Gregory Dickow - Embrace the Power of Connection - Part 2
The reason we need to stay connected to this world is because we have something to offer, because we have kindness. We have generosity. We have power of prayer. We have the love of God. We have the goodness of God. We have our hands to serve. All right, I want to welcome you to another episode of, "Think Like a Champion". This podcast is dedicated to helping you win in every way and enjoy every day. We are developing a community of champions. You are a part of it, and you are a champion. And I'm just going to help you think like one because that's who you are. And I'm just helping you to know how God thinks because He made you in His image.
And I want to talk in part two of what I picked up from, what I'm picking up from last week, the power of connection. Connection is how the power flows. The power flows through the connection. And even though this isn't necessarily a church service, there's something about being connected to people. We are a church in the sense that where two or three are gathered in Jesus' Name, He says, "There I am in the midst of them". And so, there's something very powerful about being connected. We're created for connection. We're created for community, and I'll get to that in a few as well. But this is a community and we're created for this. And if you don't have a church home where you are part of a community and connected to one, join us at Life Changers Church every Sunday at one of our locations in the Chicago area, or online, or one of our family of churches around the world. We have several churches that connect with us and people that connect with us in Life Groups and small groups in different places throughout the world as well.
Maybe you can start one of your own and be a part of this and invite others into your home and invite others into this experience. But there's power in connection. That's how the power flows through connection. And I was illustrating in Mark, chapter five, this woman that had an issue of blood for 12 years. And it says she "had suffered many things for many physicians". You know, it seems like in life you can go through a lot of people, you can go through a lot of lawyers, you can go through a lot of doctors and still have the same problem. Because at some point, it's not a problem with the physicians and the doctors. It's just not a problem with the lawyers necessarily. It's just that's not how the power flows. The power flows through connection.
So, it's one thing to go see a doctor when you're really sick. But that's part, that's just a remedy for something on the surface for some of the symptoms. But if you were connected to a relationship with a doctor consistently and on a regular basis, you might not have to go to the doctor for an emergency because you are connected properly with the right diet, the right nutrition, the right prescription formula for your health, right? And that's just one example of when you're connected. It's like, people write to me all the time. They ask me questions on social media all the time, whether it's Instagram or any of the other platforms. And I answer as many people as I possibly can. I wish I could answer everybody. But the answer for everybody is get connected. I can give you the exact specific answer to the question you're asking. I can give you wisdom that will be a wise answer to your situation. It can really help bring results in your life. But the thing that will bring results in every area of your life on a consistent basis is being connected on a regular basis.
So, if you reach out to me when you're desperate, I can do my best to help you. But if you reach out to me and stay connected on a regular basis... Like the Bible says, "Do not forsake the assembling together, as is the habit of some. But all the more as you see the day approaching. Encourage one another day after day". When there's connection on a consistent basis, there's continual encouragement, continual growth, continual enrichment of your soul, continual joy and peace; the power of connection. And so, this lady had to learn the hard way that everything she thought she had to spend money on to cure her could all be cured through the power of connection. So, look at what it says. She spent all she had to live on, and she not only didn't get better, but she got worse. Notice she was broke, sick, and getting sicker. But "after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His garment". And she said, "If I just His garment, I will get well".
Remember, it says she thought this. She didn't even necessarily say it out of her mouth, although there's power in our words. There's also power in our thoughts. And your thoughts create things. Your thoughts create things. She said, "If I just touch His garment, I'll be made well". And she touched it. And it says, "Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body she was healed of her affliction". And Jesus said to her, "Who touched"? Jesus said, "Who touched My garments"? And His disciples said, "Man, Lord, look at all these people following you. You have them pressing against you. They all touched you". He said," No, who touched Me? Who touched me"? You know, it's one thing that everybody, that people bump into Jesus. It's another thing to actually touch Him deliberately. You know what I'm saying? It's one thing to bump into people at your church, you know, in the supermarket or grocery store or wherever. But it's another thing to go there intentionally. And I want you to see that He looked around, He saw this woman who had done this, and she was trembling. He said, "Woman, your faith has made you well".
