For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matt. 16:25)
Deeper. Everybody wants to go deeper, but nobody wants to go down. Dissatisfaction will lead in one of two directions: distraction or depth. Deeper, contrary to popular belief, is not up. It’s down. Deeper requires descent. This is the paradoxical journey of the gospel, which can be translated, “The way up is the way down.” Jesus teaches us we find our life by losing it. The least is the greatest. The last is the first. The greatest is the servant of all. To go deeper does not mean to simply accept these truths as nice platitudes, rather it means to delve into the depths of them until their wisdom becomes miraculously evident to us. In fact, the only way to discover their truth is to descend into their reality.
Admittedly, the way to depth is a counterintuitive path. It requires faith. And remember, faith does not mean seeing is believing. Quite the opposite, faith means believing is seeing. Deeper opens the way to a new kind of wholeness. It is wellness as the well-known hymn states, “It is well with my soul.” The journey is not an easy one. It requires navigation into our own broken ways. Yes, it will take courage to go there. It will lead to the unearthing of the lies we have believed and built on and the unraveling of the false selves we have constructed. The beauty of the journey of deeper is the ongoing unveiling of our truest and best selves’the people God intended when he first imagined us; even better, when he first imaged us.
Deeper is not another behavior or sin-management strategy. Deeper takes us into the realm of our dispositions, affections, and desires. Deeper leads to the discipleship of the heart and mind.
Lord Jesus, thank you for not only showing the way to a life of true depth, but for taking us by the hand and leading us there. We confess, if left to us, we would plan a series of mountaintop moments filled with warm and fuzzy feelings. We know it means following you all the way to the cross and back again. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with the joy of going there together. We pray in your name, Jesus. Amen.
Are you ready for the journey of descent? What excites you about that? What scares you?
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