I’ve read of Abraham’s faith as he traveled through the desert; I’ve admired Peter’s passion as he stepped out on the water; I’ve marveled at the devotion of Paul in his letters. How I desire such faith, passion and devotion in my own life! Many of us have spiritual mentors that awe us by their faith and Christian walk as well. Yet what distinguishes the common Christian from the devout follower of Christ? It is not about our individual gifts or how much God loves us: at the end of the day we only get as deep as we dig.
The other day I asked a friend about the graduate program her husband began a year ago. I realized I did not know what he does on a daily basis. So I asked, “What is your husband’s program like? Does he have homework or is it mostly research? I guess I don’t really understand it.” My girlfriend inhaled a deep breath as she prepared to explain enthusiastically: “Well, I have always imagined it to be like this….” Her tone told me she had thought about this before and had a definite answer for my unexpected question. Before she could continue, I broke into laughter. “If you aren’t sure, why haven’t you asked him?” My friend laughed realizing how silly she sounded, especially considering he was sitting next to her at the time.
While she clearly knows her husband well, the point is that sometimes we don’t know because we didn’t ask; we don’t experience because we didn’t step out in faith; we don’t get the gold because we didn’t dig. We reap what we sow. Therefore, we only get as deep in our understanding of things as we are willing to go. When we question God’s truth or Biblical principles, we often fail to go to the source—and it may even be in the same room! The Bible is our ultimate resource, and while we may ponder over these questions, we are just wading in water or moving the dirt around—we are not getting any deeper until we begin to dig.
The thing that most distinguishes a common Christian from a devout follower of Christ is simply this: the devout follower dug deeper and got wetter. How deep will you dig? When your coworker who wronged you publicly is sick, will you send her a get-well card? When you feel prompted to tell a stranger of God’s love, will you approach him? When God asks you to give up coffee for a month, will you give it up for two months? He is asking you to follow Him, to dig deeper into His presence. But you will only get as deep as you are willing to dig.
“Lord, if you say go, we will go; if you say wait, we will wait. If you say step out on the water, and they say it can’t be done, we’ll fix our eyes on you and we will come.” -If You Say Go, Vineyard Music