Faith that Goes Deeper

A good friend of mine, Travis Stevick (check out his blogs here and here) , posed this question on his facebook profile:

“If you were to ever speak of “going deeper” in your faith, what would you mean?”

I quickly clicked reply and was ready to spout out an answer, but found myself pondering the question and unwilling to just give a quick answer (hence the blog post).  My thoughts have swirled around this topic for the night as I began to write this post. I was reminded that Christians, as a whole, are often guilty of speaking “Christianese” or adopting coined phrases from popular sermons and preachers.  Sometimes I wonder if we hide behind phrases such as “get real with God” or “going deeper”.  We put up false fronts of what the Christian should say, instead of what we truly think or believe (I think we’ve all been there before).

So then, what is faith?  We know from Hebrews 11:1 that “…faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  Faith in what?  For a Christian faith is different, it is not a “power or belief” or “positive thinking”.  As a Christian there is an object to my faith, that object being the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Without defining faith, we are lost without an object.  There is no deep well from which to draw, simply the surface of emotions that we battle with on a daily basis.

So, what do I mean, when I say I want to go deeper in my faith?  Simply put, I want to seek God more authentically (Jeremiah 29:13).  I want to grow in that blessed hope and his soon second-coming and trust in the true promises and sovereignty of God (Matthew 24:29-21; Psalm 119:160; 2 Peter 3:9).  I want to know Jesus deeply, from the wellspring of my heart (Provers 4:23 NIV).  I want to go deeper than just the surface level!

So… what does “going deeper” in your faith mean to you?

7 thoughts on “Faith that Goes Deeper”

  1. Travis. You have grasped exactly what I was getting at with that question. Over and over again, I hear people say that they want to "go deep" with God, but then nothing changes. It is as if we are afraid that, if we ever define what we really mean by that, we might actually have to go and do it, which can be a scary proposition.

  2. I think one way to go deeper with God is to understand (wait for and appreciate) His ultimate purpose for the redeemed. Eschatology ("last things") comes into play here. The passage from Hebrews 11 says that "by faith… the elders obtained a good testimony." I think the pertinent question is, what did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have faith in? What promises were they acting on? It is stated that "they will not be made perfect apart from us", so the same promises seem to be relevant for us as well. It's a very interesting issue to explore, that is, how can we mimic the faith of the patriarchs and just what did they put their hope in?

  3. Good thoughts Brian – I have been intrigued as of late about studying the biblical examples given and what should be a resulting imitation of those examples. Paul admonishes us to do so as long as he imitates Christ (Christ represents the perfect fulfillment of faith)

  4. I'd like to propose a simple argument, starting with Hebrews 11.

    Heb 11 says: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    It's clear that Abraham did not receive his inheritance during his earthly life, but lived in the land of promise (in Canaan) only as a stranger and pilgrim with no permanent dwelling. Notice what God promised to him, though, back in Genesis 17:

    7 "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

    The land of Canaan (the Nile to the Euphrates) was meant to be an everlasting possession for Abraham and his descendants. This was Abraham's hope throughout his life, as he looked forward to the eternal land inheritance promised by God (he would have to wait until his resurrection to see it).

    I would suggest that the NT confirms that our hope as Christians should be the exact hope that Abraham held to. Gal 3 says that we are heirs according to the same promise:

    27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Sorry for hijacking your post with this stuff :-)

  5. Thanks Brian – FYI I almost always welcome post hijacking :-)

    I would agree that the NT confirms that our hope as Christians should be the exact hope that Abraham held to, "looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:10)

    As Abraham considered himself a pilgrim and sojourner in this world, so are we to consider ourselves the same..

    Praise be to God that access to the promise is by faith (Galatians 3:14)

    Blessings,
    Travis

  6. Let's see if I can take this hijacking to the next level then :-)

    I think oftentimes Christians embrace the concept that the actual "land", the physical creation that God has created (and in which we live) will be blown up at the return of Christ; that there is nothing salvageable about this earth; and that our real home is in heaven or on some other planet or city that God will create apart from this physical creation.

    I don't believe this is consistent with the biblical hope of the patriarchs. I believe that God will restore this earth to its pristine condition ("restoration of all things" when the curse is removed) as was God's intent in the garden of Eden. It will be "heavenly" in the sense of its description (adjective), but not necessarily its location. The passage in Hebrews 11, when it speaks of Abraham, is most accurately translated as a "stranger and pilgrim on the land (the land that he dwelt)", not "earth", as if he hoped to escape this earth and dwell eternally at some of the location.

    I think this gives us all a tangible and material hope, something physical, for we will all be resurrected (or changed) to inherit the physical creation. It also connects our faith to the past as we will inherit the same land and material creation (albeit restored) that was promised to initially to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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