Daughter He's called her, actually. Because now there's this family spirit because she's connected to Jesus. And notice the transfer. Notice when the transfer of power occurred. Was it when Jesus decided to cure her? No. Was it when the disciples decided? No. Or was it when the woman decided? You see, she's the one who thought, "If I just touch His garment". In fact, after she touched His garment and was healed, He turned around and asked who touched Him. Now I know that we know God knows everything. But in that moment, Jesus legitimately is asking the question, "Who touched me? Because I felt power leave My body and went into somebody". And He's looking around, because He was human at that time. Yes, He was still God, but He didn't necessarily have the knowledge of every single thing that was happening at that moment. Who touched Him was something He tells, we find out, he asked the question of.
Whether He knew it and asked anyway to illustrate it, that's fine. We could believe that. It doesn't matter. The point is, is the power didn't leave Him because He decided to have it leave Him. The power went from Him to her because she decided. The power did not... The power that God has made available to you is not something that you have to wait for God to let it, to let it happen. He's waiting for you to take it. He's already given it. He's waiting for you to take it. He's already thrown the pass. He's waiting for you to catch it; to be the receiver. He's already handing you, handing off the ball. You can't throw it back at Him. Run with it, okay? You see, we all have the ability to connect to the power source. And that connection is what releases the power in our lives. Without it, without this connection, we're powerless in life. We can achieve some things still in our human power. But to truly experience the power to be healed, to be at peace, to be made whole, to be a healthy soul instead of mental, mentally damaged and injured and sick all the time. It's through the power of connection.
Now what should we have connection with? What should we be connecting to? Because there are some things we should be connecting to and some things we should probably be disconnecting from. But what are the three things? I believe there are three things that we should be, that we should make sure the connection is working properly, or that the connection... Like, when you make sure, like, my computer was dying. I plugged it in, I plugged in the cord, and then it still said you have less than 10% battery. So, it was still dying. And then, I jiggled the cord a little and I realized that it was almost plugged in all the way, but not. But as soon as I made sure of the connection, the power flowed and it was charging. So, sometimes we have to check the connections. So, check these three connections. There're three primary connections we need to have in this life.
Number one, first and foremost, is our connection with God. I'll come back to how we connect with Him in a moment. Number one, our connection with God. Number two, our connection with each other in a church family; a church community. There are a lot of substitutes for that now. They're not good substitutes, but they are substitutes. People get involved in other groups, and get involved in hearing from other people. They have connections. And they have certain connections with certain people or certain groups. And there is a degree of power that's released. But the power for your mental, emotional health and well-being has been wired into your system and into your brain to be connected to the people of God in a church family. So, when you have a connection with God, connection with each other like this, in a church community where two or three are gathered, and we have to have a connection with this world.
Now, there are a lot of people and many Christians and preachers that would say we should have nothing to do with this world. We should not have a connection. We should not be connecting to this world. But I believe we should be connecting to this world. We should be connecting to God. We should be connecting to each other. And we should be connecting to this world. But what I believe is that the connection that we have with God and the connection we have with our church family, is what causes us to have the power to connect to this world in a way where we're releasing the power of God and releasing the power of family into the people we're connecting with in the world. We're not connecting to them to draw the power from them. We're connecting to them so that they can draw the power from us, and we can give our power to them. You see?
So, let's talk about these three things. We need our connection with God, connection with one another, and connection with the world. And let me describe each of those three things. So, our connection with God. How do we cultivate our connection with God? We cultivate our connection with God by relationship, by talking to Him, by listening to Him, by believing what He says, by believing that we're the righteousness of God. And therefore, we have the right to go before God without guilt, without shame, without fear, without inferiority. So, connection is first with God through relationship, through worship. Worship is a powerful connection point with God. As we're worshiping God, we can be worshiping Him by ourselves and worshiping Him in our community of our church as well. It shouldn't be one or the other. It should be both. It's the beauty of God, how He flows in our lives individually, but also corporately through our community.
