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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Gregory Dickow » Gregory Dickow - Embrace the Power of Connection - Part 1

Gregory Dickow - Embrace the Power of Connection - Part 1

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    Gregory Dickow - Embrace the Power of Connection - Part 1

Welcome to another episode of, "Think Like a Champion". And this is a podcast dedicated to helping you win in every way and enjoy every day. I want to take a moment and thank everyone who's written a review or shared this podcast and social media. I'm really grateful for your partnership in helping expand our community of champions. Because that is what we're building. We are building a community of champions and that includes you. And I want to get right into our content today, and I want to talk about the power of connection. We talked a little bit about that in the last episode as we were closing out. But, I want you to realize the healing, the power, the miracles of connection. Because we are living in a world more than ever before of a mental health epidemic. Our culture is ridden with mental health issues and mental health; people suffering deeply and greatly from mental health.

The recent shootings that we have seen, the heartbreaking shootings that have taken place punctuated this reality. We know this. We go through these waves it seems. At least in America, we go through these waves of these shootings. And there's all this talk about guns. And I believe that we need to have a healthy conversation about that. But we need to address the deeper-rooted issues of mental health and mental wellness, and the attack of hell against the soul of humanity. And some of the things that I'm going to be sharing with you are from my book that came out last year called, "Soul Cure," which is all about how to heal your pain and find your purpose. And everybody has trauma. We talked about it. We devoted several weeks to the discussion of healing trauma. And so, just as a natural overflow of that into getting to a place where we have a healthy soul. And as the Bible says in one of the most beautiful and famous passages of Scripture, "The Lord is my Shepherd," Psalm 23. "I shall not want. He makes me lay down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul..."

Right there, is what is so missing. We don't, we are moving so fast that we don't... We're not sitting by the still waters; the green pastures, and therefore, the restoring of our soul isn't able to take place. He said He leads us beside green pastures, where He's going to provide for our needs; and still waters, where He's going to give us the refreshing that comes and results in the restoration of our soul. And so, think about the epidemic that we're experiencing. And I want to share with you how connection is so important to the healing of our soul. But the following description reveals the epidemic of emotions that is plaguing our culture; the epidemic of emotions that have not been mastered, emotions that haven't been processed properly. So, we're dealing with 100, well, 20 million people just in America alone battling addictions, 10 million who are victims of domestic violence, another 10 million who are suffering from eating disorders. Not to mention the thousands of homicide and suicide victims between the ages of five and 24-years old.

So many children being either killed or killing themselves. 1 million people commit suicide each year around the world, and more than 20 million attempt it and fail. These are staggering numbers. Our school systems are failing. Our culture is crumbling because the family is under attack, and the soul of humanity is under attack. And I believe that there's room for all kinds of beliefs that people have in this world. But one thing that you can't ever, one thing you can't ever overcome is a culture that is not connected. One thing that you can never truly experience the benefits and the joys of life without connection; the power of connection. But this stuff that's happening in the world today: the school age children who are injuring themselves, the cutting of their bodies, their skin, burning themselves, pulling out their hair, punching themselves.

I know this is hard to hear that these things are happening to the children that your kids go to school with or to your own children. And you may not realize this, but it's something we can do something about. Because it's nothing new or original to modern culture. Self-injury goes back 2,000 years. Look at this verse in Mark, chapter five, and I talk about this and how to recover from this in my book, "Soul Cure" that you can get a copy of any time. But in Mark chapter five, verse five, it says, "And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying (out) and cutting himself with stones". Now you think about the picture that this gives us, that 2,000 years ago in the Bible, we see this man cutting himself. What kids do now, still in this world today, they are hurting themselves. The self-injury and self-induced pain that we are seeing children experience we can do something about. It's proof that the heart of humanity has been overtaken with soul sickness. And that's why this podcast exists. It's to bring health to the soul, to think like champions, to think and to have mental health and spiritual health so that we can have physical health and relational health as well.

