Recently I was reminded of a memory of when I was about 15 years old. I grew up in Santa Cruz, California and the beach and the ocean were my playground. If there was a small glimpse of the sun coming out, I was at the beach. There was a community of beach goers who hung out there, played beach volleyball, ate nachos at the local restaurant, and swam in the ocean that still brings a smile to my face when I think of them.
One of my favorite things to do was to body surf. I would dive into the wave just before it came crashing down on me and when I was out in the ocean I felt fearless, safe and at peace. There never was a thought of danger as I grew up playing in the ocean, jumping off of cliffs, much like those who grew up snowboarding on snow covered mountains or hiking on trails in the Pacific Northwest.
Occasionally the waves would get bigger and that would be my cue to go in and rest. One day, as I was diving into the waves, the waves did something different, not only did the sets start moving farther away from the shore, but they also became bigger and bigger. As I dived into the waves I realized that I was stuck. I had a choice, I could go toward the shore and for sure experience a tumbling as the waves came crashing down on me or I could continue to dive into the waves and hope this bigger set didn’t last long.
I chose the later and continued to dive into the waves. Over and over and over again I would dive into the waves and with each growing wave my energy was becoming less and less. As I turned back to the shore I was shocked to see how far out I had gotten. This particular beach happened to be the yacht harbor and there was a rock jetty that I would often climb on that was now behind me instead of alongside me. I had gone beyond the parameters of my playground out into the deep waters. Panic set in and as I made the choice to try to move toward the shore I realized that I was now caught in a riptide and fear set in.
Fear, which was never a part of my language at the beach, was now what was filling my soul. Now this was a time in my life before I truly knew God personally, and as I reflect back I see in this instant and so many more how God protected me.
When God calls us to a new place, to uncharted waters, fear can set in. Fear of the unknown, of a place that we do not know what will happen. Fear of drowning, of losing control. Fear of not being able to plan out.
Uncharted waters is the place where we let go, truly let go of of ourselves, our plans, our ideas, our concepts of what is and allow God to take us where He so desires.
It’s not about our ideas or ways, but His ways.
This thought quickly came to my mind, I could fight the waters, the direction that it was taking me or I could relax, swim along the shoreline and trust that I would learn to navigate these deeper waters and eventually be able to swim, body surf on the waves back into the shore. I prayed quietly that the lifeguard would see me, but to my eye it looked as if no one knew that I was out there and that if I was to survive I had to follow the still small voice that was speaking to me.
As I began to relax and not fight the deep waters a beautiful thing eventually happened over time. I had moved along the shoreline and found that I was no longer in the riptide. The very thing that I was filled with fear about was what lead me farther down the shore to a place that I could safely come back into shore by riding the waves.
As I listen to the songs, the sound that is coming forth in worship, much of the messages that we are hearing is about going out beyond the shore, into the waves, going to deeper waters.
I’ve been there…..have you?
When we go to that place, to the deeper waters, there is no place that we can get grounded, touch ground and feel safe and secure. Instead it’s about total abandonment, trust, and faith in God as we quit fighting the deep waters and rest in Him in our journey of life. All control is gone and it truly is a place of newness, uncharted territory.
God is calling us to be a generation that seeks His deeper waters, to not fear that which has been uncharted, but to dive into His water, of His presence, in total abandonment with no thought to where the shore is and what is happening there. Not looking behind, but looking forward, diving in and allowing His presence, His love to envelope us to a degree that we have not experienced before.
Some of us don’t like water and God is saying “Come and get your feet wet!”
For others you have adjusted to the water as you are up to your knees in the water. No longer does the cold water shock you, the things of God, the depth you have discovered of Him, you have become comfortable with and God is saying “Come out farther! I have more for you!”
Then others are to their waist and there is a hesitation, a thought going through your head, “am I satisfied with this much or am I willing to get all the way wet?”
God is saying “dive in, come out farther, I’m not done with you, I have so much more.”
Do you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart right now? Calling you out to the waves, to the deeper places?
Do you feel a stirring in your heart that there is more that God has for you of Himself? Do you feel the desires to spend more time with God, to worship, to read His word, to pray….
To lay down your ideas and to simplify your life…….
To follow Him and let go of your dreams for His presence……
God is calling us deeper, will you join Him today?