So, we connect with God in relationship. We're justified by faith. Romans, chapter five says we're justified by faith so that we have peace with God. We're justified by faith so that we have peace with God. What a powerful truth. When you have peace with God, you'll start to have peace with everybody. When you have peace with God, you'll start to have peace. Peace will flow from your life into the lives of everything you touch. Whether it's, you know, your pet to have peace, your family members to have peace. You touch your business, you touch your finances, and there's peace because you're at peace with God. So, all brokenness in life is because of that broken connection between you and God. And that connection doesn't break because of your sins or mistakes. The connection gets loose or distorted because you're not believing that you are with Him and that He is with you. You're not believing He's with you.
So, that's the problem. It's not that He's not with you, it's that you don't believe He is. So, believe that He is. And believe that He's a rewarder of those who connect with Him and seek Him in that way. So, we connect with God through relationship, through worship, through prayer. We connect with God through complaining to Him. Like, taking our complaints up rather than out. If we took more of our complaints... If we took more of our complaints up to God, we'd have less to complain about out to others. So, connection with God; connection with God. I connect with God according to First Corinthians 14, verse two. It says when you pray in tongues, when you pray in a tongue, your spirit prays. Your mind doesn't understand, but in your spirit you're speaking mysteries to God. So, connecting to God, praying in tongues is one of the most beautiful ways of connecting with God. It transcends all other voices. It's like this direct line to the throne of God.
Now we can go to His throne of grace and receive mercy and find grace help in our time of need. And we can also go to Him by praying in tongues and releasing the heavenly language that He says no one understands. But in your spirit, you're speaking mysteries to God. It's a beautiful connection point with Him, okay? And you can, by the way, you can get a free copy of my book. You can download my book, "The Power of a New Life". And you might see it on our screen, or you'll see it in the link in the chat box or wherever. But you'll see it. But it's called, "The Power of a New Life". You can download it anywhere for free. And one of the chapters is called, "The Power of the Holy Spirit". And it goes over many of the verses about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gift of praying in tongues, which is available to every believer who believes it. It's available for you and is available to you. So, check that out. Download that book. Go right to that chapter if you want to know just about that particular point and about the power of the Spirit. But there's a lot of other great stuff in that book.
So, number one, connection with God in the ways I've shared. Number two, our connection with each other through our church community. So, Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of them". Now one of the things that I've learned over many years of banging my head up against the wall and not having breakthroughs, is when I realized that the church could not just connect in a big gathering. Although a big gathering of all the church members together is a powerful part of connection. And it's a necessary ingredient of connection. But then the big church field needs to be broken down into the small group community. And so, I want to encourage you to get connected to a... we call them Life Groups here in our church. Get connected to a Life Group. And there are many of them, or you can start one. You can be a part of one, or you can start one. You can have one that meets in person. You can have one that meets through Zoom or any other format, that platform that you can have meetings on. Sorry, my technical verbiage wasn't there at the right time. Just knocking it from the back to the front now.
All right so get connected in some way to a Life Group. Why? Because this is where you live it out. This is where you communicate. This is where you rally around other people. This is where you celebrate one another. This is where everybody can talk, and everybody can listen, and everybody can share, and everybody can pray together, and everybody can be a part of a group and a community. Where you don't have to tell them all your sins. You don't have to tell them everything you've done wrong. Just start connecting with one another through both the church gathering and a small group connection. And serving is another way.
Just getting involved and throwing yourself into the pot, so to speak, and stirring up the pot with your gifts; with your talents. Serving, whether it be in a church environment where you're serving in one of the other areas of ministry or through the week, or helping the poor. Like, get involved serving. Get involved in giving of yourself. Because the world of the generous gets larger and larger the Bible says. The world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. We're blessed to be a blessing.
