I am sure you, like me, have heard Christians say, “I want to go deeper”. And when I have asked them, “what do you mean, deeper?” They usually say something about “more praise and worship, or deeper bible teaching”. But when I pry more to find out what “deeper bible teaching” is, they really can’t tell me exactly. But if I continue to dig I find out - it is sometimes, that they come from a Charismatic background and want to see the “gifts of the spirit in operation”. (That’s a subject for another blog at a later time)
There are some teachers who teach verse by verse using greek and hebrew, or some, like me, teach from Old Testament and New Testament stories and pull the life lesson we learn from it, or what I like to call the “useable life applicable portion”… in other words, what does they bible mean for me today, in the 21st Century! Neither style is wrong, just different. I guess I honestly don’t care about the dimensions of Noah’s Ark; but what I do want to know is what I can learn from Noah’s life story… how his experiences relate to my experiences here and now.
I think we pastors must always be aware of those who are coming to our services… for us, we have all types; some long-time Christian, some non-believers, some new believers, and some anti-Christians (believe it or not).
For some Christians, church is all about them. They forget about all the “new believers or non-believers” who sit in a Sunday service soaking up every part of the service and it’s our (Christians) responsibility to serve them. Jesus, the most mature and spiritual believer who has ever walked the planet said, “He came to serve NOT BE SERVED”. He gave of Himself, which is what we should do as “mature” Christian … give of ourselves to help people who do not know Christ. I look at it like this; I have just one life to live here on earth, approx 90 -100 years worth, and I've got a job to do... when I get to heaven I will have eternity to "go deeper" and learn all the mysterious stuff of the Bible, but now... I am on a mission!
I have a heart and desire to grow as well as anyone who hungers for God… therefore I take responsibility for my growth and read. But can I just tell you, I haven’t heard a sermon, even after I had been to Bible College (and learned it all – ha), as simple as it may have been that I wasn’t challenged at some level. I am not living 100% perfect… therefore any sermon I hear challenges me in some area of my life to do better.
I think what we get from a message, is pretty much based on what kind of heart I have. If you have a teachable open, humble heart, you will receive so much from God, but if you have a prideful, religious, self-centered heart… not much can penetrate that.
Bible’s translation of “Deeper” – is a more committed relationship to Jesus Christ, which is a life committed to LOVING our neighbor as our selves! Going deeper should lead us to treating people with more love and respect. Deeper is being more like Jesus in every-way! Using your gifts to help other people is going deeper! Serving in the local church is going deeper. Going deeper is the responsibility of each believer!
Someday, when each of us stands before God to be judged for our lives He will not say, “So, Joe Smith, how did your church help you go deeper?” No, He will say something like, “Joe Smith, what did YOU do to grow spiritually, and how did you serve those around you?”
My opinion on the whole “deeper” thing is that it’s pointless to learn “new” deeper things in the bible until we are able to live the most basic and important of commands – LOVE!