you gon' feel comfortable being a full out public speaker if you're physically unable to speak well?
  • Have you ever been in Moses' shoes? I have. God has called me to numerous things and my replies have been:
    • Are you sure? Maybe you don't mean me.
    • Maybe you don't mean now. Maybe in a few years?
    • I can't do that. People won't receive that from me.
    • I'm a woman. That won't be allowed, God.
    • I'm a clown, God. My past disqualifies me from doing that in church.
    • I don't have any money to do that, God. Might you give me a raise first?
    • Or my personal favorite: "I think God told me to do ___________, but I'm going to pretend like I didn't hear that."
  • Despite Moses' concerns and inabilities, God defended him and strengthened him by:
    • A staff, or rod (Exodus 4:2-5)
    • Power to give leprosy Exodus 4: 6-8
    • Power to turn river water into blood (Exodus 4:9)
    • Aaron as a companion to speak (Exodus 4: 14)

These are just a few examples of benefits from an active relationship with God, as seen by Moses and God, but isn't it worth it? Yes. You can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and stop there, but you're truly missing out.

✔Don't you want access to someone 24 hours, 7 days a week?
✔Don't you want someone you can be real and vulnerable with?
✔Don't you want someone to guide you through things that are too difficult for you in your own strength?
✔Don't you want defense, power, and strength from attacks in this life and people who want to derail your accomplishments?

✔✔✔✔God can do it all. He created us to be in relationship with Him. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we could boldly approach Him, communicate, and be in relationship with Him. Don't miss out on the benefits. Get connected to God.

Calling God 25 Times A Day,

Dear God, Thank you for You. What's so amazing is that You intentionally created us specifically for relation Despite my mess and my flaws, You still want to hear from me. You still expect me to call on you at anytime. What a privilege! Many may scoff at the concept, but You're incredibly real. I can come to you in distress and leave with peace. I can come to You uncertain, and all of a sudden, things make sense. What. a. God. I love you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.