Summary: Connecting with God si the first step toward Chrsitian maturity.
October 7, 2007
Me: I have always longed for relationship. I have always had a major desire to be in close relationships with other people. What I have discovered is that I really want connection. I like to find a place where I belong and where I can really be myself.
It was not very long ago that I realized that the connection that I desire in human relationship is also a connection that I desire in my relationship with God.
You: Have you ever thought that what you really desire in your relationship with God is intimacy and connection? Have you ever really thought about what it means to be connected with God?
Today we want to explore that idea of connection with God and what that means for our lives. Last week we stated out the steps of maturity for people at LifeQuest as connect, grow and serve. Today we want to look at what it really means to connect with God.
God: Here is the background to the scripture we want to look at today.
Jesus is traveling from Judea back to Galilee. In order to get there he must go through Samaria. Jews did not like Samaritans. They considered Samaritans as half-breeds. They weren’t really Jews and they weren’t really Gentiles.
Jesus is by the well at noon and this Samaritan woman comes to draw water. Jesus asks her for a drink.
“10 Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water." 11 The woman said, "Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ’living water’? 12 Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?" 13 Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. 14 Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life." 15 The woman said, "Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!" 16 He said, "Go call your husband and then come back." 17 "I have no husband," she said. "That’s nicely put: ’I have no husband.’ 18 You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough." John 4:10-18 (The Message)
This woman did not understand that Jesus is speaking spiritually. She is looking for him to provide physical water. She also has a reputation. She has had five husbands and now is living with a man who is not her husband.
Barriers to Connection with God:
We are crippled by our past.
We try to fill spiritual needs with physical desires.
(Courtenay’s letter, part 1)
Do you ever find yourself doing that? Do you ever look for answers to life’s questions in wrong areas?
19 "Oh, so you’re a prophet! 20 Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?" 21 "Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. 22 You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. "It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. 24 God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration." John 4:19-24
We tend to think of connection with God as happening in a particular place at a particular time. Jesus tells this woman that her place of worship and the Jewish place of worship will soon cease to matter.
Worship is not about a location, it is about a person.
We come together to worship God on Sundays as a way to encourage one another. But true worship is not reserved for inside the walls of the church. You do not get better reception of God simply by being in this building.
“Worship should matter to us simply because it matters to God. Worship doesn’t begin with us. Worship begins and ends with God. And God is worthy of all praise, from all people, for all time.” Louie Giglio