E-Letter: The Deep, Deep Well
Written by John Paul Jackson
Intimacy with Jesus is based on depth, not on width. How long
you’ve been saved doesn’t play a significant role in your destiny with God, because long or short, the pay is the same (see the parable of the vineyard workers in Matthew 20). Intimacy with Jesus is about closeness and true understanding. It is about relationship. How well do you know Him?
Some of us tend to fall in love quickly, while others have a harder time with commitment. It can be much easier to take a puddle and simply make it wider,
not deeper. Digging a well requires work, dedication, desire and sweat, but widening a puddle is easy.
The problem is that a wide puddle won’t get us anywhere. We could stand in it and not get wet, because there is no depth. We need to be wells, not puddles.
What produces depth in our relationship with God? What brings our hearts to life and really teaches us how to live every day with Jesus? Here are a few things I’ve found helpful.
How to Dig a Well1. Repentance
Repentance can be a scary word for some people, but it shouldn’t be. The point is not, Wow. Look at how badly you’re failing! You are such a sinner.
The point of repentance is not our sin; it is living a lifestyle that allows us to be close to Jesus at all times, because He is our choice in this world.
We want Jesus, even if it means we need to bend
, change our ways or let go of things we used to enjoy to become more like Him. Godly sorrow produces repentance, and true repentance produces vehement, unyielding desire (2 Corinthians 7:10–11). If we don’t have a desire for the Lord, our “repenter” probably needs a checkup.2. Humility
Humility is like reading glasses. Only when we look through the lenses of humility do we see ourselves clearly and realize how much we need Jesus.
Without Jesus, we have nothing good. We can’t even take credit for our love for Him—every
good thing we have comes from His hand. The apostle Paul says that even our faith in Him is a gift (Ephesians 2:8). It is His faith giving us faith.
The moment we set our hearts to understand and to humble ourselves before Him, our words are heard (Daniel 10:12).3. Spiritual Disciplines
When I practice spiritual disciplines, I see more of the supernatural. It begins to operate in my life at incredible levels. But when I don’t practice spiritual disciplines, the supernatural seems to drop.
Unfortunately, some of the Church has started to believe that practicing spiritual disciplines is a form of religious bondage. “That’s legalism,” people say.
Yes, it is possible to make your relationship with God about rules and legalism. That is a trap to avoid. However, without spiritual disciplines, you will have nothing but a wide puddle. Prayer, fasting, studying His Word, making Him a priority in your life—these things produce depth
within us. Too many of us are happy with puddles.4. Waiting for God
“Yes, the Almighty will be your gold
And your precious silver.”
— Job 22:25
Here is my definition of what it means to delight in God: Delight is a satisfaction in God so complete that we lose desire for anything that disturbs our contentment in Him. That doesn’t mean we never experience hard times, but even in hard times, we can be content.
How do we learn to delight in God and find our contentment in Him? We spend time with Him. Some people call this waiting
for Him, and often it looks like certain spiritual disciplines—sitting in His presence, seeking Him out, making Him a priority in our lives. The point is to be with Him and get to know Him more.
Great peace comes from delighting ourselves in the Lord. We realize He is our treasure.
The Power of Desire
Psalm 145:16 says that God opens His hand and satisfies the desire of all living things. That is who our God is. That is His promise: He is the Desire Satisfier.
It is in the delight stage that we obtain what we have wanted all our lives. As we delight ourselves in the Lord, He becomes our gold—He becomes what we desire, and in turn, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). We find our souls fulfilled and content, and the well grows deeper and deeper.