And so, I want to look at this other amazing verse because it will really help you to understand the times we're in right now. And it's in Proverbs, chapter 15. It's says, "Eyes that focus on what is beautiful..." "Eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart, and hearing a good report..." Listen to this, "and hearing a good report refreshes and strengthens the inner being". Wow. This is Proverbs, chapter 15, verse 30 in The Passion Translation. And the reason I want you to hear this is because eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart. And what we are surrounding ourselves with is not what's beautiful. We're surrounding ourself, and our eyes are looking at what is horrific, and what is terrifying, and what is painful. And we're focused on the news. Like, if you just fasted from the news; fasted from media... It doesn't mean you have to miss out on opportunities like this. But I guess it's been a few years now, maybe two or three years, and I think COVID helped me to... Not that there was, not that COVID was good, but one of the things that I took out of it, was I stopped watching the news so much.

And I can't remember the last time I turned on a TV station with the news playing and watched it for any length of time. Because good news makes for good health. The New Living Translation of this verse says, "Good news makes for good health". And eyes that focus on what is beautiful brings joy to the heart. So, no wonder there's not a lot of joy. No wonder people are hurting themselves. No wonder people are so depressed. No wonder. And look, I realize that there are many who are, who watch and say there're medical reasons for anxiety. There're medical reasons for depression. You can't talk about it from a spiritual standpoint. But I think we have to talk about it from every standpoint, not just one or another. It's not just from one. Healing comes not just from one thing. Healing comes from many things.

If somebody said, "Well, how can you have a healthy soul"? It would include the Bible. It includes hearing good news. It includes hearing good things. It includes a healthy relationship with God. But it includes also having a healthy relationship with yourself, and having, taking time to rest, and good sleep, and good nutrition, and good exercise. Those are all gifts from God. Some of them might be harder to receive than others, but they're all gifts and we need to accept them as gifts and accept them as necessary parts. Prayer is a path out of anxiety. It's not the only path, and it's not a one-or-nothing path. It's a part of God's gifts, multiple surplus of gifts that He gives us in order to have healthy minds and healthy emotions, and healthy bodies, too. Which also always results in healthy relationships. So, I really want you to get this into your life that if you want to experience joy, if you want experience, peace, if we want to do something about the epidemic that we are facing and the mental health crisis that we're facing in this world, it starts with what we focus on.

What you focus on is what shapes your life, what you pay attention to, what you listen to, what's going into your ears, what's going into your eyes. You see, these are the gates. These are the gateways into the heart. The heart and the soul is the production center of life. The heart and the soul is the, it's the production center. It is the manufacturing center of life. All that we, all thought leads to things. Thoughts lead to things. Meaning, as a man thinks, so is he. The power of our thoughts can produce powerful things. And when we realize that our heart and our mind are manufacturing centers of whatever we feed our heart and our mind, we'll start feeding our minds and feeding our heart something different. Because since the heart is the manufacturing center; the mind is the manufacturing center, the production center of life, we need to be very conscientious about what's going in to the man.

What are we allowing into the building? What are we allowing into the manufacturing center? What are we allowing into the factory of life? Because the heart and the soul is the factory. Your eyes, those are the front doors into your soul. Your ears are the front doors, maybe side doors, right, into your soul. So, we have all these entry ways: what we see, what we hear, what we listen to, what we are paying attention to. These are what's feeding our manufacturing center. And no wonder if you hear negativity and give yourself over to that, you'll begin to manufacture and produce negativity. If you hear faith, and you hear love and the goodness of God and optimism, that we can be optimistic in a world that is so pessimistic, pessimistic, and skeptical, and negative, and cynical, We don't have to be a byproduct of that because we have our own manufacturing center in our life, our heart; our soul.

And we have the power to what we... we have power over what we allow in the ear gate, the eye gates, the ear gates, the mouth gate. These are all the gateways. And we need to like, stand guard now in our lives. Watch over your heart. Like, stand guard over your heart the Bible says. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of your heart flow the issues life. What is he saying? He's saying watch over your heart as to what you're allowing in. Because out of the heart flow the issues, or the harvests; the springs of life. The things that flow out of your heart are the result of what you've allowed to flow into your heart. So, my goal is to get us focusing on the good things, and hearing the good, and listening to the good, and speaking the good. Because that's what shapes our soul.

