I have to confess my guilty pleasure: I love the T.V. show American Idol. I love music and I also love to watch people blossom and step up into their gifts and talents. I’m really going to miss AI after this season. A comment that one of the judges made recently really stuck with me. One of the singers had finished a song with a very strong rhythm, and the judge told him that, while he sang it very well, he didn’t dig down into the song’s rhythm as deeply as he could have. He told the singer that he “floated over the rhythm.” It wasn’t that he completely messed up his performance, but the song could have been even better—even richer had he settled into the song’s groove.
Within my spirit, I heard the question, “Are you floating over your relationship with Me?” And I had to admit, “Yes Lord, I am.” Then another question: “Are you willing to go deeper?” “Yes Lord, I am.”
Throughout history, God used people who had a deep, abiding relationship with Him to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. Men like Abraham and Moses, whom God called His friend (James 2:23; Exodus 33:11), and David, of whom the Lord said, “He is a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). He used men like Daniel who “humbled himself before God” (Daniel 10:12). He used those who believed His words (John 17:8), and who were full of the Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3). He chose men who were willing to suffer for His name (Acts 9:16). Each of these men (and women) were different, with unique abilities and roles in God’s plan. But they also had some things in common – deeper things that you and I can have as well.
These servants had deep conviction—1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 says that the believers in Thessalonica accepted the gospel with deep conviction. “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” By definition, the Thessalonians accepted the truth of the gospel with “great and full assurance” that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises. Do you have a deep conviction that Jesus Christ is exactly who He claimed to be?
They also “kept hold of the deep truths of the faith” (1 Timothy 3:5-emphasis added). The Christian faith was very new and very radical, and often difficult to comprehend. Many believers were content with just a basic knowledge, much like those whom the writer of Hebrews described as “slow to learn”—which actually meant that they were lazy and undisciplined. But some sought out and clung to deeper truths. They searched the Scriptures, talked through the concepts, and wrote to Paul seeking clarification—his replies make up the bulk of the New Testament. Are you content with a basic understanding of the Bible? Are you willing to invest yourself in searching out deeper truths in the Scriptures?
The great people of the Bible also allowed the Spirit to reveal to them “the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). We’re not talking here about knowing a lot of information about God, we’re talking about knowing God. All through the Scriptures, God declared that He wanted His people to “know” Him, and the word used in both the Hebrew and the Greek speaks of an intimate relationship, specifically the marital relationship of a husband and wife. God desires that level of intimacy with us. Deeply, passionately, knowing one another to the fullest extent. But here is what sets this apart: the root word from which the phrase “deep things of God” is taken means: “deep, (as a time of day), very early in the morning.” Consider this Scripture:
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
How did Jesus maintain an intimate connection with His Father? He stole away “very early in the morning” to pray, to talk with His Father and to hear what His Father would say to Him. This is the deeper place God wants to take me—a deeper intimacy through prayer, early in the morning when the world is still and quiet and I’m not already distracted by a thousand other things. How about you? Are you seeking the deep things of God through a deep and intimate prayer connection? Will you join me early in the morning?
From deep conviction, and deep truth, and an intimate connection to the deep things of God, we are then enveloped with a deep love. This love can’t be generated within us, it has to come from a deeper source. Paul wrote of his hope that the Ephesian believers would be “rooted and established in love, [and have] power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19). God’s love is truly immeasurable, and Paul is not trying to put parameters around His love, but rather to express the immenseness of it. He is trying to define the indefinable in a way that will hopefully help us better understand its vastness.
Peter presents the second facet of this deep love in two verses:
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
This deep love emanates from God and flows out to others. It is what we could call “holy love,” a pure, deep, genuine love that is a continuous stream from God to us to one another. It is the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23).
I am no longer content to float over my relationship with God. I want to go deeper in every way. I pray you are stirred with a yearning for deep conviction, deep truth, deep intimacy and deep love. We’ll never scratch the surface of all God has for us in this life, but we can go deeper with Him along the way.
Holy Father, light a fire within our souls to go to the depths with you. Make us unwilling to settle for a surface faith and knowledge without deep truth and holy love. Take us deeper Lord, till nothing satisfies but You. Amen.