Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalm 42:7
My friend Sue let me know of the following article published in Biola Magazine called The Reward for Serving God. The article is the thoughts of a Pastor as he returned from a trip in India where he and his church worked with the victims of the largest modern-day slave trade area in the world, the Dalit people. We know these people from the term, “Slum Dogs” displayed in the movie, Slum Dog Millionaire. I don’t know if you are like me or not, but normally, when I read this type of article I really fight feeling guilty. Not sure why, but I would imagine it is because I feel some personal responsibility to help change their world, yet overwhelmed by the need, so much so, I’m not sure where to begin…… This time was different; upon reading this article, I didn’t feel guilty or limited, but motivated….not unto works, but unto surrender. I felt drawn in…..like God called to my deep and required a response of my soul…..
“….I was stirred by my time in India. I returned more focused and gospel-centered in my ministry. I learned something valuable that will forever define my Christian life.
I learned that the reward for serving God is more of God.
The reward of serving God is not a meaningful life,
nor is it Christian celebrity-ism.
The reward is not building Christian community or relationships (though community is a by-product of it).
The reward for serving God is a great capacity to know and love God.
I learned this lesson through the joy-filled Christians who labor for the gospel in India’s educational centers and local churches. These brothers and sisters go beyond an American “work week.” They are no longer slaves to Hinduism, but slaves for Christ. Their reward is more of God. As they serve the cause of the gospel, their capacity for knowing Christ grows and deepens….” Aaron Orphaug
Paul said it like this in Phillippians 3:8-11 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
On a contemporary note, this message was communicated well in the book, The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young. The main character, Mack, is described as having a “wide” relationship with God compared to his wife’s relationship, which is described in the book as being “deep”. As the storyline unfolds you see a progression in Mack’s capacity to know and love God. The author demonstrates with this comment, “And with respect to God, Mack is no longer just wide, he has gone way deep…. But the dive cost him dearly.”
You have a capacity for deep within you. Wells are deep. God calls to the deep within you. Do you hear God calling to your deep today? Are you willing to let go and let God take you deeper? Are you willing to let God show you Himself? Whatever is keeping you, let’s join with Paul and consider everything a loss compared to knowing Jesus Christ and just dive in!!! Yes, I can look at my life and focus on what I have lost, just as Mack did. Or I can choose to look at Jesus, and believe Him. I have learned that to do that and dive deeper is incredible gain. It is revelation of God Himself. It is complete hope. So, dive with me today deeper in Him! Sink or swim, I’m diving in!!