So, let me give you a few steps out of negativity and pain. These are the steps that I take and what I've taken in my life. And I encourage you to take these steps. And this first one is going to be very spiritual, but it's very practical as well, because we were created for connection. And the first connection we need in our lives is a connection with Jesus. And so I want to encourage you to, as a step in healing your soul, invite Jesus to come in to every area of your life. Come in, come in, come in. Come into my home. Come into my family. Come into my body. Come into my finances. We should be asking God. We should be inviting Jesus into every area of our life.

It says in Revelation, chapter three, verse 20, Jesus said "behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone (hears My voice and) opens the door and lets Me in, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. Whoever hears my voice and answers the knock of the door, I will come into him". See, we have to invite Him in. He'll knock on your door, but He won't knock it down. He'll knock on it, but He won't knock it over. He'll knock on it, but He won't push it in. He's a perfect Gentleman, and He's waiting for you to open that door. Just you can open the door right now. See, this is the first path, in my opinion, to healing the soul, is relationship with our Creator, relationship with our Savior, relationship with the One who created us, relationship with the One who loves us, the One who saved us, the One who made us, right? So, I would just say stop right now. Let's take one minute and let's invite Jesus to come in. Come on, invite Him. Just say this: Jesus, come into my life." This is even for Christians who are already saved, you already know the Lord, you're already... It's a deeper invitation.

Jesus, come in to every area of my life. Come into my body. Come into my finances. Come on, pray that out loud. Come into my family. Come into my home. Jesus, I invite You into my mind, into my emotions, into my way of thinking. I invite You into my feelings, into my dreams, into my nightmares. I invite you, Jesus. (Come on, invite Him.) Jesus, I invite You into the areas that I'm open about, and I invite you into the areas that I'm closed about. I invite you into the areas I'm confident about. I invite you into the areas that I'm afraid about.

Invite Him, amen. And He says, "If anyone hears My voice and opens the door..." And He was talking to people that were already believers, already saved, already going to heaven. If anyone opens the door, "hears My voice and opens the door," I will come in and sup with him. He says he will sup with us. He will dine with us. He will eat with us. He will fellowship with us. It's this close intimacy, but it's by invitation only. It's not that God is inviting just a few of us. It's that just a few of us are inviting God. It's not that Jesus is only inviting a few of us. It's that only a few of us are inviting Him in. If we could just stop and think about this for a moment... That I know that there are many people who are Christians that are watching, but there're many people of all different faiths that connect with us on "Think Like a Champion" as well.

And we welcome everybody and anybody. But I think one of the things that causes such mental stress in our lives is this mindset that we have to find the will of God. That we have to find what God wants us to do. And we have to always be on the right path, and always do it, you know, to try to never make a mistake. And while it's wonderful to not make mistakes, it's even more wonderful to not worry about making them all the time. It's more wonderful to not give them that kind of power. It's more wonderful to not be afraid that God's going to kind of come in and out of your life. That He'll come in when you're doing really good, but He'll run the other way when you're doing really bad. That's bondage. That's religion. That's not Christianity whatsoever. Once Jesus comes in, once you invite Him at this level, He doesn't ever leave. You may not talk to Him. And you may not spend time with Him. And you may not be conscious of His presence, but He's with you. And I think the greatest freedom that has ever come into my soul is knowing that it wasn't when I was on the right path all the time that God was with me.

