Have you ever been to the lake? I have. If you’re like me you hate
the shallow water along the shore. Shallow water is no fun at all;
you can’t swim in it, you can’t water ski in it, you can’t fish very
well in it, you can’t go boating in it, you can’t...well, you get
the point. All you get in the shallow water is that yucky green
stuff between your toes, your feet get tangled in the debris
discarded by others, you step on whatever has washed up to the shore
and you sometimes get cut by broken bottles and cans thrown there.
Deep water, on the other hand, is a lot of fun! You can do all the
things that you can’t do in shallow water. However, there are risks
in deep water too. You need help to survive for very long; you need
things like boats, life preservers, swimming lessons, and friends
who are good swimmers.
I see a lot of people these days who spend most of their time wading
around in shallow spiritual water. Sadly enough, they rarely
experience the fun of being totally immersed in the spiritual
atmosphere that God has for them. Some ask me, “Why isn’t God
blessing me with success (or relationships, or recovery,
etc.?”). When I ask about their prayer life they have little to
say. When I ask about the time they spend in the Bible they admit
that it is very little. When I ask where they were for weekly Bible
Study or Worship they make excuses. When I ask what ministries they
are committed to they look confused. When I ask about their social
lifestyle they don’t want to talk about it. I heard someone say that
the good news is that Christianity is nationwide but the bad news is
that it is only one inch deep. I am amazed at how many people fail
to see a connection between who they are spiritually and the
blessings they want in their lives. You see, God doesn’t just want a
commitment of our resources; He wants US! When you read about
tithing in the Bible you will soon understand that the tithe
includes our time, our commitment, our willingness and our
effort. Malachi wrote about the results of tithing in Malachi 3:10,
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food
in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I
will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much
blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Common Sense Application
1. Make a list of the ways you currently commit
your time, effort and resources to God.
2. Evaluate your success in each of these areas
by determining the spiritual growth you experience or the value you
add to the lives of others.
3. Pray for wisdom and courage to make positive
changes in your commitment to God.
4. Be realistic; don’t make promises you know
you can’t keep. Make changes in your life one step at a time.