Over the past few blogs, we have looked at how to find real happiness and joy. To read those blogs please click the links below:
Today we will look at the fourth and final step: connect spiritually. The ultimate happiness in life is not discovered until we connect spiritually. The first part of a spiritual connection is to come to know and love Jesus. However, there is more to deeper spiritual connection than just knowing you will go to heaven when you die. There are several practices to help you grow into a deeper spiritual connection with God. There are four that are foundational to spiritual growth and connection.
Spiritual connection is limited at best if we are not reading the Bible. The Bible gives us direction, connection, and affection. The Bible is the primary way God speaks to us. He wants you to hear his voice, listen to him. The Bible is not so much a rule book as it is a love letter from God. Open it up and find out how much God loves you.
The Bible is the primary way God speaks to us, prayer is the primary way we speak to God. Reading the Bible and prayer is how we have conversations with God. No relationship can grow without authentic communication. If our spiritual connection, our relationship with God, is going to grow, we must have authentic communication with him through reading the Bible and praying to him.
If we are going to grow in our spiritual connection, we must grow in our connection with other people who desire to grow in their spiritual connection. That sentence may be worth reading again. Jesus established the church, which is our primary place for getting this type of connection. I know, I know, some of you are saying “the church is full of hypocrites and they have lost the meaning of true spirituality”, and there may be some truth to that. However, we often do not hear the positive side of the church. Churches really are most responsible for the positive change that has taken place throughout history. We have done some things very wrong, but we have done much more right. If you want more input on that subject please read “An Open Letter to the Church”.
The church is what Jesus established for his followers to come together for a deeper spiritual connection with him. With all its faults it is still God’s chosen vessel for deep, spiritual relationships. If we want to grow in our relationship with God we must grow in our relationship with other followers of Jesus.
If we are to grow in our spiritual connection with the ultimate giver…God…We must become givers ourselves. Giving can be our time, talents or treasures. Better yet, it should be all three. One of the best ways to find real happiness is to become a giver. Psychologist Alfred Adler put it this way, “We could be cured of depression in only fourteen days if every day we would try to do something good for somebody else.”
I encourage you to schedule time to read your Bible. If you do not understand it then look for a different translation that is easier to understand. Here are some of my favorites: New International Version, The Message, and The Voice. If you do not like reading then listen to it. You can get it on CD or even look it up online for free.
Set aside a time of prayer. However, do not limit your prayer time to just scheduled times. Be open to spontaneous prayers as well. My wife and I have scheduled times when we talk, but we are not limited to those times. We spontaneously talk throughout the day as well. It is the same way with God.
If you are not already part of a church then I encourage you to find one. Please do not just attend, get involved. If you can find one that has a strong small groups environment it may help your connection even better.
Look for opportunities to give of your time, talents, and treasures. Give to your church, give to your community, give to your favorite cause, just be a giver. To some extent the more you give, the happier you will be.
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Tommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.
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