How often have you heard someone say (or have you said it yourself)? "Well, umm, I know that I should be reading my Bible every day. I really want to, really I do! Really, I mean it." There is the guilt plainly laid out. However, feeling guilty about not reading the Bible doesn't make that person actually read the Bible.
Deep calls to deep. By going deep we are not referring to knowing Bible knowledge. Rather, we are talking about going deeper in the body of Christ: Developing deeper relationships with brothers of faith. "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Prov 27:17 It is only as we learn to openly and confidently bare our souls and open our lives fully to our brothers that we can learn to go deeper.
There seems to be a way of thinking nowadays that thinks that we are to ask God for help by closing our eyes and speaking to God, either silently or out loud. Then ask God in our mind or with our voice for help. Some people may "pray" in this way for days, weeks, months, or many years, often with no affect.
Time and again I've heard various preachers and other Christians say "the Bible clearly says....." Now stop, think a minute. What are they really saying. When someone says the words "the Bible clearly says..." it is usually in the middle of a discussion or speach where they want to prove that he (the speaker) is right. For example one might say, "the Bible clearly says that women are to submit to their husbands" OR, on the other side, another might say, "No, the Bible clearly says that both are to submit to one another."
I've gone to various churches for countlelss years. I've heard many sermons. The focus of each message seems to boil down to a few specific things. Although it is very subtly worded, it basically says, "In order to be saved, you have to believe some very specific things (the correct doctrine). God is a great and wonderful loving God. If you believe these things, and say this specific prayer, then You can go to heaven when you die. (and it just so happens that this "correct doctrine" so happens to be the same as "we" (the church) believe.