It's that God was with me no matter what path I was on. To know and have the confidence that He's with you in the storm. He's with you when you're on the right path. He's with you when you're on the wrong path. He's with you when you think you're on the right path, but you're not. Or when you think you're on the wrong path, but you're really on the right one. He's with you in all those, in all those moments. So, it's not about getting on the right path, it's about being with the right Person. And that Person is our Lord and Savior Jesus. So, if you would realize that the healing of your soul, the healing of your family's soul, the healing of the human soul, it starts with connection to the One who made the human soul; connection to the one. You know, whenever you buy something or order something. And so often we, at least for me, when I buy an app or download something, I might not know how to use it. It always helps to reach out to the customer service department if they have one.

And if a company has a good one, that's easy to understand... Like, when you're traveling and you have a problem with one of your tickets, and you call the customer service department of that airline, and they're able to help you. Because you're getting to the right person. You're getting to the right department. You're getting to the people that created the reservation to begin with; the people that are flying that, that are managing that flight to begin with. You see, when you're talking to them, versus a second source or a third party, you're talking directly to the people that can make the decisions with you and help give you the options and have the power to give you a refund or whatever it is. The point is, you're talking to the right person. You're talking to the manufacturer of that flight that you made, or the manufacturer of that app that you bought, or the manufacturer of that product that you bought. By talking to the manufacturer who created it, they can do something about it.

Boy, when we realize that our Heavenly Father created us, and we invite Him in, and we have this hotline to heaven; we have this hotline to our Creator, it brings peace into our soul. It begins to heal us of our fears, our anxieties, our insecurities, our worries, our sorrow, our depression. You see, it's not, we can't shame ourselves for feeling depressed. We can't shame ourselves for feeling anxious. We can't shame ourselves for feeling these negative things. But we can invite Jesus into these areas of our life. "Lord, I have so much anxiety right now, but I'm inviting You in to help me". Rather than feel like you've got to get rid of the anxiety so God will be happy with you, or you've got to get rid of the lust, you got to get rid of the fear, you got to get rid of this or that. Instead of making that the focus, make connection the focus.

Connection, connection, connection with God, connection with Jesus, Revelation 3:20, all right? Now consider the story of two sisters who invited Jesus into their home. And we find this in Luke, chapter ten, Mary and Martha. You know, the amazing thing about that is He accepted their invitation. They invited Jesus into their home in Luke, chapter ten, and He came. They invited Him into their home and He arrived and He joined the party. He accepted the invitation just as He promised He would to whoever invites Him in. Now, I want to take you through a few verses here of this passage so that you can see what we're talking about, how connection is so powerful. Now as they were traveling along the road, it says, "He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister named Mary, who was (also) seated at the Lord's feet, and was listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all the (her) preparations".

So, what is the difference between Mary and Martha here? The difference is focus. What were they focused on? You see, Mary was focused on Jesus. Mary was focused on His beauty. Mary was focused on His love. Martha was focused on what had to be done. Martha was focused on what had to be cleaned. Martha was focused on what had to be prepared. Martha was distracted it says in verse 40 by all the preparations. So, what was the difference? What they were focused on. The difference was what they were focused on. And why is that so important? Because it leads us to what I've been trying to say in this podcast, and that is, which is the next step in this healing of the soul and healing mental health issues. It says that what Mary did was she sat at Jesus' feet.

And this is what I mean by embrace the power of connection. Mary was connected. Embrace the power of connection. Martha was on her own just serving. Nothing wrong with serving. But Mary was cultivating closeness. Martha was focused on what had to be done. Martha was distant. Mary was close. Martha was complaining. Mary was listening. Martha was glad that Jesus was there. But Mary was celebrating Jesus. Martha was criticizing Jesus. Mary served Jesus by listening to Him. Martha served Him by trying to tell Him what to do. Now listen, I'm not hating on Martha. I've been Martha. You've been Martha. But we have to choose Mary. We have to choose this Mary relationship rather than the Martha relationship. The Mary is the one who embraced the connection. She embraced Jesus. She, in fact, Jesus said in verse 42, "only one thing is necessary". He said and Mary has chosen. He said and "Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her".

