Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deep Calls Unto Deep

Have you ever called out, “Hello” in a large canyon and immediately you heard your own voice echoing back? “Hello, hello” Then you say, “How are you?” and you hear, “How are you, how are you?” Just once, I wish someone would say, “Hello, I’m fine and you?” But that doesn’t happen. Does our Almighty God withhold His presence in our most desperate times? No, I don’t believe He does. Just when we think He has abandoned us, He brings a miraculous ray of hope; never revealing more than He wants us to know, nor giving us more than we can take. He is all sufficient in every season of our life.

Psalms 42:1-8 says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, where is your God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Oh my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me.

In these scriptures, the Spirit of Faith addresses the cast down soul, and compels him to take his eyes off the circumstances and look to God. The subjective feelings of distress war against the facts of faith.  In Psalms 63:1 & 2 it says “Oh God You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for you in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” Saints, we are called to continue our spiritual pursuits, even in the most difficult times. It is in these times that our commitment to Christ must prevail. We must search for Him with all our heart.  Long for Him to take us to a deeper place.

Arduous seasons always seem longer than those of ease. Often in these seasons, unbelief creeps in─the very thing that aborts our dreams.  We must take our eyes off our circumstances and believe the word of God.  We frequently make the mistake of treating God the Father like our earthly fathers. This beloved is our biggest misconception. John 13.12 says, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things.” To believe is one thing, but to act as if we don’t is another. If a student makes an A on a test he was given, it doesn’t necessarily mean he believes all the answers he gave. It does prove that he has the knowledge and know-how to get the answers right. So we are as Christians, each knowing what Christ has called us to, though at times, lacking true conviction.

If the disciples cried out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief,” then we are forewarned of our inability to remain faithful believers without continual prayer. In order to become a disciple of Jesus, then, we must believe in Him. In order to develop as His disciple we must progressively come to believe what He says to be so. To enter His kingdom, we believe in Him. To be at home in His kingdom is learning to reign with Him there. We must share His beliefs. It is by this that our Christ likeness begins to shine through.

I believe we are entering a new season Saints, one where we must submit to the pruning hand of God. We must allow Him to cut out portions of our inner man. This can be extremely painful, yet not without purpose. The Lord is asking us for more. More faith, more trust and more understanding. This deeper work promises to produce an abundant, fruitful life.  The Bible says, “You will know them by their fruit” (Matt 7:16). So we must remember what Jesus said to the disciples in John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Some time ago my son and his girlfriend gave me a small rose bush for Mother’s Day. I must admit, I do not have a green thumb. Let’s just say I am extremely challenged when it comes to gardening. The first season I had the plant, it produced ten beautiful pink roses. After that, it just looked dead.  It was the perfect picture of an exhausted Christian with no fresh buds, no aroma and lots of thorns. Because the plant was given to me by my son, I was willing to do anything to keep it alive. I called a client of mine who is very knowable in gardening and she told me to cut it back all the way to the roots─leaving only a few green stems at the bottom.  Then put it in a larger pot.  In spite of this, the plant looked dead─or so I thought. My sick little rose bush would never produce another blossom. A short time later however, with a little water and a lot faith, the bush not only came back twice as big as it was before, it produced three different colored roses.  Immediately I knew what the Lord was teaching me. Even when things look dead, never give up; life only stays small when you do. “A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men" (Proverbs 18:16).

I have concluded that worldly prosperity and ease seldom produces proper refinement, but the pruning hand of God works wonders. Rest assured, when we cry out to God, He is able to usher in a “suddenly.” In a moment of time, He opens the eyes of our understanding and brings forth new direction; moving us in our orbiting life, from one season to the next. I shudder to think what might happen to us without this divine intervention.

Beloved, I want to challenge you to new heights today, dare you to go deeper; seeking more of His kingdom rule in your life. Let’s welcome the pruning hand of God and believe that what He has promised, He will surely bring to pass. Understanding that the riches of this world are temporal, but the riches of His kingdom are eternal. Let’s be fruitful, believing saints, knowing that there is a purpose to every season. Let the pruning begin─Deep Calls Unto Deep!

Rev. Daina House