It was another beautiful childhood memory until it turned into a full blown crisis. Derek, a ten year old floated on his inner tube in the waters of Pensacola, Florida just a few yards from the shore and his napping father, just doing what boys do- having fun and not paying any attention to the drift. In a matter of minutes he could hardly be seen from the shore. That’s when all the commotion began- the yelling from family members, the lifeguard on a jet ski racing toward him, the bullhorn commands. Who would have imagined that a little drift could insight such drama!
These few verses in the ancient book of Joshua provide an outline of a vicious cycle of the nation of Israel. At first the devoted nation of Israel would drift away from God. That’s the first step in a deadly cycle. Some might say this ancient summary of paganism has little to do with today, but, my friend, I would beg to differ. Drifting is the default setting of any believer that disconnects from Gods Word. We drift. It starts out with a little spiritual slumber, a little habit, a touch of bitterness, a lack of faith and then before we know it, Jesus becomes a tiny dot on the shoreline of our lives. Drifting is always a danger in anything worth the effort
- Drifting can happen in my marriage, if I don’t nurture, learn, pray, and honor my wife.
- Drifting can happen with my kids if I agree to an unhealthy work schedule.
- Drifting can happen in my finances if I slowly turn to a credit card in the last few days of every pay cycle.
Drifting is something we are naturally gifted to do because it doesn’t take any effort.
Drifting is all around us.
- The lostness of today is undeniable. Drifting…
- It’s become commonplace for the Bible to be ridiculed. Drifting…
- The demise of Biblical marriage is all around us. Drifting…
- Sexual identity is blurred. Drifting…
- We see the continuous graying of values and justice…Drifting.
- Racial, political, and philosophical conflict saturates the news… Drifting.
- A vast number of people are checking the “no” box when it comes to religious affiliation. We are drifting…
The driving force of the drift is an undercurrent of callousness to sin, loneliness, disconnection. But there’s hope. God disciplines those who drift. It doesn’t sound like good news but it really is. We may experience a painful awakening. Yes, there’ll be lots of sound and fury as God “hands us over” as He did in the days of Judges. He lets people feel the consequences. But spiritual discipline gives way to a deep yearning for truth and a deeper longing for God.
What’s the mandate in all of this for the Church? What’s the mandate for the drifting Christ-follower? See Revelation 2:4-5: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4-5
I don’t think there has ever been a more urgent time for believers to be on their knees crying out to God for mercy, grace and a renewed passion for His Word.