home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > January 14 > DEEPER SPIRITUALITY


I don’t normally share like this so please excuse me for being a bit more personal than I am normally in these Pastor’s Desks. Last Sunday morning I awoke with a strong sense that I needed to incorporate the vision of Ezekiel’s Temple as a framework for us to think about our year ahead in my sermon for that day. I had to re-jig my presentation (which as you might be aware involves a bit more work than they way most other preachers do their slides). This is why I arrived at church a little later than I normally comfortable in doing. I was particularly gripped by this divine vision given to Ezekiel of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in the New Covenant with Christ Himself being the Temple-Source (John 2:19-21). While I was preaching to our church community (in-person and online) I was also preaching to myself. As a result, Kim and I continued  in prayer and fasting for the rest of our Sunday. I now want to invite you to consider again Ezekiel’s picture of the Spirit-filled Christian life as the map for going deeper with God.


It’s my guess that most people regard Christianity as an outdated institution that is largely irrelevant. Sadly, I suspect that too many people who would consider themselves Christians regard Christianity as merely about them and their particular religious observances such as: attending church services, participating in the Eucharist (also referred to as Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper), and performing other religious observances such as lighting prayer candles or contributing to the church’s weekly collection. In the words of the apostle Paul, these people might have a “form” of Christianity but they do not know God or His power in their lives (2Tim. 3:5). Having a form of Christianity like this, but never having experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in transforming your soul into the image and likeness of Christ is a rather lifeless form of Christianity. If that’s where you’re at, I invite you to go deeper into the water of God and seek to experience more of the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:19). 

And do not get drunk with wine,
for that is debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit
Ephesians 5:18

In Ezekiel’s vision of the New Covenant which Yahweh revealed to him, he saw it as a ‘Temple’ twice the size of Solomon’s Temple with a headwater of the Holy Spirit’s life-giving, soul-transforming, miracle-working ‘water’ flowing out from under the Temple’s east door’s threshold Ezek. 47:1). The further that water traveled east, the deeper it got, and in the vision, Ezekiel was invited to walk further and deeper into it. This was a picture of what it’s like to walk with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13, 19; 1Cor. 2:4; Eph. 3:16). Coincidentally, the eastward direction from the Jerusalem Temple is largely dry wilderness, then desert. But Ezekiel is shown that wherever the water of the Holy Spirit goes, what was once barren becomes lush and fertile (Ezek. 47-8-9). This is a challenging picture that reveals that the purpose of the Spirit-filled life is not for the believer’s amusement, but for the empowering of the believer’s response to Christ’s summons to take the hope of rescue and soul-healing to a people lost a harsh world of barren spiritual darkness (Acts 26:18).


How does Ezekiel’s vision of the New Covenant (Christianity) expect the faithful to go deeper? It begins with surrender and living to make God, His Word, and His will our highest priority (Matt. 6:33; Rom. 12:1-3). While formal Christianity is all about external appearance, real Christianity is a matter of the inner-life of the believer. The true believer is being transformed by the Holy Spirit who abides in them (Jn. 14:17). The Holy Spirit takes us deeper by transforming our priorities, our passions, our past-times, our praying, and especially our concern for people. The Spirit-filled life is a life walking daily with Christ with our spiritual ears attentive to His voice and leading.

It is no mere coincidence that both the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:38-39) and the Word of God (Eph. 5:26) are depicted as water. Both are indispensable for going deeper with God (Jn. 3:5). Both relate to how we pray. The Spirit leads the faithful to pray (Eph. 6:18). When a new believer starts out in their new life with Christ they learn that they can talk with God (Gal. 4:6). The Spirit invites the child of God into the Father’s presence to talk freely with Him (Heb. 4:16). As this new believer becomes a seasoned believer they discover while we continue to talk freely with our heavenly Father, we must also appreciate that our Father is the King, the King of the Universe, the All-Mighty King and Judge (Mat. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:12). The Spirit opens our eyes to this awareness of the magnitude of God. The growing awareness of the Father’s greatness increasingly transforms our prayers into petitions for the eternal destiny of people (Rom. 8:26; Col. 1:29) because we walk deeper into the eastward flowing water of the Holy Spirit. 

Don’t wait for a prayer meeting to begin praying. Don’t wait for your next Bible Study to take up God’s Word and feed your soul. The deeper life begins now. Pray now. Take up God’s Word now. Be a witness now. May God the Father grant us a greater revelation of God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit.

¶ The Spirit and the Bride say,“Come.”
And let the one who hears say, “Come.”
And let the one who is thirsty come;
let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Revelation 22:17


Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Julie Davis

    Love the Ezekiel passage that relates to us ‘going deeper’ in Christ.
    Thanks Andrew for reminding me of that, and the importance of it.
    Makes me also think about the Samaritan woman at the well, who needed Jesus (the living water) . Jesus being the ‘complete no 7’ man in her life, to fulfil everything she needed.

  2. Gladys Parry

    Thank you Andrew your written words touched me Thank you


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Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are all major problems in our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can mever be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous because, to materialists, these are just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help me to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.


