As I teach my kids about the Bible, I am always trying to help them understand that this is not a big rule book, it is our roadmap to the abundant life God desires for us. Yesterday we began looking at Proverbs 27:17 and it’s call to relationship; a call to be in strategic, intentional contact and connection with others. Today we will look at how these relationships position us to see God deliver His blessings through our obedience and intentional connection with others.
Relationships are hard, let’s not pretend or ignore this truth. However, like most things that require effort, the rewards outweigh the investment. I love the way Ecclesiastes 4:9 describes the benefits of being in intentional connection with others. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.
There are so many examples of God preserving us and others through intentional connection. Exodus 17:8-13 describes Israel in a battle and it was only going in their favor if Moses arms were lifted to heaven. As the day went on, Moses grew tired and unable to rely on his own strength. Since he was in intentional connection with others, Aaron and Hur were able to come alongside Moses in his time of weakness and help hold his arms until the battle was won. Through this relationship, the people of Israel saw God bring them victory from their enemy.
1 Kings 17:8-24 gives us a story of Elijah coming to a widow for his own provision. As he did, God’s miraculous hand provided for Elijah, the widow, and her son in a time of famine. As if the provision was not enough, Elijah’s intentional connection with this widow had him in Gods strategic position when the widow’s son became sick and died. Had Elijah not been obedient, had he not connected with this widow, he would never have found himself in the position to pray for a miracle and see God breath life back into her son.
The short book of Jonah tells us a story of God asking this man to connect with the people of Ninevah. Jonah recognized the challenge of connecting and did not want to obey, in fact he ran from God and God’s call for him. We all know the story of the whale and how God used it to bring Jonah to the place of obedience. Through his obedience, through his intentional contact, we see this mans words bring an entire city and its king to a place of repentance and turning to God.
What blessing does God desire to deliver through you? What miracle could you see come to life if you are willing to look past the difficulty and engage others with strategic connection? Without connection, we will not be there to lift others up, to restore them, to lead them to their victory, to feed them when they are hungry….and we are limiting Gods resources to pour these things into our own life when we need them. Tomorrow we will look to the life of Christ to see how he not only made intentional contact with others, but also desired their closeness in His most difficult moments.