Jubilee Weekly June 20, 2017

“Do You Have Spiritual Depth”

Recently I received a small book of meditations from the ministry of Chuck Swindall. It is entitled “Faith For the Journey.” I just finished reading the meditation entitled “Going Deep”. In it, Chuck quotes Richard Foster, who wrote

“Superficiality is the curse of our age,
the desperate need today is not for a
greater number of intelligent people
or gifted people, but for deep people.”

I lifted out of the quote this statement —
“The desperate need today is for deep people.”

Chuck asked this question —
“In what ways are you living on the surface in your relationship with God?
How can you begin to go deeper?”

Do you want to have depth spiritually?
I ask that because there are Christians who are satisfied with “shallow.”

 They are frequently self-centered.
 They want their own way.
 They scheme to get things their own way.
 They don’t often think of how they impact others.

Our Heavenly Father designed us for intimacy with Him and others. Spiritual depth doesn’t just happen. It happens as we choose to seek Him and spend time with Him.

I love Deuteronomy 4:28, It describes my own desire to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ.

“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

There is so much about our God to discover and experience and enjoy. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:6) Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

 Do you hunger to know Jesus Christ more deeply?
 Do you thirst for a greater intimacy with Him?

Sometimes our Lord allows a crisis to take place in our lives, to bring us to a deeper intimacy with Him.

In my own life He used the death of my first wife to draw me closer to Him. During her illness He revealed things to me about myself that I would not have faced before. In the midst of all this, he reminded me again and again that He loved me and wanted the best for me.

Joyce and I have been married fifty-two years and for most of those years, her health has been like a roller-coaster. In spite of that, we have developed an intimacy with our Lord and each other that is so special. In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul tells how three times he asked the Lord to remove his thorn and each time the Lord said, “No. my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I am certain that I have called on the Lord more than three times to heal Joyce and each time, He gives me the same answer He gave Paul.

The conversation goes something like this — “Leonard, haven’t I always been there for you? Haven’t I shown you my love again and again? Isn’t my grace sufficient for you?”

I want to believe I am on the same track as Paul when he responded, “Therefore
most gladly, I will rather boast of my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest
on me.” (vs. 9)

Have you allowed your adversities to make you bitter or better? Have you gone
deeper in your faith relationship with Christ or have you remained shallow?
In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul sums it up by saying: “Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Ken Boa, in his masterful work, “Conformed to His Image” wrote: “For years I have desired the ability to sit before the keyboard of a piano and make glorious music. But my craving to do so has never been matched by my willingness to invest the time, energy and discipline to make it happen. Only those who pay this price have the freedom to make this instrument sing. Thus, discipline is the pathway to freedom rather than bondage.”

Jesus had a passion to please the Father. In John 8:29, He said, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

Our Lord was engaged in solitude, silence, simplicity, study, prayer, and sacrificial service and fasting. He knew that disciplines, such as these, were necessary for Him to enjoy the kind of intimacy with the father that he longed for.

I pray that each of us will take whatever steps necessary to develop depth spiritually in our walk with our lord.

For His glory
Pastor Leonard