Dig Deeper – Part One
I am straight country… right off the farm.
I grew up in Saluda, SC on my dad’s farm and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are so many things about growing up in the country on our farm that I absolutely loved… hunting, fishing, 4-wheelers, jacked-up trucks, tractor pulls and MUD.
But, as much as I loved growing up in the country, there were also things I don’t miss so much, things that I just couldn’t stand. I do not miss stacking up bales of hay in 105• July heat! I hope I never have to do that again. I don’t miss the smell of the farm either. My dad has six chicken houses and the smell at times will knock you over. My dad says it smells like money but I don’t believe him.
But, if there is one thing I hated most, it would be those times on the farm when a pasture or piece needed to be fenced in. This is no cute little fence around your yard. I’m talking about 50 acre and 100 acre pastures. It’s absolutely miserable work. To put up a fence, you first have to dig holes for the fence posts. To do that, we had to use a set of posthole diggers. If you don’t know what posthole diggers are, consider yourself blessed. Jesus loves you more than me.
Hundreds of times, over and over, we’d use these posthole diggers to dig holes for every single fence post. It took forever! It was absolutely miserable! I hated every minute of it. I hated using a shovel. I hate digging of any kind; trenches, ditches, holes, sprinkler lines. It doesn’t matter. I hate digging. But as much I hate digging I have learned some painfully valuable lessons about the subject.
The most valuable things in life are discovered only when you dig.
The best things this world has to offer are not usually found at the surface.
Surface level perspective can be misleading.
Just look at people: On the surface people can be cold, distant, self-involved, rude and impersonal. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see real people with gifts, abilities and talents who have been uniquely crafted by God. You’ll recognize that there’s a story behind every person.
And when you look at the church, on the surface, it can seem no different than any other hangout place. There’s a good atmosphere, great music, good coffee and nice people. But that is just the surface. But if you would stay and dig a little deeper, below the surface of what you think church is about, you’d actually recognize that this is a place where people’s lives are transformed. People are healed. Families are restored. Addictions are broken. Hope is found. Purpose is discovered.
On the surface of so many things, there’s not a lot that’s all that impressive. But if you dig a little deeper, you discover what’s most valuable.
This is what Jesus wants from us. His desire for you and me is to dig deeper into who He is so that we can have relationship with Him. Dig deeper so that we can become everything that God’s created us to be. His desire is that we live a fulfilled and satisfied and blessed life. But while this is what God wants for us, it does not come from simply gathering up bits and pieces that you find on the surface of your relationship with Jesus. It doesn’t come from a lot of sitting around or being inactive just waiting for the blessing.
“Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.’ ” – Matthew 5:1-6
Right out of the gate, Jesus is saying, “If you want the life that God wants for you… you’ve got to be hungry for it. You’ve got to be thirsty for it. You’ve got to be willing to pursue it, chase it and come after it a little bit. You’ve got to be willing to dig a little deeper to get to it.
Jesus says those that HUNGER and THIRST will be satisfied. Those who have an intense desire, craving, longing, those who are willing to stop at nothing to get it, they are the ones who will be satisfied.
The key to your success, the answer to the prayers, comes down to you being willing to dig a little deeper. We cannot settle for a surface level perspective of what life and faith sometimes seem to be, lest you be satisfied with missing out on God’s best for your life.
I have more to say on this, but I’ll save it for later!
Will Riddle, Student Pastor