Friday, July 29, 2016

The Deeper You Dig The More Rocks You Uncover

I've been doing a lot of digging lately - in my crawlspace, for a fire-pit, to bury an unfortunate groundhog and other yard projects.  I am sure you have dug a hole at some time too. Well, I've had a few spiritual insights as I have been digging.
  1. the deeper you dig the more rocks you uncover
  2. the deeper you dig the more other dirt falls into your hole
  3. the deeper you dig the more narrow your hole becomes
As I have considered these thoughts with sweat dripping off of my pinky fingers and elbows I realized that digging a hole is very much like the Christian life.  I'll consider these three points in this and some upcoming posts.

The deeper you dig the more rocks you uncover.  It is no shock early in our Christian life to realize we need to work on some issues in our lives.  God guides us through the Holy Spirit to become aware of and deal with some hurts, habits and hang-ups (thank you Celebrate Recovery).  Then it seems like we should be set for smooth sailing for the rest of our Christian lives.

Well, if we just stay on the surface of our faith then we really do not encounter many other spiritual issues in our lives - although they are there, like the buried rocks, we are just choosing to ignore them.  Unfortunately, these buried rocks tend to be attitudes and actions which are probably apparent to everyone else around us - unforgiveness, jealousy, pride, gossip, etc.  In the parable of the sower Jesus referred to these issues as seed sown among thorns which could not mature (Luke 8:14).  These kinds of plants are still in the garden but they are incapable of bearing fruit and are probably hindering the growth of other potentially fruitful plants.

Many Christians begin to dig deeper in their walk and then stop when they realize that God is exposing something in them which is deep-seated and comfortably familiar for them.  The apostle Peter ran into this issue when God challenged him to let go of his prejudice against Gentiles.  In Acts 10 God leads Peter through the process of identifying a large rock which was preventing him from going deeper in his faith and then removing it.  Listen to what Peter says in Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right."

There is no doubt that God calls us to grow in our faith, to dig deeper into the Bible, prayer and our personal walks.  As Peter was ending his second epistle he closed with these words "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen" 2 Peter 3:18.  When we are digging deeper and we encounter a rock we can give up, or we can talk to God and others about how to get rid of the rock which is blocking us from being useful to God and others.

I'll cover "the deeper you dig the more other dirt falls in your hole" in my next post.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 
continue to live your lives in him, 
rooted and built up in him, 
strengthened in the faith as you were taught, 
and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7