Versus: Cheap Vs Deep

Paul Luckett | - Cheap VS Deep

There are cheap laughs:

crude jokes or stupid videos that illicit a laugh reaction only for me to shortly return to my gloom.

Then there are deep laughs:

experiences or memories rooted in relationship that swell within me into a smile or laughter. It causes me to live [it] again, to ponder people, revisit places and abide in that joy.

Likewise, there are cheap experiences:

things we do that bring us immediate satisfaction but a satisfaction that ends as soon as the activity is over (and often result in a worst state than before we engaged in the activity).

Then there are deep experiences:

things we do that cause us to love, learn, and grow. Things that yield results that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

When it comes to God, we often want to just “feel”, to have a momentary “spiritual” high (which are often counterfeit –not real) to carry us for a week or so while we busy ourselves with worthless things that do not satisfy and actually cause us more harm [cheap experiences].

Where God wants us to “know” Him –an abiding and an awareness that results in a confidence which only comes from obedience to Him [deep experiences].

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!'”
-Galatians 4:6

The deep experience is to know God (awareness, obeying, abiding) which is very different and much harder than just feeling (encouraged, excited, inspired).

There is nothing wrong with emotions. Emotions are God given and often result from an experience with Him. But God is a Spirit and therefore we primarily experience Him, not emotionally but, spiritually. This is about order, seeking to experience God spiritually and enjoying whatever emotions result, instead of the other way around. The order, what I seek first, largely determines whether my experience is cheap or deep.

The deep experiences are sometimes hard and uncomfortable but they result in life.

In everything you do and in how you do it, prefer those things that don’t often come naturally and are usually harder but that result in us being with God more.

Don’t go cheap, with fleeting pleasures that are ultimately unsatisfying and unprofitable.

Seek the heart of God through prayer and His Word, and seek to be with God through obedience to what Christ reveals –the One who gives us life and causes us to love learn and grow.

Make the extra effort to be with God.

It’s harder, but it satisfies and will be so worth in the future.

Go deep.

Jesus Goes Hard

Paul Luckett | - Jesus Goes Hard

This is me some days.

A lot of days, actually.

Struggling to get myself together and out of bed because I don’t know where I’m going or if where I’m going is worth the trouble.

But, Jesus goes hard.

He’s driven.

His goals are not like our goals.

He didn’t leave heaven to acquire houses fit for the cover of “Southern Homes and Garden” or for a certain lifestyle. Jesus said,

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” – Luke 9:58

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28

And to the point of daily discipline, He said,

“I must be about My Father’s business.” – Luke 2:49

Jesus left heaven and got up everyday because of His love for and dedication to the Father.

But, I’m not so enraptured by a feeling of love for the Father that it propels me out of bed every morning. Many days I’m not excited. Many days I don’t feel like it.

“Lord,” I say, “I’m not there yet. Help me.”

And, He did. This is where He teaches me. Jesus says,

“Not My will, but Yours [Father] be done.” – Luke 22:42

Simply put, action in loving obedience is not a product of desire but decision. This is what Jesus demonstrates here.

I have to do, not based on what I’m feeling but based on what I’ve decided based in loving obedience to Him. His Truth and His Spirit give me that capacity. It is an appropriate application of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But, I’m right. I’m not there yet. So, I have to “exercise myself into godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).

It’s not about daily motivation, it’s about daily discipline.

I have to do what I don’t want to do in loving obedience until it simply becomes what I do because obedience has become part of me. Thus, “exercising myself into godliness.”

I feel it’s also important to observe that Jesus did not move aimlessly. Hebrews 12:2 says that, as our example, as the one who ran the first race and set our course –as “the author and finisher of our faith”, Jesus endured pain and suffering “for the joy that was set before Him.”

Jesus was not pressing toward a thing –an achievement or an event.

Jesus was pressing toward a state, “the joy” –abiding in the pleasure of the Father.

“And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” – John 8:29

That “abiding” is in a continuous tense, meaning, it’s not just something that will happen in the future. In Jesus’s case, it always was, it will always be and it is right now.

His pressing was not for Himself, abiding with the Father was His natural state. His pressing was for our abiding.

“Father, I desire that they also who You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24

So, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Therefore, I seek to go forth *abiding* more so than *doing*, having God’s heart to see people loved: seeing them delivered from the death of sin, given life through the knowledge of Him by the face of Jesus Christ and that life nurtured by His manifold grace through us in service.

I seek to go forth abiding, Him being a part of everything that I do.

It’s strange. That state, “abiding”, both results from and results in “always doing those things that please Him.”

So, if I’m not enjoying an abiding with Him, the answer is “doing those things that please Him” (loving people: making Him known, serving, etc.).

And, when I’m enjoying abiding with Him, the result is “doing those things that please Him.”

Love is “doing those things that please Him.”

Consider 1 John 4:12-13,

“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”

Love is “doing those things that please Him” and it is how we abide.

Love is how we experience God.

And, that’s the joy: being with God.

Love is how it is done.

Jesus goes hard for it.

Then, so will I.

So, I press.