Friday, July 24, 2015

Considering the Lilies: Planting Deep

"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the  grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!                                            (Luke 12:27-28 NASB)

In case you're just stopping in, we've been considering the lilies for the last few days. We began by considering the lily bulb lily propagation, and lily's disposition. Yesterday, we explored the question of true lilies and the importance of the name. Today, we're looking at the planting of lilies.

I don't recommend this, but I often use the "plant and wonder" technique. I stick a plant or bulb in the ground and wonder what it will do. The reason I have to wonder is because I haven't bothered to find out what kind of environment the plant needs. Does it need sun or shade, moist soil or well-drained? Does it want to be planted deep or shallow? I killed more than a few plants before I realized a sun-loving plant would not perform as expected if I tried to make it survive in the shade.

Lily bulbs have specific depth requirements in order to grow and produce the beautiful blooms we desire. Lily bulbs must be planted deep in the ground. The recommended depth is three times the diameter of the bulb. (1) At depth, the bulb remains cool and is well-protected. The bulb thrives there. In fact, the roots are contractile and will pull the bulb to the proper depth if planted too shallow.

Shallow is easy, but depth brings growth.

It's true for lilies, but it's also true for disciples of Christ. If I am to follow Jesus, I will follow best if I know Him well.  I will explore His depths. Allow Him to take me deeper in the Word of God, and in obedience, than I planted myself.

Can you truly follow Jesus and be shallow about it? I wonder.

Attending services, saying a blessing before meals, and posting Scripture memes on social media do not indicate depth (although prayers and assembling with other believers are actions Jesus expects of us and are not optional). If attendance and rote prayers before meals are all we have, however, it's a shallow kind of faith.

A deep faith says, "Lead me anywhere and I'll follow."

A deep faith loves every single person God loves, which is EVERYONE.

A deep faith serves anyone Christ calls us to serve.

A deep faith bears anything for Jesus.

A deep faith studies the word of God, allowing Him to plant it in us. To plant it deep in us (that's where memorizing comes in) so that we have it when we need it. 

A deep faith bears fruit.

  Here's a secret it took me entirely too many years to learn. A deep faith is exciting and fun and so intimate it's unbelievable.

When that Still Small Voice whispers, it's the most amazing thing in the world.

We don't start deep, but that's where the good stuff grows. If we want to know as much as possible of this big God we serve, we must plant ourselves deep, too. How? Spend time in prayer, listening and talking, studying Scripture and obey it. All of it.

The amazing thing about the Christian life is that, if we want to be deep in our faith, the Holy Spirit will act much like the contractile root of the lily, drawing us deeper. If we ask for deep faith, God will supply it. If we ask for a deep knowledge of Him, He'll supply that, too. 

So ask. Ask for deep faith. Deep knowledge of God. Deep knowledge of Scripture. Ask, then do what it takes to have it. Open your Bible. Obey.

You'll love it in the deep. That's where all the wonders hide. All the gems and treasures.

Deep calls to deep.

Let the depths of God call you to the deep.
Our Father, I don't want superficial. I want to know Your depths, to follow where You lead, to have all of You that You want me to have. To know You more. So teach me Your ways, lead me in Your paths. Make me like You. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

photo from
chart from