Take us deeper today. Bring us out of the shallows and lead us into the dimensions that are provided for us in Jesus, Your Son. Help us no longer to associate the idea of our maturing in the faith with the simple belief that we must grow deeper in what we have already learned. Help all of your children to know that you have places that You will take us to which we have never been, depths that we have not even considered. Help us to think of our spiritual growth as not only going deeper down but also going farther out. We seem to love to play it safe and stay close to the shore. So few of us are risking in going in past their ankles, much less to their knees or up to their waists. Lord we love to stare at the depths from the safety of the shoreline where we have our books and our deeply religious moments with You and with one another. But we keep wondering about that vast, unexplored ocean that You made. We all see it and many of us hear You calling us into it. We seem to be more inclined to debate about what lies beneath the surface of the waters more than we are willing to step in, wade out and submerge in its moving waves. We love to read the accounts in your Book about those whom you called to intentionally get in over their heads. But us? We do not often think of ourselves in that same manner. I am concerned this morning, Father, that we might become a generation of believers who critique one another’s sand castles on the beach while You fashioned us to get in the water…way, way in over our heads. I am praying to you this morning that you will deposit something within us that causes us to no longer be spiritual landlubbers, clinging to our castles.
If the fruit of the Spirit contains joy, then we want it to the fullest. If love, peace and gentleness are the deep works that Your hand fashions in the followers of Your Son, then we cannot rest until we swim in those things. If You are truly able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think then compel us to come out onto the water with You. The shore is safe but it does not lend itself to the fullness of Your presence. You showed Ezekiel a stream which began as a trickle and turned into a life-giving river which nobody could cross on their own. You purposefully led him to a progression of experience and vision with You which placed him in waters that seemingly had no bottom on which he could make himself secure. He cooperated with You, Father, but we seem to run back to the shore the moment we sense that You are leading us to places where we cannot stand on our own. We are addicted to the safety of our shores, Abba. Today, my prayer is that You will infuse us with grace that leads us back out into the adventure with You. Exchange our clinging to comfort to once again become our commitment to open-ended, unspecified, exhilarating mission. Bravely, I request that You will not allow us to walk on the sentimental sands of religious shores but, far better, to move into the depths of worship and encounter with You.
Teach Your people again that You are always doing a new thing, always moving us toward something, always taking us into deeper waters. Convince us that Your purpose for us is not for us to simply drill down deeper into what we learned years or even months ago. Help us to believe that You are our Captain who takes the willing into uncharted waters that we, as of today, know nothing about.
For the glory of Jesus and the good of our souls, amen.