Tag Archives: faith

Go Deeper

When I was talking to a friend from church, I received two words from God:


I began to contemplate what that meant for my life.  Two years ago, the word I got for 2010 was “Everything changes.”  And my life changed drastically.  I believe last year was about a healing work which He did in me personally.  Maybe “Go deeper” isn’t a word for the entire year, but I do know something is truly different about this year.  Of course, that’s said every year as the entire country maps out resolutions, most of which are already broken by today, February 1.  But seriously, I feel an anointing over this year to be released into promises we’ve held for years.

How Deep?

Contemplating this message brought me to the passage in Ezekiel 47 where he is led out to the water.  Then he notices, he is ankle-deep.  As he continues, he finds he is knee-deep.  Later, he is waist-deep.  Suddenly, he finds himself overwhelmed by how far it goes out and how deep it truly is.  He calls it a “river I could not cross.”

I remember taking swimming lessons when I was a kid.  When you begin to walk into the pool, the first step covers your feet up to your ankles.  And with each step you take, the water seems to get progressively higher when the truth is, you are just going progressively deeper.  Learning how to swim in four or five feet was one thing, but at the end of swim class, we were all required to take a jump off the diving board.  I remember being terrified.  By diving in, I was giving the water permission to consume me.  And I didn’t know if I trusted myself or the lifeguard to bring me back to the surface.

God is an Everlasting Father who has so much for you.  And He is worthy of trust.  How deep have you let Him take you?  Are you willing to let Him take you all the way?  What does it mean for you to “Go deeper” with the Lord?

Is He calling you to Go Deeper in Relationship?  The book of Acts describes the early church as giving themselves over to fellowship.  Is that what your relationships in the Body look like?

Maybe He’s calling you to Go Deeper in Intimacy.  In Psalm 27, God says, “Seek my face” and David says, “Your face I will seek.”  He is open and available for you.  Draw near to Him.  Make time for Him.

Some are being called to Go Deeper in Faith.  Romans says those who put their trust in the Lord will not be put to shame.  Do not be afraid to trust God for big things beyond your comprehension.  Don’t settle for “making it by” in this life.

I know that this year, I’ve been called to do all three.  How is God calling you to “Go deeper?”

Recommended Article: Living a Life of Worship


Return Like the Prodigal Son, Part 2

So let’s pick up where we left off. If you haven’t already, I recommend you read Part 1 of How to Return Like the Prodigal Son. We left off where the son had come to the end of himself in his “prodigal living” and realized that he’d be better off going back to his father than continuing doing life on his own. Which brings us to the next step . . .

Return in Humility

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (Luke 15:20-21)

Remember, when the son left his father, he left with an offended heart. He had decided that he knew better than his father and decided to do things his own way. But the son realized that if he was going to come back, he would have to reconcile with the opposite attitude.

When we walk away from God thinking our way is better, we must return acknowledging that His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). This turning of our hearts is called repentance. I don’t know about you, but I used to hate that word. The church has made it seem like such a dreadful thing, but really, it’s a beautiful thing. You have to remember the One you are coming before, despite what you’ve done, is looking upon you with compassion. Just like the son–before even speaking–was greeted with compassion.

Also, repentance is not something we do out of duty or habitually. Godly sorrow produces a serious turning of the heart (2 Cor. 7:8-10). You cannot repent if you are not truly sorry for what you’ve done. Repentance is not an easy ticket to wipe out the sin so you won’t have to be accountable for it later. When you repent with a sincere heart, then you are given the honorable privilege to . . .

Receive His Mercy

But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. (15:22-24)

The morning after going through some serious repentance with a church elder at home via phone, I spent some time in corporate worship. I didn’t feel like participating. Even though I knew I had turned away from all the stuff I’d done, I still felt dirty and unworthy of God. Then my favorite worship song came on, and I could feel God tugging on my heart. It was a song about how great his love is. Then I got angry.

Seriously, I was screaming at God inside my head. I didn’t realize at that moment it was because I was having difficulty receiving His mercy. Before the song ended, I was in tears. He had won me over with one phrase: “It’s not about you. It’s about me.”

I realized that wasn’t in an arrogant “Because I’m God” kind of way. It’s not about me and how unworthy about I am. It’s about him because He is jealous for me. How much he desires me completely overwhelms any wrong thing I could have done. And that’s the beauty of it, beloved. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). And that’s all that matters. So even if you feel unworthy, receive His mercy. Even at a time . . .

