It seems that everywhere we look our world is becoming increasingly more shallow. That not only our interest in depth has dropped, but our ability to respond to any sort of depth has also diminished. I was talking with a friend the other day and we were discussing the average intelligence of an individual and how we’ve noticed that the general populace has no interest in anything meaningful of any type of depth, and their level of intelligence has declined as a result of the shallowness surrounding them.
We have phones full of connections via social media and text messages, games and photo streams, even phone calls occasionally, but many of those interactions are shallow – or lack depth.
We have games such as Farmville, PokemonGo and Candy Crush that occupy our time but don’t fill our minds or serve a productive purpose. Except to foster even more shallow time within our daily lives.
We often complain about our lack of authentic connection, yet we still fail to create time for it in our lives.
Why does any of this matter?
It matters because two things mentioned above intersect in the sphere of our spiritual life: intelligence and intimacy.
The term “intelligence” is defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”
The term “intimacy” is defined as “close familiarity or friendship; closeness.”
If we are living in a state of shallow being, and are not actively seeking and acquiring knowledge in our relationship with God, we are unable to apply that knowledge in any sort of personal relationship in order to build a close familiarity with Christ. Therefore, our ability to connect with Christ, is directly related to the amount of time we spend seeking knowledge about Him.
The phrase has long been spoken around the church world “It starts in the natural and moves into the supernatural.” (Or maybe you’ve heard it this way: “it starts physical and ends up in the spiritual.” The meaning of this phrase is that any relationship with God we build will be slightly strange at first – you’re speaking to an invisible person – but you have to get past the physical constructs and weirdness in order to tap into the spiritual relationship available to you. Any connection we will ever make in the supernatural world will be because we first decided to apply our minds in the natural world.
If we are living in a state of shallow being, and are not actively seeking and acquiring knowledge in our natural selves, our supernatural self cannot expect to grow or find intimacy with Christ.
Let’s apply this to Psalm 63 – a Scripture build around intimacy with Christ.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
We see in this passage David has a personal connection with God. Where did this intimate knowledge begin? It began as a result of David’s time of quiet while performing his duties as a shepherd. He didn’t have a smart phone. He didn’t have a computer or even the distractions of the local shops to take up his time. It was his sheep, his harp and his own mind to keep him busy. He acquired knowledge through his time in nature and applied that knowlege later as King of Israel. Could it be that David was named the man after God’s own heart because he made time to learn about God and develop a deep intimate relationship with Him in his moments of solitude?
It’s no coincidence that songs like Oceans (Hillsong) are so well-known and loved by Christians today – of every age and stage. “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander…” We desire depth. We desire to be known. We desire to KNOW the Creator of our souls. But we often don’t take time to acquire knowledge of God and apply that knowledge (spiritual intelligence) in an effort to build intimacy with Him (personal and familiar relationship).
Acquire Knowledge: forego texting, social media and internet surfing and hit the Bible App instead Spend some time reading the book written by Him.
Apply Knowledge: Journal. Speak with your friends about the things you’ve been discovering. Create a Small Group Bible Study. Reach out to Your Community…they crave intimacy as much as you do!
Build Intimacy: Spend time in prayer – that is how our relationship with God begins. Every day. Thank Him for the little things, not just the big ones. Make it a habit.
Develop intimacy in the shallow space around you – and watch as your quality of life increases