By Anne Graham Lotz | Published: September 11, 2017
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Several summers ago, while our family was vacationing at the beach, I got up early to meet the Lord before the family awakened. As I sat on the porch, watching the sun come up over the ocean and listening to the gentle crash of the waves, I seemed to hear the Lord whisper to my heart, “Anne, what do you see?”
As I looked more closely at the scene before me, I answered: “Lord, I see little sandpipers running along the edge of the water, making sure they keep out of reach of the waves and don’t get their feet wet. I see the skimmers flying down the beach, just above the surf, skimming the surface of the water with their long beaks. I see seagulls standing in the tide up to their knees. And then I see the pelicans who circle, then dive headfirst into the waves, coming up with fish they seemed to swallow whole.”
Then the Lord seemed to say to me, “Anne, the Bible is like the ocean. And the people who read My Word are very much like those birds. Some will dance around the Scriptures, not really wanting to step in and get their feet wet in Bible study, but are satisfied to just listen to their preacher or Bible teacher tell them what the Bible says.
Others will read their Bibles, just skimming the surface for facts and information. Some will get in knee-deep, reading the Bible each day with a devotional or commentary close by for reference. And then there are some like the pelicans, who dive in over their heads, going deep in Bible study, applying and living out what they learn. Which bird are you most like?”
And I answered with whole-hearted passion, “Lord, I’m not sure which one I am from Your perspective. But I know which one I want to be. I want to be like the pelican who dives in deep. Please take me deeper into Your Word.” And He has.
Which bird most accurately describes you? Will you resolve to be more like the pelican and go deeper into the Word?
Read Revelation 2:12–17
The ancient city of Pergamum was located in what is now Turkey. Built on a rather flat plain, it was dominated by one hill located at the center, on top of which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: a spectacular white marble temple to Zeus. It also had a medical complex and a university that housed over 200,000 volumes.
A church had been planted in the city with the high hopes of impacting this major religious, medical and intellectual center with the Gospel.
I. GOING DEEPER AS YOU LOOK INTO HIS WORD:
II. GOING DEEPER AS YOU LEARN FROM HIS WORD:
III. GOING DEEPER AS YOU LISTEN TO HIS WORD:
The church at Pergamum refused to go deeper into God’s Word. Instead of the church making an impact on the world, the world impacted the church. Several years ago, I visited the ruins of the old city.
The ancient church was actually attached to a pagan temple. It became irrelevant, powerless, and in the end, non-existent.
Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying? If every church member was like you, would the church be more powerful in its witness—making more of an impact on our world for the Kingdom of God—because it is deeper in the Word? Or would it be more like the church at Pergamum?