Summary: God longs for us to grow deep in Him, but according to Jeremiah, people have different plans. How do we then access this growth promised by God?
What we need to start growing deep
11 Has any nation ever exchanged its gods for another god, even though its gods are nothing? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! 12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay, says the LORD. 13 For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
Very simply, what we need to grow deep with God is just plain old calling a spade, a spade! It is to take responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. It is to say we thought we knew better and beg for mercy from a God who wipes us out, by just saying the word. It is the good old way of what Jesus called “blessed are the poor in heart, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To grow deep with God we got to see sin for what it really is.
There is an old saying that says "to err is human, to forgive is divine." While "to err is human" is a very fair assessment, but it is perhaps more human to make excuses for those errors. An auto insurance company released a list of actual accident reports they had received from policyholders. Here is their “top ten” list of excuses people came up with for their accidents.
1. An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished.
2. The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention.
3. I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident.
4. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision.
5. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in- law, and headed over the embankment.
6. The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.
7. The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.
8. The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
9. I thought my window was down, but I found it was up when I put my head through it.
10. The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.
It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? That’s the beauty of excuses: they take the blame off ourselves and put it onto someone or something else, where it really belongs? Sin? What Me? Human nature is a pretty funny thing, isn’t it? Why do we do the things we do? Why is humanity the way it is? Why does human nature produce such contradictions: in one case it is the "human" thing to be very compassionate and giving and in the next case it seems everything within us compels us to be self-centered even to the detriment and pain of others? For instance, we want to bomb Afghanistan to smithereens for the horror of WTC attacks and next we want to send food.
People are driven to action by many different motives. Perhaps u have seen many people who are driven by demands. These are the expectations or requirements that others place on them such as our parents. I Grew up in an atmosphere where u’ll feel back of the hand if don’t live it to it. Don’t get a perfect score in school exams, whamo! Like me, as a school kid, these people are always trying to live up or measure up to the standards someone else has placed on them. These people are driven to please. But does your heart really tell that’s the way to live, never sensing if what u do is quite enuff? Is that the way to grow deep?
Some people are driven by their sense of duty, right? These are self- determined expectations and standards. The Pharisees portrayed in NT good example. Lk.11:37 ff. (NLT) tells story how the Pharisees driven by sense of duty:
As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. 38 His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the ceremonial washing required by Jewish custom. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are still filthy—full of greed and wickedness! 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So give to the needy what you greedily possess, and you will be clean all over.