What does it mean to go deeper in the faith?
To answer this not-so-mysterious question, it would be wise for us to look to Jesus and Paul.
Jesus said that going deep in the faith is the following:
And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)
Please don’t miss the eternal implications of verse 40. Jesus said that the goal of the entire Bible (Law and Prophets) is for humanity to love God Completely (Upward), ourselves correctly (Inward), and our neighbors compassionately (Outward).
This is the original design of humanity: That Jesus restores, recreates, and reenergizes us so we can live Upward, Inward, Outward by His indwelling life in us (Col. 3:3-4). This is what it means to be conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). This is what true humanity looks like.
Here’s what the Apostle Paul said going deeper was:
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
Paul says that, if you want to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, you should go deeper in God’s love. Then, God’s power will be unleashed through your life for God’s glory in His story (Eph. 3:20-21).
And one more thing: The size or lack of size of a local church doesn’t hinder nor empower a local church and its people to go deeper in Jesus’ life-transforming, I-can’t-help-but-be-a-missionary kind of love.