When Other Believers Oppose You

I won’t spend much time on this last point, but I feel I need to say it. At the end of the prodigal son story (15:28-32), the brother of the son complains about the welcome home celebration of the prodigal. , “These many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

It’s human to feel jealous when someone else gets what you feel you deserve. Jesus even made mention of this in another parable where field workers all received the same pay regardless of how long they worked (Luke 20:9-19). So do not be surprised if a few in the church are not so happy to see you return with grace and favor over your life. They are no more righteous than you, we all fall short of His glory (Rom 3:23). Remember, it is God’s word that matters. And His word says:

“It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”

To Be Known and Loved

Every human being desires to be known.  To be understood for who we are.  Women buy into romances that portray suitors who show up at our doors with our favorite flowers.  It is not the gift itself; it is the fact that someone is intimate enough with a woman to know what would please her.

A few years ago, I had a boyfriend who showed up at my door the night my dog died.  We had spoken over the phone, and I told him I was fine.  Yet, he knew me well enough to know I was lying.  He knew how special my dog was to me as well as how typical it is of me to hide my pain.  But he loved me anyway, in all of my imperfection.  He held me as I cried; ugly, snotty, animal-like noises crying.  He knew me and he loved me.

Before You Were Born, I Knew You

Who knows us better than Our Father who knew us before we were conceived (Jer. 1:5).  Scripture speaks intricately of how He formed us, knows us, and loves us.  God sees our strengths as well as our weaknesses.  How then is it possible that He can declare “All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you” (SoS 4:7) when we are clearly imperfect and fall short of His glory?

God Looks at the Heart

I knew that the bible says God looks at our heart (1 Sam 16:7) but still struggled to understand what that meant.  The Bible is full of examples in which God powerfully uses people the world would deem as failures.  Really, God? You want to use an insecure stutterer to stand up to a pharaoh and lead a nation out of slavery?  And you want to use a man who denied Jesus THREE TIMES after walking with the man for three years to be the rock upon which the church is built?  But what recently struck me most was this:

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:10-11)

I don’t know about you, but I read the entire book of Job.  A huge portion of it involves Job questioning God and accusing God of violating him when He never disobeyed His will.  Yet in James, Paul says they endured to the end.  In fact, Job is given as an EXAMPLE of patience!

I felt like the Lord was telling me, “I’m proud of you, Che.  You are persevering.”  Which breaks my heart because I’ve been so unfaithful; I am not worthy of being called one who endures.  But the Lord says I am because though I look at my outward appearance, He sees my heart.

Establish Your Heart

In the book of James, we are instructed to establish our heart for the coming of the Lord is at hand (James 5:8).  To me, that means deciding once and for all, that in the end, it’s Jesus and me.  My emotions and will aren’t necessarily always in alignment with that.  But no matter how many times I fail, He sees my heart.

Do you feel that you have been unfaithful to the Lord in any way?  He still calls you faithful.  He does not count your sin against you.  Do not let the enemy get a foothold and try to keep you in shame.  It’s not too late to turn your heart back to Him.  He already sees it and loves you anyway.

Let’s continue in the faith together: you, me, and Jesus.

The Simplicity of Faith

Since I have been here for the term of my ministry training, I have had vivid dreams in the night filled with revelation.  Prophecy has been actively coming out of my mouth more in the past month than probably has in my entire life.  Scripture has been opening up to me in new ways that encounter my heart at its deepest level.  I have engaged in intercession privately and corporately for different causes, people groups, and even individuals with a new boldness I never knew existed in me.

Since I have been here for the term of my ministry training, I have had days that added up to weeks that felt like a nightmare.  Tears (sad tears) have been actively emerging from my eyes more in the past month than probably has in my entire life.  Doors have been closed in my face again and again of things I believe God promised me.  Including the doors to the house in which I lived.  I have moved from couch to couch, unsure of what the next day would look like with an overwhelming fear unlike anything I’ve encountered.

I do not fully understand the ways of the Lord, and I must admit, that sometimes offends me.  But rather or not I understand, I know His ways are perfect.

Ever come to a point in your life where you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing?  Is it really worth it?”  The beauty of following God is that we don’t have to answer that question.  He holds all the answers, even when we don’t understand them.  He presents them to us in His perfect timing.  All we have to do is acknowledge that He is Lord, and that burden is not ours to take.

Tonight I don’t have any deep revelation or breakthrough to share.  All I know is that faith is really so simple.  Most of the time, we want new messages about God we haven’t heard before, but sometimes, it’s just necessary to get back to the basics.  Especially when our lives don’t look like we think it’s should.  Or His word doesn’t align with our circumstances.  We try to make faith a complicated thing, but it’s just believing.  That simple.  And it doesn’t get much simpler than this:

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
Psalm 19:7-9