Living for God is filled with amazing experiences. When I started my journey to know Jesus Christ over twenty years ago, I was scared and broken, but God’s love restored me and made me a new person.
However, knowing God isn’t enough. We love the comforts of having a sweet relationship with God, but we can get too comfortable with having a relationship that doesn’t require much on our part. We enjoy the benefits of being followers of Christ. We may think; He doesn’t require much of us, yet He does. God wants us to go deep with Him, but if we ignore Him, our relationship with Him will fail to produce good fruit.
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit”
(Matthew 7:17, KJV).
We may go to church faithfully, listen to worship music, listen to the preacher, and sometimes pray, and then we go home, priding ourselves on doing God’s work. But did we do what God called us to do? When God talked to us, did we listen? Was a sacrifice of obedience made? If the answer is “no,” our relationship with God is in danger of being shallow, dying, or broken because we got comfortable doing mundane things.
When king David inquired about a threshing floor to build an altar for the Lord from Araunah the Jebusite, Araunah refused David’s payment for the place; instead, he wanted to give it to David for free, but David refused.
“And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (II Samuel 24:24, KJV).
Living for God requires sacrifice. David refused to offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. God takes pleasure in the sacrifices we make.
“Gather my saints together unto me; Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psalm 50:5, KJV).
We want to stay where we are when God calls us to a deeper place with Him that requires sacrifice and discomfort.
Often, going into the deep can be painful because it is a place of growth. We don’t want to grow; we want to stay comfortable—not moving forward or backward. But God is calling us to go deeper with Him to do what He has called us to do on this earth.
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:15-17, KJV).
Going into the deep requires commitment, faith, patience, endurance, and transparency. You must lose yourself so Christ can be glorified. When you go into the deep with Jesus, you deny yourself everything you want. Your desire no longer matters because you’re living wholeheartedly for Christ.
Here are several examples of people who went into the deep, and God blessed them for their sacrifice:
- Abraham went into the deep when he decided to follow God and separate himself from his nephew, Lot, to do the will of God.
- Paul went into the deep when he had his Damascus conversion and decided, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21, KJV).
- The prophet Isaiah decided to go into the deep, even though the children of Israel wanted to kill him. He was determined to say and do what God called him to do.
- Elijah went into the deep when he decided that he would rather serve God than live corruptly.
- Esther decided to go into the deep when she would rather die with her people than watch her people die in vain.
- The three Hebrew children decide to go into the deep when they would not bow down to the gods of King Nebuchadnezzar.
- Peter went into the deep when he said we should obey God rather than man in response to the Pharisees who told him not to preach in the name of Jesus.
I could go on and on with stories of people in the Bible and modern-day people who decided to go into the deep.
Nona Freeman and her husband decided to go to Africa and spread the good news. Lucille Farmer, a single mother, went to Ecuador when no one else would go there to start a church. It was the same country where Jim Elliott tried to spread the gospel but lost his life to the indigenous people.
Evangelist Willie Johnson, who came from an abusive home and was sold by her mother to an extremely abusive husband, was on the verge of suicide when she heard voices at a Pentecostal church singing praises to God.
She dedicated her life to Christ and went into the deep to serve God and bless many with her ministry.
William J. Seymour broke racial barriers as he preached the gospel. His ministry produced a great revival that is talked about to this day. All of these amazing people went into the deep and came out victorious. Now they are singing and dancing on the streets of gold.
We live in a nation where we have the liberty to walk into a church building, sit down to enjoy beautiful, anointed music, and listen to godly preaching without fear that our church will be ambushed by radicals who oppose Christ. It’s easy to enjoy comfortable positions and nice church services without doing what God requires of us. Often God speaks to us, and we refuse to listen and obey Him.
Today is the day to tell God, “I am willing to go into the deep with You. I will do what You ask of me.” When we decide that we’re going into the deep with God, we know there is a “better resurrection,” as stated in Hebrews 11:35.
Tips for going into the deep with God:
- Learn to recognize the voice of God
- Pray in the Spirit
- Ask God what He wants you to do during every church service
- Listen and learn to obey God’s voice
- If God tells you to pray for a sister in the Lord, do it.
- Find and use the Gifts of the Spirit that God has given you
Going into the deep requires sacrifice, prayer, transparency, and faith to live in a dark world that has rejected Jesus. Going into the deep means, we will step out of our comfort zone and listen to the voice of the Father telling us to go forth and spread the gospel and be who He called us to be.
We will not please God with a 10 percent commitment. Jesus didn’t give 10 percent of Himself on the cross; He gave us 100 percent. In return, let’s give God our all!