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The Deeper Life You Were Made For

Who are you? What is your purpose? Do you matter?   Those are questions that can only be answered when you choose the deeper life.   Like many adolescents, I longed for this deeper life, but had no one to show me how to get there.   I remember bein…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Who are you? What is your purpose? Do you matter?
Those are questions that can only be answered when you choose the deeper life.
Like many adolescents, I longed for this deeper life, but had no one to show me how to get there.
I remember being a young husband and father. Fired from my first job, I was knocked off my feet and just trying to survive. I didn’t have the luxury of asking those questions. Life was already answering them for me: “You are a failure. You don’t have a purpose.”
It took years before it was safe enough for me to take that deep look inside. We can go a long time in survival mode in life’s shallows, but at some point, we catch our breath, look around and our insecure self steps back to ask those deeper questions.
Something in us needs to be seen and known. We need to matter to someone. We crave intimacy, but need to be shown how to get there.
What makes our task more complicated is that we were born into a society that glorifies life in the shallows. Social media is a mirror we can look in to see how we compare. When we see others apparently thriving, we retreat to our ghettos of self-doubt. And from there, the deeper life can look so threatening.

Deeper life activities

The reality is that we are born to be loved and born to go deep. You will never explore your full potential in the shallows. The master called to Peter and he calls to us, “Put out into the deep.”

What does this look like practically? Here are a few actions that can help launch you on your way to a deeper life:

  • Face-to-face conversations
  • Intentionality
  • Probing questions
  • Contemplation
  • Media control

Where to start?

Where do we start? Let me suggest that the process is like learning to swim. We need the help of others to get there – those who have themselves experienced the joy of deep living. Start where you are, but gradually go deeper. Some practical steps:

Start journaling the questions about your life and purpose that feel unanswered. Then look around and identify someone who seems to be living a deeper life.

Ask them to coffee and ask them to tell you their story. What was life like in the shallows? What prompted them to seek a deeper life?

Understanding the story of those who have found their way out of the shallows is a great way to start the process of discovering a deeper life. Remember what A.W. Tozer said, “The great saints differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it.”

Comments (2)

  • Hello Seth! I love this article. I’ve been a deep person all my life. Any relationship I’ve ever had was deep. But for some reason I can’t seem to jump start this thing now. I’m involved in a few things but I don’t feel the depth in the relationships. It’s one thing to minister. But it’s another thing to look at one another and say where are you at and what do you need? I feel like I go and I play the music and I see people getting touched. But I don’t feel like I am being touched by other people. I have people who say they care and they’re moved by things that I’ve done, but it feels shallow. I am not a shallow person. I just don’t know what to do or where to go. I got all the way here in Texas and I am presently at a wall. It’s such a strange feeling I just don’t even know what’s going on. something is missing in my life ( family, deep friendships). It’s not Jesus because I’m very close to him. And he comforts me speaks to me and guides me to speak to other people quite often. But I don’t know where I belong. Intimacy? Connection? Face-to-face? That is all I want that is what I live for besides living for Jesus but I don’t feel like I’m experiencing that. Not in the way that I am longing for. My heart feels a lot of pain these days. And I have overcome and been set free of so much. It’s amazing where I’m at right now but I don’t know where to go I don’t know what the next place is. The next season ??

  • Hi Sandy. It’s good to have the hard wiring to go deep. Many of us feel the tug of deeper relationship, but we have little equipping to go there.

    Yes – you have overcome and been set free from so much. God has got plans for your life that will leverage what’s in your heart!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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