This is what we have to choose. When you choose connection. It's a choice. Like, I'm choosing to be connected to where the power flows. I'm choosing to be connected to the voice of Jesus. I'm choosing to be connected to the, "Think Like a Champion" podcast. I'm choosing to be connected to my church family at Life Changers. I'm choosing to be connected. I'm choosing to draw from the power; from the source. And because that's where connection is how the power flows. The electricity in the building you're in, the building I'm in, in your home, it has to be connected. And there are wireless connections all over this world that keeps us connected in some way. It gives us access to the power of Wi-Fi; the power of the Internet. Life is frustrating and far more difficult when we're disconnected from the power source.

You know what it's like when you have to send a text and you have no signal. There's no connection. You can't make the connection, that creates the communication, that creates the solution that you're looking for in life or that you're helping somebody else experience in life. We have to realize the power of connection. Consider, and I'll end with this thought with this passage. Consider the woman who had this issue of blood in her body for 12 years in the Bible. It says in Mark five, verse 25, there was a "certain woman had a flow of blood for 12 years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was not better, (at all) but (rather) grew worse". That's how a lot of people experience that. They spend all their money and effort and time on medical experts, and I believe in getting medical expertise when we need it. But we have to realize that some things man can't fix, only God can.

And but notice, this woman is broke. She's sick. She's getting sicker, something we all have experienced in life. But it says in verse 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and she touched His garment. And she said, "she thought" it actually says in the Bible, she thought to herself, if I just touch His garments, I will get well. "If I just touch His garments". Notice the connection was with her thought. Our thoughts need to be connected to what God is capable of. She said, "If I just touch His garment, I will get well". And she did it. She touched it. Because thoughts create things. Thoughts create things. She thought, If I just touch His garment, I'll be made whole. I'll be made well. And she touched it. And guess what? She was made well, because thoughts create things. Thoughts produce things. Things come from thoughts when you act on them.

Wow. And Jesus it says, when she did this, she was immediately healed of her affliction and she felt in her body that it had shifted and she was healed. And immediately it says in verse 30, "Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had proceeded forth from Him, turned around and said, 'Who touched Me?' And His disciples said, 'You see the crowd, Lord. And You say who touched You? Everybody's touched You.' He looked around and He said 'no.' He looked and saw this woman. And she fell at His feet. She was fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her. And she came and bowed before Him. And He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.'" Notice what He said. "'Your faith has made you well. Go in peace...'"

Be healed. Be well. Be at peace. Be healed. Be well. Be at peace. Be healed. Where does that come from? Being well, Being at peace, being healed? Connection. Where does that come from? Connection. Be well, your faith has made you well. Where, how did her faith make her well? She connected to Jesus. He said, "Be at peace". How can we be at peace? Connect to Jesus. And then He said, "Be healed of your affliction". How can we be healed of the things that afflict us? We can't be delivered from ever having affliction, but we can be healed of the affliction. Where does it come from? Connection to Jesus. Boy, If we get ahold of mental health begins when we receive and embrace the power of connection and invite Jesus in to our situation. Let's invite Him in right now as we close in this podcast today, and just pray this with me. Just say:

Jesus come in all the way. Come into every bit of my senses, every bit of my being, every bit of my existence. I come in. Come in, come in, come in. And I connect to You. I connect to You. I welcome You. I accept Your presence in my life, in Jesus' Name.

Now I just pray for the healing of your soul, the healing of brokenness, the healing of your mind, your soul that's been angry, hateful, jealous, worried, anxious, nervous, full of anxiety. I just release healing in the Name of Jesus. Just let go. As the famous saying goes, "Let go and let God". Boy, there's something really powerful about how simple that is. Let go. We're not letting go of our responsibilities. We're letting go of the stress. We're letting go of trusting in man; trusting what people will do for us. And we're taking hold and we're trusting God to do it. We're embracing our connection with Him. And we're letting His power flow through us. Just like that woman let the power of God flow through her. And it healed her, made her well, brought her peace, and healed her body. I prophesy, You will be well. All will be well with you. Supernatural peace is going to flood your soul and you shall be healed of your afflictions, amen.
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