Connection is Natural
The current revolution of social media networks has added a new twist to sweeten the propositions of the proponents of globalization on its inherent blessings. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Myspace, and the “yet-to-come” platforms, networking will continue to dominate the technology highway. This underscores the human inherent hunger for relationships.
Most human activities are governed by the law of connection. People are connecting for personal, social, political and economic needs, because central to the law of connection is the issue of meeting needs. Even businesses are networking through different strategic alliances to meet the need of R&D, cost reduction, market growth and market value optimization. In the same vein nations have different ideological, economic and political alliances. The chief of them all right now, is the European Union that is threatening to scale up from an economic to a political union. Connection must definitely be natural to human community.
The operative word in this message is connection. Connection refers to link, bond, logical relationship, and family relationship. It also talks about union, relationship by blood or marriage. From this description it is safe to trace the origin of connection to God, and praise God! everyone that has received Jesus Christ as Lord and savior is connected to God Almighty and we are connected to one another.
Networking is Essential for Success
It is now a known fact that networking is fundamental to the success of managers in any organization. A lot of Christians think the reason for their failure is their present pressing problem. Whatever the situation is; maybe it’s no money in the pocket, no money in the bank account or credit cards are maxed out. Your situation may be, looking around and seeing nothing but loneliness. Friends, circumstances are only challenges that present opportunities for success or failure. And a lot of times when we are wrapped up in the motion of these problems our natural reaction is bulk passing. We are looking for what and who to blame. It’s my parent, my spouse, my friend or my boss that is responsible for my predicament. Some can even blame it on the cat, the dog, or the parrot. And some that are a bit spiritual would bring up some spiritual metrics to measure if they are giving, praying and fasting enough or not! Please do not despise those indicators, they are good when we aligned them with the word of God for spiritual progression. Those metrics are not good enough on their own because unbelievers also give, pray and fast. Those exercises will only stimulate successful actions when you are living connected to God.
Vertical and Horizontal Networking
What guarantees our success is living connected with God! Genesis chapter 17 verses 1 to 9 revealed a graphic description of Abraham’s connection with God. God started by changing the name of Abram to Abraham. It is like saying now that were are linked together, I am a part of you and you are a part of me. The union was further solidified by a blood covenant which also depicted a mingling of blood of two people blending together. Another keystone event at this encounter was the introduction of a new attribute of God. Abraham already knew Him as Elohim, Adonia, and El-Elyon, but encapsulated in this covenant is a new offer; “I am Almighty God”. In Hebrew the word “Almighty” is El-Shaddai which is a compound word. Lets’ break it down. El means the strong one and Shaddai signifies the breasted one. Now put them together, what we have is the Strong-Breasted-One.
Think of nursing mothers for a moment. Some of them actually have big breasts containing milk to nurture their babies, but their milk can run out. That is why nutritionists will instruct them on specific diet (including fluid) that will stimulate continuous flow of milk. When they want to feed their babies (remember baby friendly program?), to enable them do that comfortably at a long stretch, they are advised to sit upright, rest their back on the chair back, place their legs on stool or small coffee table, then put their babies on their laps with their hands supporting the babies and then they can begin feeding their babies. You know some babies really know how to stretch the fun. They play with the nipple a little, suck a little, rest their jaws a little to derive maximum pleasure. Well, give the mom some 30 minutes, she is burnt out, she wants to rest or want to get busy with other stuff. But in the case of the Strong-Breasted-One, if you want suck in the morning, in the after or evening time He is available. You can come with your wife, children, husband and friends He doesn’t run dry. He has no break, He neither sleeps nor slumbers.
El-Shaddai! What does it mean in a simple language? It means the Strong Nourisher, Strength Giver, All Bountiful, the Fruitful One, Satisfier, Life Giver and the Supplier of the needs of His people. No wonder people come to Him poor and they become prosperous. They come to Him sick and they become healed. They come depressed and go refreshed.
This is the same God that appeared to Abraham on the mountain top in the land of Moriah, where Abraham called Him Jehovah Jireh, meaning the Lord my provider. But literarily, it means on the mountain of the Lord it shall be seen. What do you want to see? What do you need; A job, healthy relationship, child, husband, wife, joy, peace, fulfillment, or success? On the mountain of the Lord it shall be seen! In Isaiah 56:7, God said “I will bring them to my holy mountain and I will make them joyful”
So your success is not in the hand of your boss, business partner, teacher, preacher, father, mother, brother, sister or your friend. Your success is contingent on living connected with God. That was why Abraham said I have lifted up my hands to God, the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth that I will not take anything that belongs to you so that you will not say that I have made Abraham rich.
The Blessings of Networking
Some kings attacked Sodom, and took everybody captive including Lot, Abraham’s nephew. When he heard of it, he pulled out 318 soldiers from his household. That Abraham must be an incredibly great man. He conquered the four kings and their armies and brought back all the people of Sodom that were taken as prisoners of war, including his nephew and also all the properties that were carted away. While he refused the king of Sodom’s compensation for rescuing the entire country, he said I would rather pay my tithe and compensate the soldiers from recovered goods. This is a covenant duty! Because if did not the devourer would come in to destroy his blessings. You know most times when a termite is inside the furniture you don’t realize until you begin to see the effect of destruction on that beautiful piece.
Abraham became rich in cattle, in gold, and in silver because he stayed hooked to God. He lived connected to God. Your connection determines your covenant. And every covenant has guiding conditions. In Noah’s covenant God made the rainbow a sign. As long as that condition holds, He will keep His part of the deal.
I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” (Genesis 9:11-17)
In Abrahamic covenant the guiding condition was circumcision in the flesh of every male.
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. (Genesis 17:9-14)
Every born-again is a seed of Abraham. Our own circumcision is in the spirit as Paul affirmed to the Philippians’ church.
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ. (Colossians 2:11)
As believers we are in covenant with God, and living connected to God in this covenant requires effective application of the conditions as laid out in John 15:1-8;
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:1-8).
A fish is perpetually connected to water. Take it out of that habitat it won’t do well and will expire shortly after. However leaving the fish inside the water does not automatically guarantee its well living. The fish has the responsibility to open its mouth, take in water from the sea, pass it through the gills to absorb the dissolved oxygen and then pass out the waste through its opercula. If it failed to do that, it will die inside of the water, even without any aggression.
New Testament Networking
Jesus is the living water and sea of our life, to whom we must eternally connect. Just like a fish, we must constantly take in the living water, which also is the bread of life, the word of God, so we can be solidly established in Him.
The word of God! Job said, I value the word that comes out of your mouth more than my necessary food. David said, Your word is sweeter than honey to my taste, and Jeremiah said, I have found your word and I have eaten your word. The wise advice from Paul is to let the word of God dwell in us richly.
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh”. (Proverbs 4:20-22).
Now pay close attention to the word attend in that scripture. When broken down you will have at and tend. At, refers to a place, a location, example, I was at New York. And tend connotes cultivating tenderly. So the scripture suggests that we should be at a place where we tenderly cultivate the word of God, because not only does it guarantee health and sound mind, it is the real source of LIFE.
So, “keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful,” (Joshua 1:8). Friends, this is where the rubber meets the road! Connect with the WORD vitally and lively, then you will prosper and succeed.