If I was to tell you that I was "in over my head," you might think I'd maxed out my credit cards, overbooked my time or fallen so far behind in my paperwork that I couldn't find the phone on my desk. Thankfully, that's not the case. Yet I am having a new kind of "over my head" experience, and it's the best thing to ever happen to me.
I used to think my commitment to God and my fervency for His kingdom was all it could be. I prayed hard. I pastored. I discipled people and tried to keep my family life in order. I was consumed by what I believed to be the call of God. I exacted a toll on everyone around me. I finally ran out of steam.
By the grace of God, certain events transpired in my life and everything changed. God began to take me to places in the Spirit I had never been before.
In Ezekiel 47 a man "like bronze" measures the waters around Ezekiel. First the water came up to his ankles, then to his knees, then to his waist. Finally, "it was a river that [he] could not cross; for the water was too deep" (v. 5). The water was over his head!
This passage offers an analogy for the waters of renewal and revival that have been flowing in "hot spots" around the world. Thank God for the increase in refreshing, revelation, miracles, signs and wonders. Yet I believe taking this swim is not merely an experience reserved for conferences or Sunday morning services. Rather it should be a lifestyle.
Notice the description in Ezekiel. The prophet couldn't cross the river in the usual manner. He could no longer use his feet to take him where he wanted to go. Many of us will venture in only to where we're still partially in control. I believe the depths measured parallel how much we will release our control and understanding and yield to God's ways.
If even one little part of my head is bobbing above the surface, I will still try to run the show and understand it all. God has called us to go in completely, to be in over our heads. This was a river so deep it "could not be crossed." It was too deep for human effort to make a difference!
The Holy Spirit is like that river. We must trust Him to take us where He wants to go, no matter where it leads. The direction is not our decision to make. Though jumping in feels unfamiliar, it is more exciting and fruitful than we could dream. When I wrote my first book, I went in over my head. When the Lord called me to father a network of churches, I went in over my head. When God opened the door for us to buy Ambassador Auditorium in downtown Pasadena, Calif., I followed God in over my head.
The results have been astounding. Several books later, a few thousand churches more and a premiere facility used for God's glory, I am in awe of what God has done. I'm not suggesting you make reckless decisions. But follow the Spirit's leading from deep to deeper.
I'm in over my head and loving it. Life is no longer about "my ministry" or "my plans." It is all His. I urge you to come on in and completely let go. I promise you, the water's fine!
Ché Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif. He leads an apostolic network in 35 nations and has written numerous books, including Fire Evangelism and Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. One of his greatest joys is simply joining the Father in what He is doing today.