We were with our friends Jay and Carol and we had made the trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was our first trip there and it was awesome. I grew up by the water, but the water in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada never, came close to the warmth of Myrtle:)
So in we went, jumping as high as we could to avoid getting splatted. Wheezing and coughing as our mouths and eyes filled with salt water. It was great!!
After 20 – 30 minutes we took stock of where we were and realized that the shore didn’t look familiar at all. We had drifted. Now you expect to drift a bit but we were way down the shore. By the time we got out and walked back I was actually winded.
Here’s the thing about drifting
- Drifting requires no effort..
- It is an unconscious process…
- You don’t drift against the tide…
- It can take you away from what’s important…
Our spiritual lives are no different. The writer of Hebrews gives a warning that is still relevant all these years later.
For a moment let’s consider 3 ways we can drift from God when times are tough.
Warning #1 – You start to DISTORT the PAST
The children of Israel had been rescued from Egyptian bondage and were on their way to the Promise Land. But their disobedience caused the journey take much longer than first imagined. So they started to complain.
“ … remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (Numbers 11:5)
Really? Funny how tough times can make our past look better than it actually was. The reason why their food had no cost was because they were SLAVES!!!
“Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God.” (Exodus 2:23)
If you stepped back for a moment and were realistic are you distorting the past? It may be s sign of Spiritual Drift.
Warning #2 – You MISS What GOD Is DOING In The PRESENT
When you read the text in Exodus at times it seems as if the Children of Israel are in the middle of the wilderness all by themselves. But nothing is further from the truth. God was in the midst of them in the middle of the camp. They were guided by a cloud by day and a fire by night. This was the Old Testament version of our GPS.
“The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.” (Exodus 40:38)
The front of every tent opened towards the middle of the camp and the presence of God. So every morning when they opened their tent door they saw the Tent of Meeting with the cloud reminding you of the presence of God. At night as they went to bed they could see the fire representing the presence of God.
Yet, while they complaining about having no water, no food. While they complained about the leadership of Moses and Aaron and that God had left them. God’s presence was always in their midst.
Are you complaining about your future why missing what God is doing in your present life? It may be a sign of Spiritual Drift
Warning #3 – You Forget who Saved you.
You may know the story about Moses climbing up the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments. He was gone so long the people thought he wasn’t coming back and they went wild and I mean wild. Then we read this verse.
All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:3-4)
The idol you made with your own hands freed you from slavery?
Was the idol with you when you crossed the Red Sea?
Was the idol with you when water came out of a rock?
Are you beginning to take for granted what Jesus did for you? Is the message of the cross holding less significance in your life? It may be a sign of Spiritual Drift.
Are you going through a difficult time right now? Take a moment and step back and ask yourself.
Am I making the past out to be much better than it’s reality?
Am I so focused on my trouble that I am missing what God is doing in my life right now?
Am I devaluing what God has done for me through Jesus?
What should I do?
- Get your devotional life back on track
- Get involved in a church ministry
- Get involved in a small group and stretch yourself