Going deeper. When we use this phrase what we’re saying is that we want to go beyond the surface down into the rich soil of discovery. When we say “deeper” we’re saying that we want to uncover the more complex nuances that hide out of plain sight but which are the stimuli for the things that are produced.
That’s what I have heard said (and what I’ve said myself for many years) by many Christians about their faith journey. We want to go deeper; Beyond the fundamentals of faith; Dig down into Scripture and find the theological complex ideas and hard teachings that will open our eyes to new truths and spur our faith toward greater trust in God.
Paul encourages as much in many of his letters. To the Ephesians he writes:
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. -Eph. 4:22-24
And to the Romans he says this:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Rom. 12:1-2
Deeper. Put off the sinful nature; Asking God to renew your attitudes; Depending more on God to make you like his Son. Deeper. Giving your whole self to worship; have your mind transformed by the Spirit, day by day.
Here are some thoughts on what “going deeper” should mean.
One – Ask God to reveal to you where you’re being disobedient. We may want more depth but we haven’t been obedient to Christ in the fundamentals. We want spiritual meat but we haven’t been weaned off the milk. We are dishonest. We have bad tempers. We lust. We judge others. We have a lack luster prayer life. We are selfish with our time or money. We are disrespectful to our spouse. We know many Bible verses but we don’t gather to worship with other believers or serve them. These are what some might call ‘basics.’ If you want to go deeper, ask God to reveal to you the places where you haven’t been obedient.
Two – Take ownership of your spiritual journey. For mature Christians, going to a church service should be one of least spiritually deep things you do all week. Giving, communal worship, serving one another, encouraging other believers, hearing from God’s Word, taking the Lord’s Supper—those things take place with the community gathering with other believers. It’s a crucial part of our faith and worship. However, Christians should be seeking the Spirit’s transformation through continuous Bible study, personal worship, serving those in need, listening to podcasts or reading books which spur on your mind and heart. We should be developing a rich prayer life and spending time with other believers in accountability, community, and prayer. If you want to go deeper take your Monday-Saturday and offer your body as a living sacrifice. Then, come to Sunday ready to share with others what God is up to.
Three – Continuously depend on the Gospel. Pride is the number one killer of our spiritual growth and the spiritual impact we could have in the lives of others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is, simply put, the good news that God came to earth to renew all things and save us for heaven! The simple beauty of that should never get old. You and I need grace daily. We rest in it. We thrive in it. Grace moves us forward in faith. God loves you. You are not getting to heaven based on what you know or what you do. You’re getting to heaven because of your faith in Jesus. You and I will never outgrow or graduate beyond needing that reminder every day. It’s the most fundamental and profound truth anyone could ever hear. Seek to understand that more and you will grow deeper toward God’s heart day by day.
Growing with you,
White Oak Christian Church