A number years ago during one of my visits to a ministry here in my area, a woman about my age shared a vision she had of me as we all waited on the Lord in prayer. In the vision, she said she saw me standing on a beach and I was contemplating stepping into the ocean. The only problem was that I didn't know where to step in. She said that she understood the ocean to represent the "Deep" (Lord) and that I wanted to go in, but was unsure of how to go about it. In her beautiful Australian accent, she said, "Just step in and there you are! You're in it."
Sounds simple, doesn't it? But how many people do you know who don't have any idea how to get into a personal relationship with the Lord? Probably more people than we think. I've seen the blank looks on faces occasionally when I encourage people to develop a personal relationship with Him. They have no idea where to start - how to step into the Deep. And I can certainly empathize with them. Been there, done that...as the much over-used saying goes.
You probably already know that there's no special formula, just as there's no special formula for how you talk to your children or parents. There are no instructions to follow, no certain people to meet or study under, no diploma or certificate that qualifies, no elaborate do-da that has to occur before you talk with them. You simply talk. Right? And you simply listen. You get to know them by 'wading into the water' with them. And there you are. You're in it.
How many people do you know that only want you or someone else to pray "out loud" in a gathering, regardless of the size? Why, it might just be you and one other "no-thanks-you-pray" person who is afraid to talk directly to God in front of people. That person might even be afraid to talk to Him when they're all alone, too. That is incredibly sad. How can people who say they are Christians be afraid to talk to their Creator? We all have to get into the relationship while we're here, don't we? If we don't, isn't it possible that we will hear Jesus say, "Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness. You never knew ME." Scary thought, huh? Yeah. It sure is. So why are folks so afraid to 'step into the water'?
Could it be because we've made it too difficult? Could it be that people spend too much time comparing their relationships or their Christian walks with others, when that is not something we should be doing at all? What happens when children compare the relationships their siblings have with their parents to their own relationships with their parents? Comparisons with others usually leaves someone feeling inadequate, unloved or unwanted. It's a recipe for disaster.
Speaking of recipes, I read this really good story in a Chicken Soup For The Soul book today. (Nice segue, huh?) The author is a man by the name of John Holt. John started playing cello a number of years ago. His point was that, even during the learning process, he was playing the cello. Maybe not with the greatest skill, of course. Nevertheless, he was playing. Many people, he says, would say that he was "learning to play", implying that there are two different processes in cello-playing. Process one is the learning-to-play process. Process two is the actual playing. Ridiculous, isn't it? I never thought of it this way before, but this man is right. There are not two processes, just one. We learn to do something by DOING it. We may improve (hopefully) in the things we endeavor to do, but once we start, we are actually doing it.
It's the same with getting into the water. Step into the ocean. When you put your feet into the water, you are wet. Once you get wet, you are wet. As you move forward (practice, listen, pray - whatever) you may get more water on you, but you were wet from the moment you stepped in, right? The principle is the same. When we step into the relationship with Jesus, we're in. It's a start. But the fact of the matter is that we're in. Eventually, if we continue to move forward in our relationship with Him, we will one day look around and see that we're actually out in the deep water. Deep calls to deep, (God is the capital 'D' in Deep and we're the little 'd' in deep, by the way...) And all we had to do was step in and keep moving forward. Amazing, isn't it? And there you are. You're in it.
So, right now I'm going to pray with you in this blog. Join me, if you want to. Let's get wetter!
Father, I'm so glad that You are God. Thank You for being Holy. Even Your name is Holy - that is what Jesus told us. Thank You for being so patient with us, for loving us and calling us out into the Deep. Lord please teach us how to swim in Your love completely, with abandon, beautifully and unashamedly. Teach us how to float in Your tender care. We trust that You are the Admiral of the High Seas and You alone know how to preserve our lives on this thrilling journey that You have called us to take with You. So, let the waves of Your Holy Spirit wash over us, preparing and strengthening us for the next adventure with You. And the next one, and the next one, and the next.... Bring us to where You are, Almighty Holy God. As we step from the hot dry sands of the world into the cool refreshing waters of Your love, soak us with You, Lord. Soak us completely. Drench us with the beauty of You. Wave after wave after wave of You, dear God. Holy God. Precious Jesus. Strong and Mighty and Beautiful Yeshua Ha'Mashiach. Powerful Holy Spirit. Drown us in You until every cell is filled with You and only You. Dear God, I'm asking for this for all of these readers who want it. I'm asking for it for me, too, Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Dear beloved friends. And there you are. You're in it.