When it comes to pulling weeds, one learns quickly all weeds are not the same. Some can be yanked by the fistful, but others require a lot more effort. What is the difference? Deep roots!
Men of God need depth in order to stay planted. Depth enables one to hold fast in hard times, to keep perspective when things are confusing, and to know contentment in all circumstances. The Psalmist expressed a deep longing for the Lord in Ps 42 (v.7, ‘deep calls to deep…“). The apostle Paul included a prayer for depth in his letter to the Ephesians. “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” (Eph 3:16–17).
I can’t think of a more growth-producing practice than regular and purposeful reading. Here are four favorite books that influenced my own commitment to pursuing depth. I’ve read these books repeatedly over the years. If you’re looking to grow deeper, pick one and read it. I’d love to hear from you about your take-aways.
- Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster (If you are new to spiritual disciplines, start here. Choose two or three disciplines to practice regularly for a period of time and see what happens.)
- Tyranny of the Urgent, Charles Hummel (Short, simple, and relevant to daily life. You can read this in less than an hour)
- Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders (My favorite leadership book. The heart of a leader is far more important than management skills)
- Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray (If Andrew Murray wrote it, you can be sure it is worth reading. Take it slow, there is a lot to digest)
Becoming a person of depth requires paying attention to your spiritual life, your emotional life, and your intellect life. Are these areas being cared for, nurtured and fed? It takes effort and discipline to grow deep. It usually means doing things you don’t ‘feel like’ doing and pushing into challenges or disciplines which can be hard. Like physical training, spiritual depth grows slowly over time as you practice growth-producing habits.
A lot of us have more time on our hands these days. That’s a gift. I encourage you to make this a time to cultivate your inner man (or, as applicable, woman).
In DL Bonds,