Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Sting has been a popular artist around the world, known for his songs, and I came across the lyrics of one of his called “O my God”. Here’s what he sang:
Everyone I know is lonely
And God’s so far away,
And my heart belongs to no one,
So now sometimes I pray
Please take the space between us
And fill it up some way.
O my God you take the biscuit
Treating me this way
Expecting me to treat you well
No matter what you say.
How can I turn the other cheek?
It’s black and bruised and torn.
I’ve been waiting
since the day that I was born.
Take the space between us
And fill it up some way.
I don’t know why he wrote the song, and can only guess it may have come from an inner yearning of his own to make a connection with God. And that’s what I want to consider here.
Connecting With the Divine
How do we make that connection with the divine? Is it really possible? How does an ordinary human being like you and me have a relationship with God? There is something inbuilt in all of us that needs to connect with God. It was Mother Teresa, possibly one of the most noble people who ever lived, who admitted, “I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak.”
She was saying what many of us say from time to time: life gets tough sometimes and we need help. And the Christian faith declares: there is a loving God who wants to make a personal connection with you today. I don’t understand why so many choose to have nothing to do with him, who prefer to go their own way through life.
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I think one of the problems here is the feeling, I’ve got to be somehow special or perfect to connect with God—that we are not good enough or holy enough. Maybe our past behaviour or the bad thoughts we have might exclude us from knowing God. But that is not correct. God loves us with an everlasting love. He invites everyone to know him in a one-to-one relationship.
Ted Loder has been quite honest in his prayer (Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle):
there is something I wanted to tell you,
but there have been errands to run,
bills to pay, arrangements to make,
meetings to attend, friends to entertain, washing to do…
and I forgot what it is I wanted to say to you,
and mostly I forget what I’m about, or why.
O God, don’t forget me please,
for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Oh Father in Heaven,
perhaps you’ve already heard what I wanted to tell you.
What I wanted to ask is, forgive me, heal me,
increase my courage, please.
Renew in me a little of love and faith,
and a sense of confidence,
and a vision of what it might mean
to live as though you were real,
and I mattered, and everyone was sister and brother.
What I wanted to ask in my blundering way is
don’t give up on me,
don’t become too sad about me,
but laugh with me,
and try again with me,
and I will with you, too.
Ted Loder has a special way of talking with God that ordinary folk connect with.
The Bible tells me in Isaiah 45:18, “The Lord alone is God. He created the Heavens and made a world where people can live, instead of creating an empty desert. The Lord alone is God; there are no others”. This reflects his power and magnificence, and yet with all that, the Bible says he loves the individual, and it means you were created with value and worth. Psalm 139 (verses 13-14):
You are the one
who put me together
inside my mother’s body,
and I praise you
the wonderful way
you created me.
A New Dimension in Life
But when Jesus came, life put on a new dimension that involves you, because he said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). If that’s not connection I don’t know what is. But there is the problem of the small word ‘sin’. Adam and Eve wrecked everything in the beginning by their rebellion, and sin entered the world. We have been separated from God, because he is holy. There is a wide gap which separates us from him. And Jesus was born to be the world’s Saviour. And through Jesus we can know God personally—make that connection.
Romans 5:8, “God showed us how much He loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful”. So back to my question—how do you connect with God? Maybe you have connected with him without realising it—you gaze out over the ocean, or listen to a favourite piece of music, or walk in a beautiful forest admiring the scenery—God is the author of all things.
Start reading the Bible for yourself. It’s not a book of rules. It’s God’s story that he has been telling for centuries. We learn about God from these stories. Each day take a few verses from the Bible and think seriously about them, and ask God to say something about your life through these words.
It’s not an ordinary book—it is powerful and reaches deep down into our heart and mind. That’s how the connection comes. Then pray—simply talk to God. Ask him for wisdom and insight. Ask him to reveal himself to you, and ask for a humble heart to seek him day by day. If you sit long enough on your own, you might be surprised what God wants to say to your soul.