Pursuing Depth in a Sea of Shallow Water

by Lee Buford on October 18, 2010

Depth seems an increasingly rare component of most aspects of our lives in 21st century America. We demand more and more, yet what we get is less and less (of more and more). We are drowning in shallow water, seeking more and more from the seemingly endless resources at our disposal.

One glaring example of this is how it’s affecting our churches and our personal relationships with God. We want to know God, or so we say; however, we spend our time trying to learn more “about” God, not actually getting to know Him. We search for the latest books, the best sermons, and the proven five-step programs to holiness. And that’s only when we’re focused on our need to do so.

More often than not many Christians go week-to-week, Sunday-to-Sunday, oblivious to the need and/or desire to have a relationship of depth with their Lord and Savior. It’s much easier to do than you think. We’re bombarded with “stuff” that does more to prohibit our growing closer to Him than it does to foster a genuine relationship. I wrote previously about the detrimental role of busyness in our lives, but what I’m referring to here is more relative to the physical options and choices we have in our lives.

We’ve become a digitized society with abundant choices and resources, yet our human hard drives and processors are grossly inadequate to handle the load. Options are everywhere, many of them inherently good options, but it seems the breadth of choice is stunting the growth of discipleship.

For example, I recently saw a DIRECTV advertisement promoting 265+ channels, 400 new movie releases, and over 4,000 movies and shows, all available to you and me for a bargain monthly price. If you’re more inclined to spend your time curled up with a book rather than the remote, Amazon offers a billion-plus book titles, and with the gaining popularity of e-readers, our options are endlessly expanding again. If music is more your style you can jump on iTunes and listen to, download, and enjoy your favorite artists for hours on end. Heck, you can even listen to sermons and leadership podcasts. And, of course, perhaps most prevelant to many in today’s society, there’s the ever growing influence of social media on all aspects of our lives.

That said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with television, books, social media, and music. There is, however, way more of it than we are capable of consuming with any significant degree of understanding and application. Most of us engage in all of these platforms at various points during the day or week…in what we consider a “Christian” kind of way. In fact we use this to justify our actions. We may be watching or listening to a sermon, reading a book on grace or how to study the Bible, or listening to our favorite Christian artists. And that’s okay in the proper context, for the proper amount of time.

But is the plethora of options at your disposal keeping you from spending time with the One for Whom there is no other option?

Embrace technology as a gift from God to further your relationship with Him and to reach a lost and dying world for His purposes. Leverage it to go make disciples. But always remember that no amount of time spent with a book, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, or television will make up for time well-spent on our knees in prayer or in the Word of God itself.

God’s desire is not simply for you and me to know all about Him. His desire is that we actually know Him, and that we live in genuine relation with Him.

What things are getting in the way of your spending time with God? How will you change that?


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