Summary: Within this Scripture I see that we can be at four basic different levels in our walk with God…four varying depths of relationship with Him.
Opening Question: How much of God are you experiencing?
Within this Scripture I see that we can be at four basic different levels in our walk with God…four varying depths of relationship with Him. These differing depths are our choice, not God’s. We decide how far we are willing to go w/ Jesus.
1. Ankle Deep – ankle bitters: You step in…
Illustration: World’s of Fun (MO)…the cement was so hot in the scorching sun that we literally had to run on our tippy toes to keep our feet from burning. We would take short breaks in the shadded areas or a puddle. It was only temporary relief until we got into the water.
You step in…you visit God once or twice a week to say hello. You like to listen to the worship but you never enter in. You like the “cooling” feel to be here, but you don’t allow yourself to become a part. You think the people here are nice and all, but you never build any relationships.
a. You don’t feel like getting wet, maybe you don’t even want to be here – excuses are a dime a dozen
b. You don’t want to change – you think that you’re just fine on the shore. Your feet might not be burning anymore, but the rest of you is still getting burned. Temporary relief doesn’t bring eternal results.
God’s doesn’t just want to be your aspirin…he wants you to go deeper with Him so that you can experience His fullness! You can’t do that standing on the shore ankle deep.
2. Knee Deep – knee knockers: Here is where you roll up your pants and go in a bit deeper…you actually start to sing during worship instead of talking or looking around…you get into the game time and have fun…but
a. You’re still not willing to go all the way with Jesus…you’re holding back
b. Your afraid of what people may think or say…your knees are knocking
c. You become a fence rider – hypocrite
You’re still too close to shore. You come to church, you’re in the water a little, having a good time…but tomorrow you’ll be on the shore again in the world.
3. Waist Deep – Wasters: This is where it really starts to get somewhat uncomfortable…the water starts hitting some very sensitive areas. We’re not sure if we really like it or not.
a. We’ve come to a cross road where commitment intersects with passion.
b. There is no halfway with God…no middle ground. (Rev. 3:16)
i. People that only go half-way look like idiots
ii. Only going halfway leads to backsliding
4. Swimmers: this is where you are so deep with God that your feet can’t touch the ground. This is where faith and works intersect…you have faith in what God has done, is doing, and will do, but now you have to “work” at swimming.
Swimmers move past how they feel and worship anyway.
Swimmers move past how they look to others and take a stand for righteousness.
Swimmers move past what they want and fulfill God’s commands to reach everyone everywhere with the message of Christ.
Swimmer are survivors…they’re not just treading water to stay afloat…they’re swimming in pursuit of God to save the world.
Swimmers experience the fullness of God!
Why be a Swimmer?