Diving Deeper

 
“Yeah, he’s certified!” was the latest excitement at our house. Our oldest blessing had finished all the courses and water time. He was now SCUBA certified, all the more reason to enjoy Hawai’i. It was a good day.
 
He shared stories of all the amazing under-water creatures he encountered, the vast, turquoise-blue scene that could only be viewed from below…and also the grin he managed one day when Japanese tourists were happily snapping pictures of him and his instructor from a nearby boat. Who knows? He might be splashed all over the pages of Asia by now. (We laugh because in the past three years he has somehow managed to grace our church’s website for a spell, found his way into a couple of Navy publications, and recently encountered his picture which had been printed, hopefully in edible icing, onto a cake and posted on Facebook. The boy gets his beautiful mug in or on all sorts of media!)
 
Due to all the increased excitement over SCUBA at our house, the kids and I found ourselves discussing its correlation to our relationship with the Lord. It raised a few viable questions and provided an opportunity to delve into deep thought, or at least as deep as one can go with a seven year old leading the way.
 
What if we owned fabulous SCUBA gear, all the certifications necessary, yet we maintained our position at the surface, never diving down to enjoy that which was at deeper levels?  Wouldn’t it be a pity? Wouldn’t it be a shame, wasting all that oxygen, energy, and gear on a surface, or snorkeling, experience? We’d miss all the beauty and gems which lay in the depths. We’d miss much.
 
A similar correlation could be made concerning some Christians’ relationships with the Lord. All those who are truly Christians are saved and have every ounce of oxygen necessary to survive, they carry the born-again accreditation due to acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice and have the necessary “equipment” at their disposal through His grace, His mercy, the Word, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, healing, deliverance, and the likes. However, some followers choose to hover at the surface of this amazing relationship, failing to dive into the depths of the waters of the Holy Spirit. They put on the gear and kick around under their own power, glancing below but staying far above. They are afraid to let go, never “diving” into the depths of trust in their relationship. As a consequence, they miss the treasures and gems in the dive below.
 
That is the area of ministry the Lord burns deep within me, it is the desire to encourage others to dive deeper with Him. It is a call for spiritual SCUBA divers, not snorkelers.
 
Throw off those fears and plunge my friends. Leave self-fulfillment, fear, control, “What about me?” and those other hindrances behind as you experience the gems He has in store for you under the depths. Dive and experience the depth of His love as it is poured out. It’s more than OK, really!
 
Many give their lives to Jesus for salvation, but how many of us give our lives daily, for the day-to-day choices? How many of us awaken each day and say, “What do you want me to do today, Lord?” How many of us are truly saddened by the sin in our hearts? How many of us are truly “hot” for the Lord and our future plans show it? How many of us realize that someone else’s eternity may hinge upon our diving today…
 
Come along with me, won’t you? Let’s go diving. Let’s trust Him, citing Prov. 3:3-5. Let’s give all of “us” to him, including the day-to-day decisions, the plans for the future, the burning within our hearts. Let’s move forward, plunging through the fear that so vehemently attempts to stop us. Let’s lay the simple view aside that our ability offers, diving into the beauty of an in-depth walk with Lord instead.
 Let’s go and see in ways we never imagined before.  His gems and beauty await.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
   Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
   your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
   give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
   your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
   don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
   a father’s delight is behind all this.
 
Proverbs 3:5-12 THE MESSAGE
If you want something “more” to this Christian walk, make that decision today. He will honor you when you give up control. Set your heart in front of the Lord in prayer. Spend time there on a regular basis simply talking. Pick up that Bible and read each day. Seek the counsel of His Holy Spirit. He is faithful to love on you and guide you with the utmost care.
 
About a year into my Christian walk, I asked the Lord for more. I wanted the depths I saw in several Christians who surrounded me. They were different from most, they were set apart and there was an anointing that had depth all over it.
 
I knew there needed to be more of Him in my daily decisions and less of me for this time on earth, otherwise I wasn’t too certain I’d stay with Christianity. He had given me eternity, yet I needed something for my time on earth. The first year felt too much like following a set of rules and “playing” church. That wasn’t my gig. A real, SCUBA-style relationship with the Lord, however, was.
 
That prayer to dive deeper, to have “more”, was the beginning. It could be correlated to plunging over the side of the boat, utilizing His oxygen for daily life, and diving into the depths of His waters. It was a thrill, there was a steadfastness, and it was strength….and He and I have not looked back.
 
It’s been sixteen years since that prayer was lifted to God Almighty, it’s been that many years of SCUBA diving and every one of them has been wonderful. How about you?  Are you ready to plunge into more of the Lord? Are you hall we?ready to go SCUBA diving? Let’s do it!
 
Lord,
I love you and desire to dive deeper in the things of You. I want to  plunge into the depths with You, so my life is Yours. Guide me with the wisdom of Your Holy Spirit starting right now. I give You permission, Lord. Burn within me the desires of Your heart that I might acknowledge them and walk in Your will. Give me vision for the future, through Your eyes. Let’s go SCUBA diving!
I love You.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen
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