Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.  Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me, and guide me down Your path forever.
Psalm 139:23-24 Voice
- How many people know the real you?
- In order to dig deep, we have to be willing to go through the process of discovering who we really are and what’s really in our hearts. We often like to stay superficial and avoid this process.
- Strain exposes who we really are.
- How do you handle the strain in your life? What comes out? How deeply rooted are you and able to handle the strain of life?
Dig deep to last long
But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.
Mark 4:17 NLT
- If we don’t have deep roots, we will fall away from God as soon as we have problems- we won’t last long!
- You can fall away from God in your heart before you outwardly fall away.
- You have to dig deep to have lasting roots.
How can we have more depth?
It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.
Luke 6:48 NLT
- It’s important to differentiate between storms and normal life stages. Changes to our life stage – like having kids, graduating from college and getting a new job, dating and breaking up – are a normal part of life … they aren’t necessarily “storms.”
- We need to differentiate between storms and life-stages so that we don’t get bitter at God during a normal life change.
- When we dig deep into our own hearts we are able to go deeper into other hearts to help them stand firm in their faith.
But the one who always listens to me will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace. Free from fear, confident and courageous, you will rest unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life.
Proverbs 1:33 TPT
- Storms of life come! It is our relationship with God that helps us remain steady.
- Shelters keep you protected from storms. A strong relationship with God shelters us from the storms of life.
- When you go through a storm, do you fight harder to be close to God? Or do you drift farther from God?
- Storms are times we need God most, yet we often let ourselves get farther from him when we go through difficulty.
- Drifting from God while you are going through a storm is dangerous; you can lose your faith if you don’t fight to stay close to him.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy-full of greed and self-indulgence!
Matthew 23:25 NLT
- Religious people focus on themselves and appearances instead of digging deep.
- How worried are you about the “outside”? Appearances, social status, security in things instead of God.
- Emotional self-indulgence is “self” sin that hurts our depth. Building our lives on what we feel is a way we build on sand. Do you allow emotion to control and lead you? Do you overreact to circumstances?
How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring.
Psalm 84:5-6 TPT
- When we dig deep, we can find pleasantness where others find only pain.
- Digging deep into our hearts and digging deep with God allows us to handle even the worst kinds of pain in life without losing our faith.
- We will be enriched and our lives will be full when we find strength in the Lord!
- Digging deep with God brings blessings!
- God can give us blessings of peace, love, contentment, forgiveness, and freedom.
The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
- Has the message been crowded out in your life? By worries, wealth, and desires?
Deep roots produce lasting fruit
And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
- Deep-rooted good hearts hear and accept God’s Word and produce fruit.
For our gospel came to you not merely in the form of words but in mighty power infused with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. Surely you remember how we lived our lives transparently before you to encourage you.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 TPT
- The gospel should be preached to others with power infused by the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction from those who are studying.
- This verse also says our lives should be transparent in order to help others. Is your life transparent?
- How deep are your convictions about truth, sin, relationship with God, purpose, and discipleship? What do you pass on to others?
For the arrows of your conviction have pierced me deeply…
Psalm 38:2 TPT
- Does God’s Word still pierce your heart? It’s a good thing when we read or hear Scriptures and feel something about them. Don’t avoid that feeling! That is how you build depth with God.
What delight comes to those who follow God’s ways! They won’t walk in step with the wicked…  They will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of their lives. They are never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous…
Psalm 1:1,3 TPT
- A person who is deeply rooted in God never gives up and is never dry, never faint and never quits.
Rely on God to build deep roots
 Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.  Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go. Don’t think for a moment that you know it all,  for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong.  Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.
Proverbs 3:5-8 TPT
- A relationship with God leads us in all decisions.
- Don’t think you know it all – beware of pride! It comes when we are not close to God.
- Wisdom comes from undivided devotion to God and avoiding sin!
- How much do you seek advice?
- How teachable are you?
- Are you a good learner?
…because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD. They refused my advice. They despised my every warning.
31] They will eat the fruit of their lifestyle. They will be stuffed with their own schemes.  But whoever listens to me will live without worry and will be free from the dread of disaster.
Proverbs 1:29-31,33 GW
- We can choose to listen to God and fear God. When we do, we can be free from the dread of disaster.
- Dread is to “anticipate with great apprehension or fear.”
- Synonyms: fear, apprehension, trepidation, anxiety, worry, concern, foreboding, disquiet, unease, angst!
- Imagine if your life were free from these things! It can be when you choose to listen to God.
[20-21] He never stopped believing God’s promise, for he was made strong in his faith to father a child. And because he was mighty in faith and convinced that God had all the power needed to fulfill his promises, Abraham glorified God!
Romans 4:20-21 TPT
- Never stop believing!
- Become mighty in faith. God has all the power we need!