Zero Degrees of Separation
Today's article by Sister Erin Light discusses Romans 8:35-39, which famously asks, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
In this passage, the Apostle Paul is instructing the Roman believers about the glories of Christ, the prophecy about pending persecution and hardship, and exhorting them not to lose their faith. Most importantly, these wonderful five verses are a reaffirmation of why God's love is so profound; nothing can separate us from the Love of God.
Let's think about this for a bit. Who could attempt to separate us from the love of Christ? This scripture is broken down into mainly three components:
- Events, (famine, peril, death, things to come, creatures)
- People (sword, persecution, powers, principalities)
- Ourselves (nakedness, peril, tribulation, distress, things present)
We most likely will not have any control or influence over events and people, so it's comforting to know that no matter what environment or scenario comes our way, none of that can separate us from God's love. The last one, ourselves, is where we need to take caution.
The Human Mind
What does our human mind say to do with problems? 1) Give up; there's nothing I can do. 2) Work harder; I am in control; I can fix this. 3) Ignore the problem; maybe it will go away by itself. 4) Go get help from Mom, Dad, spouse, friend. It's important to ask, what is our initial "gut" reaction to problems.
The Spiritual Mind
What if we take those human instinctual examples and turn them into a spiritual reaction? Now we might be saying 1) Give up (Let go and let God!), 2) Work harder (Pray more; fast and pray; hit the problems with God's strength) 3) Ignore the problem (Rain falls on the just and the unjust; I know God is still in control) 4) Go get help (from God, other saints, the ministry). What if those were our main reactions?
I oversee a large community and have a lot of associates and systems that I need to maintain daily, and my job, overall, is to problem solve, to think about solutions that we haven't thought about before, to guide people to those solutions with the tools and ability to execute them efficiently. Do these techniques work all the time? I can tell you that nine times out of ten, I could have solved a problem quicker if I had taken it to God in prayer first.
Staying Plugged In
God wants us to stay "plugged in" at all times. We get charged up like a battery, and then we go out into the world. Over time, challenges and distractions arise, and our battery goes down until we re-charge — or we've lost connection. We can't live life on "roaming". We need to stay connected. God's Holy Spirit doesn't work in signal strength (three bars or 4G). God's love and Spirit is instantaneous, wire-free, and always available to us.
Connected on Full Power
What happens when we feel the Holy Ghost actively working in our lives?
- It prompts us
- It affects our spirits
- We feel stronger, happier, and more at peace
When the Holy Ghost guides us, our connection strengthens, and God continues to guide us as long as He has all the control.
Maintaining Zero Separation
- God wants an intimate connection with us at all times.
- We initiate separation with our behavior and thoughts. God is stable. We're the ones who move closer or farther away from Him.
- Some things to think about: What is "pestilence" in the latter day? What is "nakedness"? Where does persecution come from?
Strategies to Maintain Connection
- Reading and studying scripture.
- Staying involved in spiritual activities at church, with family and friends, with coworkers.
- Participating in all the ordinances.
- Praying for strength to overcome challenges.
- Being self-aware of temptations and weaknesses, and asking a friend to call weekly to see how I'm doing.
- Allowing the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to direct in all things.
A wise Sister told me, "Nobody can make you feel anything without your consent." That means I am in control of my feelings, and God is in control of the rest! Take courage — God's love can never leave you.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.