Our family has recently been studying the Gospel of Luke. As we have considered the good examples of Jesus, one characteristic that frequently jumped out was the efforts He put forth to maintain His spiritual connection with the Father. One definition for connection is “an association or relationship.” Let us consider some of the examples that our Lord gave us in maintaining our spiritual connection with the Father. At an early age, Jesus understood a need to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Jesus had the desire to seek the interests of the Father. At the beginning of His ministry, He sought out John at the Jordan River. He was baptized—not for any sins that He had committed, for He had none—but as He told John the Baptist, it was necessary to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). This was right in the eyes of God and gave us a pattern to follow (Matthew 28:19-20). His longing was to please the Father. Luke records that at Jesus’ baptism He prayed, again endeavoring to plug in to the Source from above (Luke 3:21). The Father responded to His Son seeking and keeping His will. Can we do the same? Will God respond favorably to those who through obedient faith maintain their spiritual connection to Him? After telling His disciples to ask, seek, and knock, Jesus said, “how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matthew 7:11b).
He impressed upon His disciples their need to maintain their spiritual connection to the Father when He guided them to go into their prayer closet and taught them how to pray (Matthew 6:6-13). His life was not only a life of teaching about the importance and power of prayer, but it was one of walking the talk and gladly living the example of what He preached! I believe this was one of the reasons why many “heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37). He was not like the scribes for He taught with authority and then lived what He taught.
On the night before Jesus had a very important decision to make, He spent the entire night in solitude, praying and communicating with His Father. What happened on that mountain we can only imagine but it’s safe to say that God was pleased with His Son! For the next day He chose twelve men who would travel with Him and be eyewitnesses of His life, death, and resurrection, and who would carry on the work that He had started (Luke 6:12-13). Do we seek God’s guidance and wisdom when needing help with decisions and choices?
One evening the whole city came to His door seeking the Great Physician’s healing. After an evening of healing the sick with various diseases, casting out demons, and taking care of others, He arose early in the morning before daylight to connect with His Father (Mark 1:35). Someone once said, “A day hemmed in prayer is unlikely to unravel.”
Jesus, through His communion with the Father, was in tune and in sync with the Father’s will and guidance.
In John 5:19, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does in like manner.” “What He sees the Father do” is His fellowship with the Father. “Does in like manner” is His faithful obedience to the Father. Do we practice the same? We hear God’s voice speaking to us through His inspired word. We see through the eye of faith the wonderful works of our heavenly Father as we allow His light and His influence to come in and permeate our life. The more time we spend in prayer and meditation the deeper that light goes, and the fibers of our conviction grow stronger! Jesus knew and understood that the closer we get to the Source, the stronger our resolve is to do what is right, and our resistance to temptation is fortified. James put it this way, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a).
Often Jesus would say, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus ever had the Father’s will before Him, reminding Him of who He is, and why He was here. How did Jesus remain disciplined and focused when there were so many issues pressing upon Him, attempting to pull and push Him in different directions? I believe the answer is found in Hebrews 12:1-4:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
He denied Himself by staying focused. His focus was on why He was here and Who He represented. His focus was not on the suffering, shame, and anguish that He bore for our sins. His heart was on heaven and the joy of saving souls from the destruction of sin, that they may share an eternal home with Him! Jesus’ spiritual connection helped Him value what the Father values. Will maintaining our spiritual connection not help us to see a thing as God sees it and value what God values? To maintain our spiritual connection we must keep our eyes on Christ, remembering why we are here, Who we represent, and to Whom we belong! Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, laying aside the sin and those things that will entangle us and cause us to take our eyes off the Master.
Even as His earthly ministry ended, as His final hours ticked down, what was Jesus doing? He was maintaining that spiritual connection—praying with His disciples what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, and praying alone in the Garden of Gethsemane while the disciples slept (John 17). He was praying the beautiful words, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42, KJV). Again, while suffering on the cross, He lifted His voice to heaven. Let us go and do likewise, following in the Savior’s example—maintaining our spiritual connection!