Going deeper in God.
It sounds so easy. So simple.
Like all you have to do, is just pick up your Bible and read it or go down on your knees and just pray or say grace, no? After, all isn’t that what constitutes a typical two-way communication with God?
But what about those spiritually desert-dry days? Those days where your lips can’t even utter a simple prayer over your meals, let alone read a whole chapter in the Bible? The days when you feel so distant from God where you can’t even mumble a simple “Thank you Lord”? The days you feel like venting and complaining to God; or worse – you are angry at God?
Like I said, it has never been easy, and clearly there’s nothing new under the sun, so it’s never going to be as easy as a walk in the park.
Because we are human – fleshly and carnal-minded.
We are greatly, instantaneously and subconsciously drawn to the things of the world – the things that focus and centre on us, the ones which draw the attention of mammoth crowds towards us, things which please us (even if only but for a moment. Yet,while we say we love Him, we so easily shy away from and shun the things of God, things that please Him, those which glorify Him and which last for eternity, those that edify us and make us more like Him.
Furthermore, it’s not merely about doing what we are called to do, but also about our motives of carrying out those duties and obligations.
So, we need to ask ourselves :
For who’s glory and pleasure are we doing it?
So, back to going deeper. Here’s an analogy I got the other day:
Imagine a tree’s roots when they are just beginning to sprout (not sure if that applies to roots, but, oh well! You get the point).
Anyway, at the young stage, they are tender and fragile. They need to be handled with care. Any rocks around them may damage them and seriously hinder their growth. Furthermore, they are shallow in taking root in the soil/ground.
As they “feed” on the water and take in mineral nutrients from the soil, they grow more rigid and consequently get established further downwards. The view of the surface slowly diminishes as they focus on growth way into the soil, where there are more nutrients; where they can provide great anchorage and support to the trunk which hosts the branches that bear fruit. The tender outer surfaces become more compact and rough to allow for sufficient and efficient penetration into the soil.
The deeper into the soil they go, the less of the surface is visible to them.
But here’s the thing, down there is where they find even larger rocks than on the surface – boulders. But as roots they are meant to overcome the obstacles along their path by going around or sometimes over them. It’s not easy, but they must keep on growing. They must fulfill their purpose of anchorage and channelling water and nutrients to cater for production of fruit.
And without the soil the roots cannot provide sufficient and adequate anchorage as is required.
Going deeper requires focus and commitment and discipline of the highest order.
That’s how it’s meant to be in our walk with God.
The deeper you go in Him, the less focus you place on carnal things, and the more firm and rigid you are in Him. You are able to anchor your whole life, even those of people around you, as you also bear lots of fruit.
As you stretch deeper, you find even tougher challenges than before, which acts as a means to help you grow in your walk and faith,but you must overcome them. As you feed and gain strength from God through His Word and constant fellowship with Him, you are (on top of being anchored in Him) able to support and sharpen others and even bear fruit. Good fruit. Pleasing fruit.
As an infant, you are fragile and mostly linger on the surface: on the basic stuff with God. But as you grow you start feeding on the bones (solid food) apart from the milk. You start becoming rigid and stronger so as to overcome the hurdles along your path of growth and intimacy with the Lord. You bear more pleasing and acceptable fruit for Him.
The biggest mistake we make is choosing to stay as infants!
DO NOT CONFORM…
One thing that captures me when I think of David is his intimacy with God. The way he describes the Lord with so much passion, beauty and zeal, showed the abundance of the Lord in his heart, how intimate their relationship was and how deep-set he was in it.
First thing to note, God doesn’t have favouritism. So, when we get to understand the story of David and how God Himself called him a man after His own heart, (because, Mahn! This guy was really in love with the Lord) we know that it was not because he was God’s favourite. As much as David truly desired God’s presence in his life always, he fell hard, a number of times for that matter – which goes to show the he was as human as one could be.
But, here’s the remarkable thing, when he fell, he never sulked and focused on his “mighty fall”, but instead picked himself up and worked towards mending his broken relationship as well as growing in God at whatever cost.
That’s how he grew deeper in God!
Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, Do not be conformed to this world, [which shows that it is easy for us to follow or allow ourselves to be consumed by “the patterns of this world” just like David was] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Yes we fall and fail, but we need to allow God to transform us, from where it all begins. Our minds!
We need to purpose to grow in Him, to be more intimate with Him and be committed to that purpose.
This commitment is then showcased, more often than not, through testing. We need to show through actions, this love that we profess to God so that any form of lip service to Him may be completely nullified.
Let you actions profess what your lips confess.
So, daily, we have to make a choice of whether we WANT to know and live out the will of God or whether we will gratify the desires of our flesh and thus give ourselves unto the world.
The Lord and the world are at enmity. If you want to go deeper in God you have to be at enmity with the world too. You have to sacrifice your yearn for self gratification and being under the spotlight for His exaltation which eventually leads to you being glorified for his glory.
Remember, every good thing comes at a cost!
Now, I don’t mean that you should start condemning and judging people on top of your refusal to eat and put on clothes since they are “of the world” . My friend, you will die, not as s martyr, but…….of hunger and cold!
What I mean is, for you to be spiritually alert, in the sense that you focus more on the voice of God and things pertaining to Him at the expense of the carnal things; especially your fleshly desires. Being like Mary as in Luke 10:42 and following Matthew 6:33.
In short, do not be controlled or guided by the things of this world, but rather by God!
So, whether you are a new-born, an infant, in the process of maturing or you are a spiritual mentor to others, you must continue to grow. You still have to ensure your well/tank is never empty and is always overflowing to others around you and this calls for purpose, commitment, discipline and focus on Him who gives strength and “who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose”.
Above all, as you purpose to grow do it for the RIGHT REASONS – out of sincerity and love for He who loved us first!
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Finally, going deeper in God, is a journey, not a one time event. Even when you unintentionally go on a detour, you MUST go back to the original route for you to reach your destination – which is to be with the King, in Heaven!
1st Kings 19:30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.
With diligence, and His grace which is sufficient, we will take root and bear fruit.
Baraka tele (many blessing)!