The Deeper Life
I will be leading a “Deeper Life” intensive in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota on September 22nd and 23rd. If you are interested in joining us, we will be at Brooklyn Park Community Center, starting Saturday at 1 pm. For more information, contact us at effectiveheartchange.com or check out the Living Acts Church website.
As I think about the audacity, maybe even sheer arrogance of trying to lead a “Deeper Life” training time, I am a bit sheepish. What right do I have to lead that kind of time? And what should it even look like?
The people I know who would be the most qualified to lead such a time would be the least likely to set something like that up. The deeper life is simple. It is humble. The hyper spiritual seldom qualify. They are way too quick to call attention to themselves. More than I want to admit, that can be me.
I’m a brain guy. I have lots of ideas. And I can express those ideas in a way that intrigues others. But is that truly the deeper life? I have often pondered how Christianity survived so many years with the Bible mostly locked up in ancient languages and so few having access to the kind of thinking that we absolutely believe will transform people. Today, we have tens of thousands of books, tapes, and videos. Ideas are swirling. Is more intellectual exposition taking us into the deeper life? It doesn’t seem like it to me.
So what is the deeper life? Many times it comes out of suffering. It is all but impossible to be fully dedicated to God when we have all we need. When we are stretched to a breaking point and we are desperate for God, we tend to grow deeper. Deep dependency on the Spirit produces deeper lives.
Job was getting just about everything he wanted. He was righteous, but I don’t believe he was deep. When we are being continually blessed, our ego takes a great deal of the credit for our blessing. Job did that. He held onto his own righteousness—or did he take credit for his own righteousness? Until we are taken to the end of ourselves, it is all but impossible to believe that “apart from God, I can do nothing” (John 15:5).
To go deeper, He must increase. We must decrease. I also like the word “we.” The hyper spiritual person almost always sees an “I.” Those who truly do walk out a deeper life almost always have a community walking with them. Even if someone starts mostly alone, the life he or she is living will attract a community. But if someone starts too alone, he will probably never arrive. Jeremiah was mostly alone, but he did have a community. John the Baptist and Elijah would seem to be exceptions. But most men and women of God, don’t get there alone.
So how do we get there? Part of the path is study of the Word. Part is setting extended time to be with God and with others with God. Part of it is embracing the more difficult things that may come along if we choose to follow God. All who live godly will face persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). Part of it is finding our “I am” and living it. There is not a cookie cutter answer to the question.
The deeper life is consistency over time. It is stability and strength. It is wisdom gained. Sometimes through failure. Eventually, it is living effectively. Making a difference in the lives of others. That too often comes after trial and error. It really would be nice if it could all come so much quicker and easier.
So I can’t promise much at this deeper life intensive. I will try to be transparent. Genuine. Not claiming what I haven’t lived, but speaking what God shows me. We will worship together. Share together. Have a dedicated time to wait on God and to listen. At least I am hoping for more “we” listening time and less “me” talking time. We can go to a much deeper place than I could ever lead us … if we come into this time anticipating what He will speak and what He will do.
Come join us if you can. Or gather your own “we” group together. Our nation desperately needs more people choosing
a deeper walk in Him!