Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. Jon 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Jon 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Deep calls unto deep and the Lord hears and answers. Sometimes, going deep means reaching the very bottom (depths) of life’s journey in any area of our lives. Yet, if we realise our situation, repent and call upon the name of the Lord, He will answer us. Jonah found this out in the midst of his disobedience of a direct command of God to go and preach repentance to the city of Nineveh. Human beings disobey God and His teachings and therefore make many mistakes, mostly out of disregard of God as the source of all life and answers to life. When this disregard happens, we find ourselves struggling to surface having come to the very depths of our problem. It feels like hell’s bars have enclosed us and there is no way out. The truth is, we have no way out if we do not call upon the Lord.
Going deep in a spiritual sense also means other things. In the book of Hebrews God speaks of entering into His rest. The consequences of not entering into His rest are quite severe. The Jews found out that they could not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief and disobedience and many died. The journey for them in the wilderness was just like Jonah in the deep of the sea. The parallel in these events and in other situations that took place in the Bible suggests that the deep is a place one does not want to be found in. Jesus descended into depths of hell, (Eph 4:9 Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?) on our behalf and cried out from there for deliverance for Himself and all mankind and obtained it by His righteousness. Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; This kind of intercession produced results that are transferred to us even today, so that, when we call from the deep we too would get an answer.
It is out of the deep (sin) that we find repentance, restoration, reconciliation. After that comes the giving of gifts. Jesus had to take our sin and go to hell first before He went into heaven to claim the Promise for us. Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. Repentance always brings a second chance and in that we are also given an opportunity to go the next level in our faith. The cry of our hearts are always to go higher than where we are.
The deep can be an uncomfortable place because death lives there. Having gone there through sin or disobedience or some other way causes the heart to cry out for deliverance. Who will deliver me from this body of sin? This is the cry of a righteous man because the righteous man understands sin and the death that accompanies it. I am sure that many of us find ourselves crying out to God for more. Psa 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psa 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. This was the cry of Jesus on the cross as the Psalmist describes it. Hell is death and destruction forever but even out of the depths of hell God answers His Son and delivers Him. This is our hope and faith.
The bad kind of deep is a place of intensity and fear in the natural but in the spiritual it can be even darker. Many have gone in natural darkness and found themselves terrified by what they experience in life. If you take the life of a deep sea fisherman, even though he braves the sea, he has a healthy respect for the sea. Yet, men have ended up in the depths of the sea as dead. In the spiritual, many have entered into darkness (world & its pleasures) without fear and have found themselves hopelessly lost in utter darkness and some have even died because they have not cried out to the living God. Only He is able to take us up out of the pit of hell and bring us into salvation. I have met so many people who have testified that they had been in a dark place (often time on their death beds) till they had met Jesus and then their lives changed dramatically and forever. Who is sufficient for these things?
Walking with God can be lonely at times, which brings fear, rejection, failure and unexplainable situations. Attached to all of this is the darkness of not knowing. This is also the deep. When we find ourselves in such situations or similar situations, our hearts cry out to God who is in the deep but another kind of deep. This deep is the throne room. Christ descended into hell but His cry took Him out of the pit of hell and into the throne room. Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. This is the hope we have now because of Jesus and it cannot be reduced in anyway because the price has been paid. If we too cry out, God will do for us what He did for Jesus.
Going deep in a spiritual sense also means understanding the deep things of God. 1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Here the scripture reveals that people who live in the Spirit are able to access the deep things of God. When deep calls to deep revelation is made clear. This time around the deep is the voice of God calling from the depths of heaven to us mere mortals in the depths of the earth. We do not hear because we spend our time with the things of the natural rather than the things of the spiritual which are the deep things of God. Apostle Paul puts it this way. Heb_5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Spiritual maturity requires the balance of word and Spirit. Without the evidence of the fruit of faith, one cannot truly say they are walking with God. Though one might be sustained by God’s grace till they wake up, in the meantime, they are not walking in the Spirit. Many Christians have not entered into the rest of God. They spend their time drinking milk when they should be eating meat. Theology and doctrine produces nothing tangible in daily life. Daily life is full of struggles for which we need power to operate through the word of God and produce what we need in this life time, not only for ourselves but for all who need it. Unfortunately, there are many who are fed up with milk but unable to eat meat because they love this present world, lack in trust and faith toward God and refuse to cast aside what is familiar, to abandon themselves into the deep. Launching out into the unknown by faith is launching out into the deep. This is where trust comes in from knowing your God. Dan_11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
When Jonah was questioned on the ship as to why they were all experiencing this unusual storm, he replied that it was because of him. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. If one sins, the whole church suffers and the whole body suffers. When they cast Jonah into the sea, the storm ceased immediately. The big fish swallowed Jonah and kept him in the belly for 3 days. This is a typology of Jesus going into hell for 3 days and rising up after that to take His position with God. Till Jonah was cast into the sea, everyone suffered. In the same way, till Jesus was cast upon the cross to suffer for us and sent into the depths of hell to deliver us, no one was free. He abandoned Himself into the hands of God ( The Deep) knowing only the trust He had in God. When He cried to God on the cross; Mat_27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The answer came back; Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
I am persuaded that God is willing and able on all counts to answer us, whether we are desperate in a situation or in sin or in need to understand the deeper things of God. We must trust Him and abandon ourselves into His hands and enter into His rest. We must keep surfacing through life’s journey from where we are to higher ground through prayer and the word of God by the Spirit of God. It is He who knows all the deep things of God and will reveal it to us. We have to stop sinning and living a mediocre life. We have to take hold of obedience and righteousness in all faith and enter into the deep. My encouragement to you is, let go of surface living in the world and in spiritual things. Dig deep and you will find an everlasting spring of water that will never run dry and you will never again be thirsty. These waters are deep and all who dig must dig deep to find it.
Lots of love