Going Deeper

Friday, November 08, 2013

Several years ago our family was blessed with the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii. We enjoyed this time away from the hustle and bustle of home, relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere of the island. One of the things I truly enjoyed was to swim in the warm waters of the tropical Pacific. I had never snorkeled before and was excited to try it. But, as I first entered the water leaving the safety of the shore, I felt some apprehension. What was awaiting me beneath the waves? Were there dangers in the area of which the other swimmers were unaware? My excitement, however, outweighed my fear and I continued in.

As I swam across Honolua Bay on the island of Maui, I carefully dipped my face in the water to view the scene below me. Wonder and amazement filled me as I witnessed the activity beneath the surface.
There were hundreds of colorful fish darting in and out between the coral only yards below me. Some were playfully chasing each other while others were simply going about their daily business. The size of the fish also surprised me. I had expected to see tiny, 2-3 inch fish such as the ones in the aquariums in pet stores. But no! The fish I saw were several pounds each. There were Yellow Tangs, Brown Chubs, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish, (known by the Hawaiians as the "humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa") and more. They were all so beautiful that I wanted to get closer. I held my breath and dove deeper. To my amazement, the underwater world I had been watching from above seemed totally changed from my new location. Rather than being an observer on the surface, I was part of this underwater world. The fish swam all around me, seemingly unafraid of this foreign intruder. From my new vantage point, I could see areas that had been hidden before. A striped eel peeked its head out from between some rocks and a sea turtle gracefully sailed by me. I remember thanking God at that moment for allowing me to share in that part of His creation. Later, reflecting on all I had seen and done, I was also thankful that I had taken that first step off the shore, and even more, I was thankful that I dove below the surface.

So often in life we are content with being observers. We feel comfortable in the perceived security of our world and of what is familiar. We fear the unknown and all that comes with it. But, if we never take that step of faith, we will never experience all the blessings that God has waiting for us, and His plan for us will not be lived out. I love the quote that says, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” (William Thayer Shedd). God created us to have a relationship with Him and to show His glory. Why then, do we not trust that He will enable us to do all He says?


“So don't be afraid: I'm with you… every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.” Isaiah 43:6-7

I feel like I have been floating on the surface of what God has waiting for me for far too long. I don’t want to miss what He has planned for me. As I enter this stage of my life, I am no longer content to merely be an observer of the faith. It is my desire to go deeper with Him. I long to be part of what He has planned, not simply to watch it from a “safe” distance or view His plan from the surface. I want to step out in faith and draw closer to Him, knowing that as I do so, He will be with me.


“Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:8). 

I pray that God grants me the courage to fulfill this longing!  Over the next few months, please join me in this endeavor to draw closer to God. I will be posting entries every week or so as I continue on this journey to“Live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Together let’s discover what He made us for and step by step, go deeper with Him.

Going deeper,







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23 comments

  1. Truer words were never spoken, Joan. The familiar keeps us from discovering great things in God. Thanks for your inspiring post.

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  2. "As I enter this stage of my life, I am no longer content to merely be an observer of the faith."

    I hear you. It's how I feel too. I've been stepping into deeper waters the past couple years and although I do still get scared, he hasn't let me drown yet. ;) Great post.

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  3. What a great Hawaii story, Joan! I've never been snorkeling in tropical waters, but have always wondered how it would be. I would be the same as you were at first, a bit hesitant. (I have a bit of a shark fear - after one time beach shore fishing in South Carolina and catching a 2 ft. shark...and we had all been swimming in that area just a few hours earlier....yikes!) Your post is so true, When we choose to only be observers, we miss out on so much that God has for us! Praying God leads you to into many blessed opportunities to "go deeper" with Him!
    In His Love, Ann

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  4. Yes...sometimes it can make us nervous, though, can't it? But, when we step out in faith and place our trust in God and where He is leading us, He'll never let us down! Thanks for your encouraging comment!


    Blessings, Joan

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  5. Thanks, Lisa! It can be easy to simply ignore the promptings of God, but if we do, we miss out on so much! I'm so glad He gives strength and courage when we look to Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  6. Thanks for your prayers, Ann! It was truly amazing how beautiful the underwater world was in that bay on Maui! I'm so glad I didn't miss out on seeing...and being a part of it! I want the same out of life on shore, too. I'm excited to see where God is leading me and confident knowing He'll be right by my side the whole way!


    Blessings, Joan

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  7. A PRAYER

    The power is the devil’s aim,
    the viper or the pack his name.
    So make me, Lord, a lovely bear!
    The be’ar is for certain dear.

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  8. Love loving dangerously with God- which of course is the safest place to be?

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  9. Hi Valerie! Yes, we are secure in Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  10. This reminds me of when I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon. We went snorkeling and I would not go under the water. I stayed on the surface and just put my face in. Oh, I missed so many beautiful things. When I choose not to trust God and remain on the surface, I will miss His beauty! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post today.

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  11. This is encouraging Joan, and I look forward to this series because it’s all too easy to lose sight of our big dreams and instead settle for a predictable, ordinary life. Many of us go through the motions of everyday life barely feeling, inspiring, growing, or daring as we should. But God created us for adventure! He encourages us to move ahead, take action, and follow through.


    Blessings sweet friend; enjoy the remainder of your weekend!
    Denise

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  12. Hi Barbie! Sounds like a snorkeling trip needs to be planned! lol What is so great with God is that it is never too late! We can jump in deeper with Him any day!


    Blessings, Joan

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  13. Thanks for your encouragement about this series. I've found that I tend to hold back in so many ways and I'm looking forward to living fully with Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  14. God has been speaking to me about this same thing, Joan. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure has stopped me long enough. I love the Shedd quote. I want to achieve what I was made for.
    Joyfully,
    Pamela

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  15. Dear Joan
    This is so important, to know what it means to live by faith and to know how grace works.A.W.Tozer said in one of his books, that we actually just need to lift our heart in real longing and love up to God and we will soon find Him.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  16. Yes...the fear of failure. That is a biggie for me. However, I need to put that behind me and trust God to give me courage!


    Blessings, Joan

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  17. I agree! Seek and we will find! That is what God tells us and we can trust His word. I'm looking to Him today!


    Blessings, Joan

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  18. Swimming with you and looking forward to new insights as I, too, seek Him.

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  19. I so enjoyed your post Joan, I love how God uses every opportunity to teach us more about Him.

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  20. Beautiful words. I love the unique ways God teaches us.

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday God bless.

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  21. Thanks for joining me on this journey! I love how God will reveal Himself to us and bring us to new depths in our relationship when we seek Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  22. Thank you, Anita! I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to show me next!


    Blessings, Joan

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  23. Thanks! Yes, I agree...I think that God uses unique ways because He has created each of us differently! He knows exactly what way to teach us will work the best!


    Blessings, Joan

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