So, number one, connect with God through the different various ways that I talked to you about, and there are many other ways as well. Connection with each other through church community and through Life Groups, through Connect Groups, Connect Teams; being a part of a team. There's no "I" in team, as we all know. But there's an "I" in win. And it takes you to win. It takes me to win. It takes "I" to win when we're together and when we're a team. So, get involved on a team that is serving in some way in your church or in this church. So, and then the third group that we need to connect with is we need to connect with this world. Not to be shaped by it; but to shape it. Not to be fed by it; but to feed it. The reason we need to stay connected to this world is because we have something to offer, because we have kindness. We have generosity. We have the power of prayer. We have the love of God. We have the goodness of God. We have our hands to serve and to show this world that Jesus is a Servant. Jesus is connected.
Jesus was constantly connecting with the tax collectors, the sinners, the prostitutes. Why? It wasn't because He was drawing life from them, but because He was giving life to them. Our connection with this world needs to be, not where we're looking down at them and saying, "You need what I have". But we need to know. Privately, we need to know. Intuitively, we need to know instinctively that this world is crying out. They're in pain. The mental health, the mental health epidemic that we're in is not getting better unless we add ourself to this world, and help this world get through its pain, and process it, right? Processing it the right way through prayer, and through connection, and through kindness, and through servant evangelism. You see?
So, we need to be connected to these three things in order to be a healthy part of God's community, and God's family, and the family of this earth. We're all in this world together. We're not of this world, but we're in this world. And we don't need to try to act like we're different or better. We need to serve better. Be kinder. Give, and trust that God is using you, not to be shaped by this world, but to shape it, and to be an influencer in this world. We are called, my brothers and sisters that are connected here, we're called to belong. We're not just called to believe. We're called to believe, but we're also called to belong.
And I'll tell you what, it's easier to believe when you belong. We're created for community. We're fashioned for fellowship. We're formed for family. Did you hear that? We're created for community, we're fashioned for fellowship, we're formed for a family. And none of us can fulfill God's purposes by ourselves. The Bible says we do it together. Think about what the Bible says about together. It says, the Bible says, were put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, seated together, fitted together, held up together, caught up together. We'll be together the Bible says. While your relationship, my relationship with Jesus is personal, your relationship with Jesus is personal. But it's not intended to be lived out privately without others. We have private time with God, but we also bring our relationship to others.
In God's family, you're connected to every other believer. And we belong to each other. And we are going to belong to each other for eternity. So, we might as well get used to it now. It says in Romans, chapter 12, verse ten, "Be devoted to one another..." We need to be devoted. We need to come together and think like a champion on a regular basis. Devoted to it means staying with it on a regular basis; staying with it. And it means honoring one another, it says in Romans chapter 12 also, living in harmony with one another, accepting one another.
Boy, it just gets me sometimes how so many Christians can be divisive. And they'll use politics, and they'll use race, and they'll use all these reasons to try to divide. Rather than, let's unite around our differences, rather than, don't be defined by our differences, and don't be divided by our differences. We can have differences without divisions. This is why we need to accept one another. And we need to be okay with people thinking differently than us. Be okay with people that don't vote the same as us. We need to be. I mean, think about it. We're sent to reach this world, not just America, not just the country you're in. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel".
He didn't say go into all the world and spread politics. He said go into all the world and preach the gospel; the good news. Make disciples of all the nations. Lay hands on the sick. Cast out devils. Speak with new tongues, right? If you pick up a deadly serpent, it will not harm you. If you drink any deadly poison, it won't hurt you. Like, these are the... We need to walk in this kind of power and take our love to the streets. Take it to the streets.
Boy, the Doobie Brothers said it long before I did. Take it to the streets. We need to learn that one. Serve one another. It says to serve one another in love, to be kind to one another in Ephesians four. Serve one another in Galatians five. Accept one other in Romans 15. Encourage one other in Hebrews three. Spur on one another toward good deeds, Hebrews, chapter ten. Assemble with one another, Hebrews, chapter ten. And love one another, First Peter, chapter four, verse seven. Boy, the power of being devoted to one another, and the power of connection with God, with one another, and with this world in the right way, will truly lead you to a life of emotional health, spiritual victory, and physical well-being as well. Especially spilling over into your relationships more than any of it all. All right, I'm out of time.