Saturday, September 13, 2014

DEEPER, NOT WIDER by Jim Cymbala

The things of God have a circumference and they are preserved in a written body of truth. Like a bottomless well, no one has ever fathomed the depth of God’s truth.

To go into the power of the gospel—or prayer, or the Holy Spirit, or divine love—is to plunge ever deeper and deeper into God’s well. Every man or woman used by God has gone down into this vast reservoir.

The tendency today, however, is to merely splash around in truth for a while . . . and then jump outside the well to the surrounding soil. “Look at this—God is doing a new thing!” people proclaim. In six months or so, of course, the novelty wears off and they jump again to a new patch of grass. They spend their whole lives hopscotching from one side of God’s well to another, never really probing the depth of the living waters inside.

Inside the well there is no cause for leaving or jumping out. Who will ever fathom the fullness of the love of God? Who will ever exhaust the richness of His mercy to fallen human beings? Who will ever understand the real power of prayer?

Especially since the 1960s, fads have come and gone in the North American church, only to be replaced by newer fads. Leonard Ravenhill, the revival-minded preacher and author from Britain, told me shortly before he died, “People say the church today is ‘growing and expanding.’ Yes, it’s ten miles wide now—and about a quarter-inch deep.”

If we venture into a gymnasium we are likely to run into men who look like superstars in their expensive sneakers. The only trouble is, they can’t get the ball into the hoop. They have all the latest gear, but they can’t play basketball.

As God’s people, we have all the equipment we need—it has been around for two thousand years. He has given us everything necessary to put points on the scoreboard and win victories in His name. So let us move forward with full confidence in what we have received.

Nothing about God will change. Tomorrow He will be no more anxious to help us, our families, our churches than He is right now. If we simply avail ourselves of His promises, we will see Him do things we could never ask or think, just as He did in the New Testament.

__________
Jim Cymbala began Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.