Entering the Depths
Wade E Taylor
Many of us have formed an opinion of what a particular person was like. Then when we met them, they were totally different than we had thought. This was due to a "perceived" knowledge from which we formed an opinion without having "experientially" known them.
We cannot explain the fact that God had no beginning, or how He will deal with those who never heard the Gospel. We are not called to understand these things. Rather, we are called to worship and faith.
If we understood God, He would be no bigger than our understanding. That indeed would be a very small God.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts
than your thoughts" Isa 55:8-9.
Rather than information about God, it is the foundational doctrines along with an active faith and trust, which has been built upon a personal relationship with our Creator, that establishes us upon a rock-solid foundation. As our spiritual life is built upon this foundation and the Lord begins to take us beyond these doctrinal basics, there is a "deep" within the heart of God that reaches out toward the spiritual capacity which He has created within us.
Even though we may not sense that this "deep" is within us, it is there. When it is stirred by the Lord, there is the ever present danger that we will seek some other means to satisfy it. We often become so taken up with information about the Lord that we do not come to the Lord Himself and allow Him to bring us into the experience of personally knowing Him. We stop short of experiential knowledge.
"When they therefore were come together, they
asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this
time restore again the kingdom to
The disciples were seeking the external, rather than a change within their lives. Many today are doing the same, seeking an adjustment in their social arrangements, rather than facing their real need which is within and from which, those things that are external will find their adjustment or correction.
The Apostle Paul saw beyond the limitations of his natural life and reached for the higher eternal things. Although he had "counted" all things but loss, the time came when he said, "I have suffered the loss of all things." He could accept this because all that he desired had been lifted from the natural to the spiritual and here, he found the satisfaction that he had so intensely sought.
John W Follette, who never married, had a unique relationship to the Lord. While in His home one time, I noticed that he had placed three settings on the table. When I questioned it, he said "I always set a place for the Lord, then I invite Him to sit at the table with me while I partake of my meal." He was able in a practical, yet profound in his way of fellowship with the Lord, even during the necessary occupations of life. He also had found the satisfaction and fulfillment he was created for.
The disciples had asked Jesus about the Kingdom being
As Jesus came up out of the waters of baptism, the heavens opened and His Father said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Immediately, "Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness being forty days tempted of the Devil" After this, the Word tells us that "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit" Luke 4:1-2a,14.
Notice that He had gone into the wilderness in the FULLNESS of the Spirit, but returned in the POWER of the Spirit.
Power is the result of a right response to our being tested and proven. To be tested and come through victoriously will produce this empowering, which is broad in its scope and creates within us the ability to go deeper in the Lord.
As we obey the Lord, the result of our obedience produces within us grace in the form of enabling strength, which makes it yet easier to obey. If we disobey, it becomes easier for us to disobey, as a "hardness" sets in within us and we fail to hear His voice.
Our obeying the Lord and receiving His blessing does not mean that we will never have a problem again. After experiencing a time of remarkable blessings and provisions, things may get worse. The Lord will test us to see if we are capable of rightly handling what we have already received, and if He might trust us with more.
We may then experience a further ongoing time of being tested and proven, to bring us into the depths of our knowing Him as He desires, and of His knowing the limits to which He can trust us.
As we come to better understand His desire for this close relationship, we will be able to fully trust Him, even when we may not understand.