Have you ever seen the film, “Six Degrees of Separation?” It’s a fascinating take on the connections every person has to everyone else on the planet.
The premise of the film is that you are connected to everyone else in the world through no more than six connections. Effectively it says that humanity is just one big network.
People who network understand this concept well and use it to their advantage. They contact someone, who knows someone, who knows someone else who can help them with what they need. And according to the film it will take no more than six connections of “someone who knows someone” to get the result.
Today, there are apps and social media platforms built on this same premise. One of those in particular is the LinkedIn platform that was built primarily for networking.
For business people trying to “swing a deal” LinkedIn is great because it will show you who is connected to whom up to three levels. It is excellent for making contacts in the business world, but has the limitation that you can only connect to other people who are on LinkedIn.
Other social media sites do similar things, though not to the same degree as LinkedIn. (Who hasn’t looked up an old friend from school on Facebook?)
So anyway, I wondered whether this whole six degrees of separation works and whether I would be able to get a message to anyone in the world. And it does.
A test case
Let’s say I wanted to get a message to the Queen of England. Who do I know that knows someone that knows someone that knows the Queen?
As it turns out, when I was working I knew a chap quite well in the UK who retired some years ago. He went into politics as a member of the British Labour Party and knew the then Prime Minister quite well, who sits down with the Queen on a regular basis.
Now, I seriously don’t think he would deliver a message to the Queen on my behalf, but it does prove the point that within just a handful of connections I could connect to the Queen of England.
The key to networking
Understanding this principle is the key to networking, and networking is how most things get done these days.
For example, in the search for employment there is a statistic that suggests about 80% of jobs are never advertised. They are filled by recommendation through networking. Someone knows someone who would be a good fit for the job and they are employed.
Or, from the employee’s perspective, they contact someone who knows someone in the organisation they want to work for to get an interview.
Applications in the Church
In the church some people try to use this same process to get their requests before God. Such people pray to saints, angels or even seek priests to pray asking them to carry their requests to the Lord or to God.
This is basically the same process as networking, but in the spiritual realm rather than the physical.
But is this the way the Lord works? Will it help get a message to God by using priests, saints or angelic connections to get our messages through?
What the Bible says
No, it won’t.
When Christ died He opened the way for all mankind to come to God. He prepared the way so that we could stand in the presence of God the Father.
God had given up on man and would have nothing to do with man because of man’s sin. It is sin that stands between man and God.
But when Christ came and died, He took away our sins. He took away the barrier that stands between us and God so that we can come to God directly and in prayer we can make our requests, seek His wisdom and insight and be transformed into the image of Christ. When sin is gone, God is prepared to help those who seek Him
Best of all, there is no “six degrees of separation” between God and us now. Christ broke down the barrier that stood between God and us. Now there is only one mediator between man and God: Jesus Christ. And there is one intercessor between man and God: the Holy Spirit.
You may need to network on earth to get things done, but we don’t need to network with God. We can just go to Him directly.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375