“Push out into the deep!” Those words echoed like a trumpet sounding the call to arms. Staring out through the railing of a balcony eleven floors above the glistening white sands of the Gulf beach, above the roar of the crashing emerald waves, the eternal words of Jesus spoke clearly into my spirit, “Push out into the deep!”
The “deep”—an ominous place of mythical proportions. It’s a destination just beyond the boundary lines where safety and security exist—just beyond the reach of life’s normal journey—the abiding place of every uncertainty—the resident address of unnerving fear—the zip code of the unknown—the abode of the miraculous—the habitation of Almighty God.
The very sound of it strikes at the depths of our primordial craving for safety and survival. The response is almost involuntary—a recoiling—a drawing back like one standing too close to the brink of a bottomless abyss. And yet the very sound, the clarion call of God, grasps one’s heart like the song of the mythical sirens whose melodious voices caused ancient mariners to crash their ships on the ocean’s hidden reefs of rock and coral in a mad rush to possess what they could never own. His voice seizes both the spirit and the soul and simply will not loosen its grasp.
The “deep” is a place attained only by a clear invitation and utter abandonment. No amount of planning or preparing or programming will transport one to this destination. This is the place where experience falls in the dry dust, where common sense looses its confident bearings and passionate desperate obedience kicks in. This is the place where naked unbridled dangerous faith—not dazzling familiarity or even discernable facts – governs one’s movements.
This is where a determined response—a leap—a “push” is demanded. A push through the terror of unspeakable fear—through the boredom of safety—through the dread of embarrassment—through long-held dreams and earnest expectations—a push into the unknown to know the unknowable majesty, mystery, and power of the Lord God.
But it is a push with direction. Out! Out from that which is comfortable—out from excuses—out from experiences—out from the ordinary—out from those acquisitions of security—out from anyone who would hold you back and away from everyone who stands between you and the very One who calls you. Push out!
Push out into! Into the unseeable—into the mist of mystery—into the haunts and the lair of faith—into the very place you said you would never go—that place you could not go—out into the God who’s not safe, but who is omnipotent. Out into a place that will engulf you—immerse you—bleach you out—turn you upside down and inside out—out into the only destination that will satisfy the unquenchable longings of your ravenous heart.
“Push out into the deep!” Push out into God! Push out toward the One you can’t explain but desperately desire to experience. Push out away from all that restrains you and into the One who draws you. Deep is calling deep. Spirit is calling spirit. Push out into the deep—let down your nets—and await God’s filling.