Pursuing Depth in a Surface World
Do you ever get tired of relating at a surface level? Maybe you meet with a small group for Bible Study regularly or you find yourself talking to people in the fellowship hall after church and you just can’t seem to break through the surface talk. Maybe it goes something like this:
“How are you?”
“Oh I am good, how are you?”
“I am doing fine. How are the kids?”
“They are good. How about yours?”
“Good, good. Alright, well have a good week.”
“You too. Take care.”
You’ve been church mates for years and you still can’t seem to go to that deeper place. Why is that? Maybe you don’t know how. Or maybe you don’t care.
Either way, I guess the question is whether pursuing depth is a requirement for our faith. Is relating on a deeper level a biblical mandate?
There are several directions in which this question could go, but I think as a starting point, there is a case to be made (at least the beginning of one) that God Himself is deep:
1.God is deep in His thoughts.
Psalm 92:5, “O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.”
2.God is deep in His love.
Ephesians 3:17b-18, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ...”
3.God is deep in His revelation of Truth.
Daniel 22:2, “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”
Since we are made in God’s image, it follows that we too should seek to be deep in our thoughts, in our love for God and others, and in our understanding of God’s revealed truth.
True, you might say, but how?
Sometimes relating deeply with others come naturally. Other times we need to pursue depth by making an intentional effort to press beyond the “hello, how are you?” and into deeper waters of the hearts, souls and needs of others. That deeper place is the place where I believe God’s Spirit dwells and the place where the most meaningful and transforming fellowship can happen. The kind that sharpens us and propels us into deeper side of God’s heart and plan for our lives and His Kingdom.
One way I’ve been able to break through the surface with a couple friends in this season is creating a regular meeting time to grab a [good!] cup of coffee and intentionally ask each other questions that push us into deeper waters. I have listed the questions we use below, which we pulled from the book, The Power of Mentoring: Shaping People Who Will Shape the World. The format is simple: We meet every other week for about an hour and half and intentionally use the time to ask each other these deeper questions, which stimulates deeper reflection and sharing, which then perpetuates a deeper connection with each other and with God. It has been a beautiful and enriching thing.
God has blessed our pursuit of depth and I know He will bless yours too because it is getting at the very essence of who He is. He is a deep God who calls us into deeper waters with Him.
Psalm 42:7, “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.”
What else do you do to pursue depth in our surface world? Please share your comments below!
Template for Deep Questions:
- Where are you at right now with God?
- What have you read in the Bible in the last week?
- What has God been saying to you in this?
- Where do you find yourself resisting God these days?
- What specific things do you find yourself praying for regarding others? … for yourself?
- What specific tasks are facing you that you consider incomplete?
- What habits are intimidating you at present?
- What have you read in the secular press this week?
- What general reading have you been doing?
- What have you done to play this week?
- How are you doing with your spouse? Your kids?
- If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, spirit, etc., what would she say?
- Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy this week? Today?
- If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a servant of God, where or how would he attack you?
- What is the state of your sexual life (temptations, fantasy, etc.)?
- Where are you at financially (Do you have control, debts, etc.)?
- Are there any unresolved conflicts (ailing relatives, stress, disputes) in your circle of relationships right now (family, friends, those among whom we’re supposed to feel safe)?
- When was the last time you spent time with a friend of the same gender? 20. What kind of time have you spent with a non-Christian this past week?
- What challenges do you expect to face in the coming month?
- What are your fears at the present time (letting family down, bodies letting us down, etc.)?
- Are you sleeping well?
- What three things are you most thankful for?
- Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
- What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
* Talking to a Life Coach can also be a way of pursuing depth in your life and relationships. As a coach I can help you explore areas in which you are needing to grow and discover deeper awareness of who you are so that you can live a deeper more meaningful life. To book a free coaching consulation go to my contact page.