Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Diving In

Welcome to those of you joining me from the Encouragement Cafe today! I pray my devotional, "Did Jesus make a resolution?" spoke to your heart. I've been thinking about this and want to share a bit of what God has on my heart in regards to 2016. Perhaps He has something to whisper to you as well.

Nearly 6 weeks ago I heard Priscilla Shirer say, "You are better off in the deep water with Jesus than in the shallow water without Him." These words and her teaching really caught my attention, which is interesting because I'm one who prefers to have nothing to do with water. Ok, I appreciate it when I shower and need a refreshing drink, but when it comes to swimming, boating or water sports count me out!

Thoughts of deep water actually freak me out a bit and bring back bad memories. You see as a child I jumped off the diving board, into the deep water and needed a life-guard to save me. Ever since that day, I've done all I could to avoid the pool, especially the deep end.

Now Priscilla wasn't saying I needed to visit our local fitness center and jump in the pool, but the deep water she was referring to can be scary. It's that place we go when we leave our comfort zone, are unable to stand on our own and sometimes are in over our heads. Have you ever been there with God? Me too...feel like I'm there now as I prepare to head to a ministry meeting in South Carolina. Kind of ironic that it's at the beach!!

Friend, whether we are diving into the deep end because of our calling, health, a relationship or finances these truths remain the same. Reality is we could drown. Just like my childhood story, things can get scary. We could also drift. Jumping in with God often involves waves from Satan and if we're not careful his lies can push us away from the ONE we need.

When we dive in with God and go in the deep water with Jesus, we must remember God will care for us and protect us, but there are some things we need to do - SWIM. Diving in is a great idea and one that sounds good, but it's not the only step - it's the first one. Once we make the jump, we must be ready to work. I watch my kids at swimming lessons and once they hit the water, their arms and legs are moving. We have to move in the deep water with God too. We must continually be in His Word and prayer. We must set our eyes on Him and be willing to obey.

And friend in that deep water there may be times when swimming isn't enough and we need to be SAVED. I've been wrestling with leaving my family, flying and doing what I've never done all while dealing with sickness in our house for the last 10 days. I've felt a bit like I was drowning and in this process I've been reminded that God is good and He is powerful. He can, will and does save us. But as I think about the deep water illustration, I realize even I play a role in this. When a child is drowning in the pool they must listen to the life guard and obey the instructions. Friend, if you're drowning today, I encourage you to do the same. It helped me and I trust it will do the same for you!!

There's much more to say, but I'll stop with this in Luke 5, Jesus spoke these words to Peter, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon Peter answers, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." (Verses 4 and 5) Going into the deep water didn't make sense to Peter, but He obeyed Jesus...friend, the same may be true for you and me, but if we choose to obey and dive in, I believe our results will be similar as well! Peter was blessed and we will be too!

This year we'll you join me and resolve to "DIVE IN" with Jesus and for Him?!? And if God leads to you pray for me and my upcoming trip, I'd appreciate that greatly!! Thank you friend!!

Diving in can be exciting!!

3 comments:

  1. Jill, your Encouragement Cafe devotion was so powerful. It touched me deeply. Thank you for challenging us with the word "resolute." Such a great way to begin a New Year.

    Love you,

    me

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  2. Jill, I echo Wendy's words. Thank you. And I'm so grateful to have you to dive and swim with! Love you!

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  3. I'm always so stirred by your teaching, Jill. Your words never fail to resonate from beautiful authenticity. You have a true gift for analogies, and God speaks so profoundly to me through you. So grateful for you in my life.

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