Perhaps I was a little unfair to this gentleman though, because it is a well established fact that all men are born with selective hearing (as every wife can testify to) and perhaps this may sometimes spill over into incidents such as the one I just recounted(?). But I also suspect that some women have a similar deficiency.

A few years ago the kids and I were a little concerned about Kim’s hearing difficulties. As it turned out, one day outside a shopping centre that we had just arrived at, there was a government sponsored mobile hearing clinic. We urged the reluctant Kim to go in and have her hearing checked. Much to the utter shock of myself and our children the clinician told Kim that she had “perfect hearing”! This then proved that even women may be able to imitate the innate ability of a man to produce selective hearing 🙂 Therefore, there is a high likelihood that both men and women are equally subject to hearing difficulties.

The problem with any hearing difficulties is that it inevitably leads to the far more serious problem of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is at the heart of nearly every relationship problem that anyone will ever face. Misunderstandings due to mis-hearing or mis-communication frequently leads to disputes that if not handled correctly, which it is mostly not, is likely to lead to relationship breakdowns. But there is a different – almost secretive – way to deal with misunderstandings. Let me explain by using several pictures that will make my point. 


Mark Lowry is normally comedic. But his now classic Christmas song is no joke! It presents baby Jesus as the eternal God the Son, the creator of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of all humankind who turn to Him, the all-conquering Lamb of God, and the Great Judge of all people, the I AM. The event of His miraculous conception is known as the incarnation (God becoming human). But the incarnation was not Jesus the Christ’s first entrance into our world. In fact, it is as though He felt a divine right to enter our world any time He chose. These various appearances of Jesus prior to His incarnation are referred to as theophanies (appearances of God) or more particularly as Christophanies (appearances of God the Son). I want to highlight one of these in particular…


We have all seen parents abruptly terminate conversations with other adults to keep an eye on their children. Children can wander about easily. They could get involved in acts that are detrimental to themselves. Parental instincts, often reflected more in the mother, is one of those protective gifts that ensures children are kept safe.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 6 – The deGorified Newborn The ReGlorified Lamb of God

One of my favourite stories of concealed identity hiding in plain sight is from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, where the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, is pursued for years by now retired Inspector Javert. As it turns out Jean Valjean, who had changed his name to M. Madeleine has now become a successful business man and the Mayor of Toulon. Javert arrives in Toulon and is immediately recognised by Valjean. But Javert does not recognise the now clean-shaven, genteel aristocratic Mayor of Toulon as his nemesis. But when he observes the compassion of M. Madeleine he recalls the time in prison when Jean Valjean had also displayed a similar extraordinary compassion for unfortunate fellow prisoners. The more he observed such acts of kindness and generosity from M. Madeleine the more Javert became convinced of the true identity of Madeleine. There is something about this idea of concealed identity that comes from the story of Christ. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Servant of the LORD would appear He would be largely unrecognised – there would be no form, no beauty, that we would desire Him (Isa. 53:2). But how on earth was this possible? How in God’s Name  could those who were created by Him in His image not recognise Him for who He was? The answer to this great puzzle lies in one word: the kenosis.


Andrew, on occasions, used to wistfully say, “You know, all I really want is…” then he would say some ephemeral pleasure, like ‘a drink of coke’, or ‘quiet’, or ‘to get something finished’. So, one day I decided to ensure that his greatest desire (‘all I really want’) was met. This time all he ever wanted was a coffee, so I bounced up and brought him the best cup of coffee I could make and added a little yummy treat to compliment it. A few days later he once again said, “All I really want…” and I interrupted to finish his sentence for him … “was the cup of coffee that I was able to make for you the other day. I bet it was the best ever. I’m so glad I could meet that greatest desire you have.” He never said, ‘All I really want’ again!


THE LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 5 – He is the Creator of Heaven & Earth and all things Visible and Invisible
While the pagan religions in the days of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel, all conceived of their gods as territorial, the God of Israel, Yeshua, declared that He was the Creator of all things and that He was Lord of Heaven and Earth. And He still is.

Freedom in Christ encompasses Freedom FROM and Freedom FOR

God offers freedom to those who turn to Him in faith, and this, as Pastor Andrew says, deserves a Toyota jump. It is worth celebrating. The freedom the New Testament speaks of is not just any old freedom. In Romans 8:21 Paul speaks of ‘the glorious freedom of God’s children’ (NET). In the same way you might savour a piece of chocolate as it slowly melts in your mouth, allow your spirit to savour the meaning of the freedom that is yours in Christ in all its richness. This single word freedom is densely packed with meaning, and we benefit from taking time to unpack just a little of what it means for believers.


Throughout the Old Testament, God made certain promises to the patriarchs (Abraham, Issac, and Jacob/Israel) that their descendants, the nation of Israel, longed to see fulfilled. These promises centred on having a holy Homeland and a Messiah. Over the centuries that followed their expulsion from their Land which sent them into exile into Babylon initially and then into Persia, the Israelites became known as Jews. Their expectations of how these divine promises would be fulfilled became greatly embellished with powerful military overtones.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 3 – Before He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal LBefore He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal Lordord

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.