I remember taking swimming lessons when I was 8 years old. Standing at a mere 4 ft. 5 inches tall, I was so intimidated on the first day as I stared into the large indoor pool from the shallow end which was 4 feet and looked out towards the unthinkable deep end, which was 12 feet deep. On that day, I thought what in the heck is my mom thinking, I could die in this water— I can barely stand up without being underwater (submerged).My mom had wisdom that my innocent mind was not privy too; she knew the only way I could learn to swim effectively was to be submerged into the water and that started with learning the rules of the water, hence swimming lessons.
The reason for the above story is to create a parallel of swimming and your spiritual walk. It’s easy to be intimidated just like 8 year old me when you first start to understand the concept of God. Living for God and following his ways seems cumbersome and scary, like the 12 foot end of the pool. However, just like there was a process for me to learn how to swim, there are also steps for growing in your spiritual walk. You don’t just wake up one day ready to jump into 12-foot end of a pool or the 12-foot end of spiritual life. Without a solid foundation (aka spiritual lessons), you won’t be equipped to handle the tests that come with being submerged in 12-foot end of spiritual life. With that being said, the rest of this blog will be broken down into
1. Staying Afloat
The first thing they taught us in swimming lessons was about kicking our feet. I remember hanging onto the wall and kicking my feet for what felt like an eternity during lessons. They told us kicking our feet was important because that was the way to propel ourselves forward. Many people have grown up in church, so the concept of God is second nature. We “kick our feet” spiritually in Sunday school class, children’s church, vacation bible school, church camp, and many other great activities designed to teach kids about God. Other people don’t learn about God until they become adults. They attend church once or twice month, listen to praise music on Sundays, and pray when they
need something. In this stage, whether child or adult, God has a genie like quality for young believer, he is available when it’s convenient for the person. He’s a part of their life, but he isn’t yet everything. This is a “when I need God he is available outlook”. However, the goal of our spiritual walk should be that God is ALL I
NEED. They are not yet submerged, rather this stage in the believer’s walk is about staying afloat.
2. Knee Deep Standing Firm in the Comfort Zone
The next thing they taught us in swimming lessons was moving our arms while kicking our feet. We would kick our feet and flap our arms to tread water. This step of learning to swim reminds me of the stage in our spiritual walk when we learn about the bible and become more involved in church. Now, as a believer, we are able to repeat stories of people in the bible like Jesus, or Moses, or Abraham. We can quote popular scriptures like John 3:16 or Philippians 4:13. We selectively try to live right, but ignore parts of the bible that don’t align with some of our fleshly desires. We say things like only God can judge me (read Isaiah 13:11) or God knows my heart. Jeremiah 17:10 says “the Lord searches the heart and tests every man according to his ways, the fruits of his actions”. This is very much an excuse filled stage of the spiritual walk. It’s dangerous to be stuck in this place. God calls us to grow in his word and in our walk. (1st Corinthians 13:11– “walk by faith,not by sight”)
At this stage, many people believe in God, but they haven’t experienced him for themselves. Therefore, their faith will remain shallow and stagnant if they stand firm: These believers are in the water, but they’re not moving towards the deep end. They are treading in 5 feet where they are comfortable because the water is not deep enough to overtake them, so they feel they’re in control. The bible tells us that in order to live the fullness of our life in God,We must surrender control to him.
3. Going Against the Grain using Power Strokes:
In my swimming lessons, they taught us power strokes once we got the hang of using our arms and feet together in the first two steps. These power strokes were a more effective method of using our arms and were designed to help us swim against the current in oceans, lakes, or any other body of water not stagnant like a swimming pool. In regards to
your spiritual walk, power strokes compare to the development of a personal relationship with God. The believer has started reading the Bible on their own, praising, and spending quiet time. Usually, they have a few testimonies because they have witnessed what God can and has done in their personal life.
At this stage, many believers have given God most of their life, but they haven’t given him ALL of it. In terms of percentage, they are probably 75% committed, which is good, but it’s still not enough.I can personally attest how dangerous this stage is because I got stuck here for a long time without even realizing it until I was convicted beyond measure. The problem with giving God 75 percent of your life is that the Devil still has 25 percent to play with. And make no mistake about it, that’s exactly where he will attack you, the 25 percent. See the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy so he doesn’t care how much of your life you leave open, he just cares that you have left some of it open. This stage is a good place to be in your walk, but it’s not the BEST place and we
all want God’s best for our lives.
4 Submerged: Diving Deep and Never Turning Back
The last thing we ever did in swim lessons was a test. We had to jump off the diving board into 12 feet and swim to the other end of the pool. This test was a comprehensive exam to determine if we could apply all the skills we had learned. At this point of the lessons,our swim instructors relinquished control and allowed us to take charge.
total focus and commitment were required from us as students to pass the test. This is the place we all trying to be in our spiritual walk. When we jumped off the diving board, we were Submerged; it was sink or
swim and there was no turning back.
This is a beautiful Place to be in your spiritual walk, it’s total commitment to God. It’s a place of surrender: you yield to his will for your life because you understand that his ways and his thoughts are higher than yours (Isaiah 55:8) You’re trusting the plans he has for your life because he working for your good (Romans 8:28) When tests come, you talk back to the devil and use the word of God as your weapon. This is the stage where everyday you take up your cross and you choose to be faithful and obedient (Psalms 119:30) it’s not always easy, but it’s Worth it
because he is faithful..
So cheers to Living it out and being Submerged
in the King’s(👑 Jesus) way!