Drift is a subtle thing.
Long journeys can be trying at times. Sometimes we lose our enthusiasm for the trip, wanting to give up and turn around, not realising how far we’ve come.
Other times we totally forget where we are going and we ask ourselves, or others, “Why am I doing this?”
But I think most times, we simply drift.
Like a ship without a rudder, we lose sight of our destination, or we get blown off course. Things begin to look the same.
The journey becomes a grind.
Other things catch our attention.
And before we know it, we’ve somehow drifted off course, stranded somewhere that we never intended.
Heb 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
I read the story of a young woman who rowed a 19 foot boat across the Atlantic. She said that drift was one of the biggest problems. The trip had to be so well planned to take into account the currents, weather patterns etc., BUT, she says, when you sleep, you drift.
The dangers of ‘falling asleep’
Rom_13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
In 1 Thessalonians 4 Paul talks about how we should live whilst we wait on Christ’s return.
He reminded them that they knew the commandments that came through Christ about how they should conduct themselves whilst they awaited the return of Christ, in a way that was pleasing to God.
What does Romans 6 say?
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.1
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
We should not be in darkness, but be walking in light – seeing clearly where we are going.
1Th 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
What must we give more heed to?
If you are in a row boat, it is so easy to drift if you don’t keep your eye on where you are going.
The answer is in the verse Hebrews 2:1 – we must give the more earnest attention to the things we have heard.
What causes drift?
It is a subtle thing – that is, you don’t have much clue it is happening.
You lose your reference point.
Going in a particular direction is usually related to your starting point.
You reference your direction from that point.
You can think you are still on course. Being a little bit off to start, magnifies out to bigger differences the further you go.
A little bit of compromise here, a little bit of compromise there, doesn’t seem too big of a deal at the time, but the danger is that it doesn’t take long for the compromise to grow – for you to drift a long distance, but it was subtle – a little here, a little there,
AND STILL THINK YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT COURSE!
Those TV shows aren’t too bad – after all, if we were too picky, we wouldn’t see anything, because that’s the way the world is now. That’s just the culture we live in.
We gradually become comfortable with sin and lapses of moral judgement, until one day we are in danger of waking up to find that we are actually more comfortable in the world than we are in body of Christ.
No man can serve two masters
Mat 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
23 But if your eye is bad, your whole
body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
We develop a taste for the world and all that is in it, wanting to hold on to our lives.
Heb 3:6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE,
8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
9 WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED ME, TRIED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS.
10 THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.’
11 SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’ “
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “TODAY,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
We have an enemy in this world
There is only one way to defeat him, and that is to consider yourself crucified with Christ. You no longer live for yourself, but the life you now live, you live by faith in the Son of God.
Reckon yourself dead to sin, believe you are dead to sin.
Do you feel like you’re dead?
He didn’t say – feel like you’re dead, He says ‘believe you are dead!
The new life works by faith.
Are you being tempted?
Then consider Jesus.
What is He the apostle and High priest of? Our confession.
I AM DEAD TO SIN AND I AM ALIVE TO GOD. IN CHRIST It is not through my own striving, but by His empowering and it works by faith. I have to believe that He is able to live His life through me. I am a new creation.
But if we have drifted off course, eventually, there creeps in an unsettling uneasiness. A lack of true peace. This is a good thing. It’s like the life buoy on the ocean that serves as a warning for ships going off course, destined to be smashed onto rocks, or hit treacherous waters.
It tells you there is something wrong, prodding you to turn your eyes back on Jesus, back onto the Living Word, and live the life He has for you.
The effort you put in to “turn your eyes upon Jesus = the living Word of God – will result in peace being restored.
The peace and joy that can be found by worldly means are getting harder to find and will soon be impossible.
There is only one source of true peace and true joy—abiding in the Lord and living in His kingdom. If we depart from the ways of the Lord, we will be robbed of true peace.
We can expect more chaos and tribulation in this world as we get closer to the end of this age, but we can also expect more peace and joy of living in the kingdom.
Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Feed on His Word
God’s life makes it work, but you need to give Him something to work with. Feed on His word – as Job said, ‘Your word is more necessary than my daily bread.‘
Luk 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.’ “
This was quoting the following verse.
Deu 8:3 “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Why did He do this?
It was to make them dependent on food they could not see with their eyes
- they did not grow, or were responsible for
- it didn’t come from them.
- they had to keep His Word and depend on Him for their life
How do you get to know a person’s commandments, statutes and judgements? You have to give yourself to study them. Spend time in them
Pro 4:20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body.
Jos 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, (ie. You won’t drift off course) and then you will have success.
You will believe what you continually look at. The reverse – if you don’t give any attention to something, then it will grow distant to you.
Mat 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
1 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
John 2:4 – He who says “I know Him an
d does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in Him. But whoever keeps His word – truly the love of God is perfected in him.
He who says he abides in Him ought to walk as He walked
Eph 5:15 So then, be very careful how you live. Don’t live like foolish people but like wise people.
16 Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days.
17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants.
2Ti 4:5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
God has given us the gift of time.
We we can use it for good or evil.
We can, like Paul, at the end of our life say that I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the lord will give to me, and to all those that love His appearing.
Time = opportunity to choose
You know, if you have not made good use of the gift of time that He has given you, then you might not be loving the idea of His appearing.