I will never forget back in 2004 when I would get up early in the mornings, before the rest of my crew, to be with Jesus. I had a friend who had so much more of a deeper relationship with God than me, and I wanted it desperately enough to lose sleep over it! Each morning, I would get up with no agenda and simply say, “I want to go deeper; I want to go further; I want more of You, Lord.”
We are hearing that phrase a bunch lately, yet we may not even be sure what it means. To go deeper simply means that you are willing to open yourself up to truly allowing God to lead you on a journey deeper into His heart. King David describes it like this in Psalm 42:7, “Deep calls to deep as the roars of a waterfall.” The Deeper places of God’s heart are calling to the deep places in your heart. God wants to take you to a place in relationship with Him that you cannot take yourself. He longs for you to let Him lead.
God wants to take you to a place in relationship with Him that you cannot take yourself.
Many who proclaim Christ will respond to this call to go deeper in various ways. Unfortunately, there are those who refuse to go deeper because they are afraid that to go deeper would mean that they were no longer in control. Giving up your control for God's control, what we call Lordship, is exactly God’s desire. There are also those who will go, but only so deep; again, only open to what makes sense, and what they can control. Then, there are those who recklessly abandon themselves to the overwhelming, all-encompassing, unconditionally loving Father, allowing Him to take them wherever He desires, because of their ruthless trust in Him.
Today, I'd like to take this one step "deeper". I want to suggest something to you: The Father doesn’t just want you to GO deeper; He wants you to LIVE deeper. It’s I not enough to just “go there” in your mind and understanding. He wants you to learn how to LIVE in that deeper place, which is called abiding, and He wants you to LIVE OUT the deeper truths you learn, which is called obedience. These two principles will enable you to soar above the trappings of this world.
Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee as a crowd stood around Him to listen to the Word of God. He had a new and different message than that of the Pharisees and other religious leaders. It was positive, impactful, and freeing. They had never heard anything like it and flocked to Jesus, longing for more! Jesus saw some boats, and got into the one belonging to Peter, in order to put out a little, so the crowd could see Him as they sat down and listened. When He had finished speaking, the Bible says that Jesus said to Peter, “Put out into deeper water and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter, reluctant because they had fished all night, replied, “Master....but because You say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:1-11)
This defines what Living Deeper is all about: 1) a willingness through your reluctance to obey the Word of the Lord 2) a step of great faith that fully relies on God to bring the results 3) a launching out into the deep, with Jesus in the boat with you. [notice that it never says that Jesus got out]
A little later, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” He is saying that it is time to go deeper. A hurricane windstorm came against the boat, putting everyone in danger, but Jesus was asleep. The disciples wake Him up, and Jesus rebukes the winds and waves, saying to His disciples, “Where is your faith?” The waves and winds calm and the disciples were amazed. (Luke 8:22-25)
Living Deeper enables us to 1) trust that what God says, will come to pass [if Jesus said they were going to the other side, they would make it to the other side] 2) trust in God’s power, provision, and protection over us 3) learn to stay calm on the inside even if there is chaos on the outside, because He is with you and He will not fail you.
As time went by, because Living Deeper is a process, we see that Jesus sent the disciples on ahead of Him in boats, while He stayed and prayed. During the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the water, and Peter asked to walk to Him on the water. Peter walks on the water but sees the wind, and becomes afraid, and sinks. Jesus reaches out His hand and catches Him, saying, “Why did you doubt?” And when they climbed in the boat, the wind died down. (Matthew 14:22-36)
Living Deeper requires 1) an unrelenting focus on Jesus, 2) a fearless trust in the depths of God’s hand-gripping love for us, 3) an unreasonable stepping out towards Him when others would play it safe.
This is Living Deeper! And this is what God is calling us up to, and what I am encouraging to become our prioritized purposed! We can no longer simply live status quo! You are not going to make it, settling for status quo; not in the culture we are currently living in. We can also no longer simply desire to GO deeper. We must purpose to LIVE deeper, in obedience to His Word, His promptings, and His promises.
So the question becomes: are you ready to say to the Father, “I want to go deeper; I want to go further; I want more of You, Lord.” ?
Oh, how those few words would delight our Father!