I think that is the question facing each of us this morning: do I really want to swim in the deep end?
Would I ever sign up for lessons if I didnâ€™t want to learn a new skill? That would be a big waste of time and money.
Do I even know what it means to swim in the deep end? Weâ€™re not talking dog-paddling here, which is what gaining biblical knowledge is. We are talking diving down deep for pearls of wisdom.
The desire came for me back in July 1997 when I was reading the following Old Testament passage:
â€œAt Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, â€˜Ask! What shall I give you?â€™ And Solomon said: â€˜You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?â€™ The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: â€˜Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.â€™â€ (1 Kings 3:5-14)
After I read this passage I immediately stopped and I could sense the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit exhorting me, â€œAsk, ask for it!â€ I got on my face, flat out, literally, on my living room floor in my little apartment in Wiesbaden, Germany and wept and asked God to give me wisdom to be the man He wanted me to be.
From that point on my walk with Christ was transformed and a great desire for understanding Godâ€™s Word overcame me and has never left me. This beautiful gift from God is part of the grace He showers on us when we surrender our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. The key is asking with a right heart:
â€œYou ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.â€ (James 4:3)
Thatâ€™s it isnâ€™t it? Too many Christians seek biblical wisdom as though it is some magic genie bottle that they can rub and instead of getting three wishes, they want the comfortable, convenient Christian life that so many false teachers promise from the pulpit.
You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss. The Greek word translated â€œamissâ€ is kakos and it is an adverb that means â€œworthless, depraved, or injurious.â€ If you are seeking biblical wisdom with bad motives then you will never receive it. You will begin to drown in the Bible and immediately put it down because it overwhelms you.
But if you seek as a child Jesus promises He will give to us:
â€œAsk, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.â€ (Matthew 7:7-12)
You do not have biblical wisdom because you have not earnestly sought it. If this is not true, can you possibly come up with another reason why you do not have biblical wisdom?
If you are seeking the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart because they are from above:
â€œDelight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.â€ (Psalm 37:4)
Is that you? Do you delight in the LORD?
You see my beloved you cannot go into the deep end with a life preserver on or even the little arm wings to keep you afloat.
How will you ever dive deep for pearls of wisdom if you are wearing something that will keep you afloat?
Many of us avoid the deep end because we know what we will find; the requirement to change our lives and possibly a new mission that has you doing things and going places that youâ€™ve avoided for a long, long time.
Do you really want to swim?
Put that out in front of you today; meditate on it and find the answer.
We are not yet ready to begin wading into the deep end; that will start on Monday.
Tomorrow, before the weekend, we will ensure that we are asking with a right heart.
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers