I just heard a sermon on drifting away from God which was excellent, but I wanted to add a bit more to what I heard. When we come to Jesus we are pretty gung-ho. We can’t seem to get enough of Him and what He did for us. However, over time and with the world the way it is we can get off track, settle for what we shouldn’t settle for, compromise, and before we know it we are drifting away and might not even see it for quite some time. The sermon I heard was on Nehemiah and it was presented with truth and great thought. I loved the sermon. I am a person who hears a sermon, goes home and restudies what I heard, and then tries to apply what I heart to my own life, and then how to share what I got out of it with someone else. I also want to know if what I heard was the truth and I do that by opening the bible and searching out what I heard if it was true or not…of if someone twisted it to say what sounds good to tickle my ears, or if it was truth. If we hear something good about the word of God we really do need to share it with someone because if we are God’s children…then we want others to know of God’s great love and mercy. To really know God should make us want what God wants, and hate what God hates. We have a choice.
There are red flags when we begin to drift but many times we don’t see them. They can come on slowly one after another and yet we still believe we are okay with God when each day we are getting further away.
So what are some of the red flags? Maybe only one applies to you, or maybe many or all of them. As you read this…search your heart to see where you stand on this subject, and what you can to get back right with God.
The company you keep
One of the signs you could be drifting away is the company you keep. We are not to hang around bad Company. What does that mean? If we hang around and live like the world, doing what the world thinks is okay, sooner or later we don’t see it as bad…and sooner or later we might go ahead and do something that we know God would not approve of, but maybe we think we can handle the situation and not give in…but there comes a time the devil will attempt to tempt you in a way that doesn’t seem so bad at the moment…and when you give in that one time…you have opened the door for him. Best advice from God and others who love you should be to tell you to remove bad company from your life.
Yes, wrong relationships can bring you down as well. Living like the world, doing what the world does, compromising God’s word because it sounds or feels good at the time…will have consequences. God doesn’t say don’t do something because it is bad for you to punish you…He does it to protect you. Being unequally yoked eventually will cause sever bumps in one’s relationship. Living a lifestyle God doesn’t approve of has severe consequences. This is a red flag!!!! You can’t live a life that is totally against what God calls wrong and expect God to approve of it. God is way smarter than we are or ever will be.
Don’t compromise God’s Word
Don’t compromise God’s word no matter what mankind tries to tell you. You pick up your Bible and read it. Listen to the word, pray about the word of God, and see what God says. If someone tries to tell you something different than the truth of God’s word….RUN! It is your life and soul on the line and compromising God’s word is a great big red flag. Beware!
Slowly we drift away
I can’t speak regarding you on this subject, but I know there have been times that I drifted away. Not that I wanted to, and possibly not that I even knew I began that road of drifting. If we really knew we had begun to drift…wouldn’t we want to fix it right then? I didn’t see the little things tugging me away but they were there. I thought I was okay and I wasn’t. I allowed the devil a foothold when I should have been fighting to stay on course. The attention-grabbing thing about drifting away from God is that we drift and we don’t even know that we are drifting. Drifting happens slowly, and many times unintentionally.
I saw this statement and wanted to put it here. I don’t know who wrote it to give credit for it. “Large steps away from God always begins with a thousand small steps away from Him.” Well, I don’t want to be that person and most likely you don’t either.
Drifting Happens in the Heart First
You just don’t drift to drift, and you don’t drift completely in one day. Something begins to occur…first it occurs in your heart. Then, it takes up residence in you and with your attitude, words, and actions.
As followers of Jesus we can being drifting even when we are doing things that are godly like: going to church, singing songs in worship service, leading small groups, praying for the sick and preaching sermons from the pulpit. Doing lots of godly things doesn’t mean we are right with God, nor does it mean we are not drifting away slowly and most times we don’t even see it.
Well, in the last couple years living in America we have been bombarded with fake news. If we listen to something long enough and our fed lies…many will not do the research for themselves but begin to believe the lies they are being fed. But then, we as God’s children, often time turn to faking devotion to God and managing an image, as a way to shield people from how far we may have drifted from our Father. We kind of like turn to what one might call ‘play acting’ so others think we somehow are religious. We don’t want even those closest to us to know we are drifting away somehow. So we play our own fake news. This can be quite tiring can’t it? Trying to keep people thinking we are okay with God when we are not, yet not running to God to get right with Him.
How We Know We Are Drifting away?
We become aware that we are wandering away from God when we do some of these things:
You are not affected by the Good News (the power of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus) like you once were
Attempt to follow Jesus without the power of the Spirit.
Feel very little or no need to confess and repent of our sins.
Find it easier to compromise our moral beliefs.
It is just innocent (But it is wrong!)
Justify and rationalize our sins.
Refuse to trust God.
Spend little or no time fellowshipping with other followers of Jesus.
Spend little or no time praying.
Spend little or no time reading the Word of God.
The gospel doesn’t affect you like it used to – “I’ve heard it a thousand times before…it just seems a little old.”
The sins that used to bother you don’t really bother you anymore – “This show isn’t that bad. It doesn’t really tempt me too much.”
You don’t spend much time fellowshipping with other Christians – “I’ve worked hard, I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is go and be with other people.”
You find yourself quieting your conscience more frequently – “I know it was wrong, and I’ll pray about it tonight.”
You keep promising yourself that you will stop – “Okay, this is the last time I look at porn, do drugs, get drunk.”
You spend little, if any time reading God’s word and praying – “I’m just too busy right now to read and pray.”
You find yourself making excuses for things – “I’m only chatting on Facebook with the guy/girl, it’s not like we’re sleeping together.”
What to Do If You Have Drifted
We all drift – near and far from God. Yes, you do know matter how rich, famous, poor, or how godly you might think you really are. Though we drift, there is good news. We can always find our way back to God and make things right with Him. However, we need to do some soul searching to see where we are with God, how far we have drifted awy, and then what does God want us to do to get back right with Him.
- Add spiritual habits back to your life – prayer, search out God’s word by Bible reading and listening to God’s word, church attendance, worship through singing, and begin doing what God says is right to do while turning away from what God says is wrong to do.
- Believe that God loves you unconditionally and his grace is enough to cover your drift.
- Confess and repent of your sins.
- Pray, and pray some more, and then pray some more.
You don’t have to keep drifting
Although you have drifted away, or caught it before it got too bad, you don’t have to keep drifting. Each and every one of us can turn back to God, repent, confess, and get right with Him.
Most won’t fall into “terrible” sin
Most Christians don’t suddenly fall into terrible sin, but whose yardstick are you going by? Sin is sin and any sin needs to be dealt with. Most, however, don’t wake up each day and say, “Gee, I think I will go out today and rebel against God and sin my heart out.” I don’t do that and I doubt if you do it either. You most likely had a temptation come your way. Maybe you are having troubles at home and instead of fixing them and making things right through prayer, talking, and change…you saw something that looked greener to you so you gave in. Now is the time to stop it. The grass is not greener and with any sin comes consequences at some point.
Big sin is always the sum of a thousand tiny choices.
That’s why the author of Hebrews says:
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
One of our greatest temptations as Christians is simply to drift away from Christ by one or many small choices. Those in the world believe being a Christian is a hard thing and we need a crutch in Jesus. Hey, whatever they want to believe is okay, but what we believe is paramount. I don’t care if they think I need Jesus as a crutch or anything else. I need Jesus in my life and He is the best and most important thing in my life. Call it a crutch or whatever you will. He is my God, my Lord, my healer, my deliverer, my provider, and everything else. We don’t take even one breath without His say so. I want to run to Him not away from Him. However, this world is disgustingly evil and it can be difficult to go day by day especially if we don’t depend on Jesus to get us over the finish line. I’ve done many things in my life I could call them regrets and tell you how sorry I am. Some will believe it while others won’t. That’s okay, because it is God I must tell my heart to. I sinned and that sin caused a division with God in my life, and it caused a division with the people around me I dearly love. I can’t make anyone love me, think better of me, forgive me, or believe I have changed. But…………….God knows my heart and loves me. I don’t want to disappoint my God, but at times I am sure I do. It is at those times I can run to Him, repent of whatever sin I committed, and ask Him to forgive me. I want to go to heaven and I want my life right with Him. I wish people loved me for me, and that I could please people, but we don’t always please everyone. However, I don’t want to please any one if what they want from me is to live an ungodly life that God doesn’t approve of. I don’t want to feel a mile away from God…in fact, I want to be as close to God as super glue.
The good news is the fact that you can turn back
The good news is, if you find yourself drifting you can put a stop to it! God loves to help us stop drifting. He loves to give us the power to change. Don’t let yourself drift. Drifting is dangerous. Sometimes it’s lethal.
When you don’t feel like praying anymore, you are drifting further and further from God. God hasn’t moved; we have! We need to move back toward God, but the quickest way to get back to Him is on our knees. Pray when you don’t feel like it because that’s a signal you need to.
Prune your out of control life
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
One of Satan’s greatest weapons against our generation seems to be his ability to make good people busier than ever before. We so often sacrifice the best things in life by spending time doing things that are just “pretty good.” Take a really close look at your calendar. Filling our life with too much stuff can actually put distance between God and us. We need to take out our pruning shears and begin to cut out any activities you can that will allow you to focus more time on your relationship with your Creator.
Put your affections on what is right and good
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Be alert and very watchful not to set your heart on things that really don’t matter. I have seen good people enticed away from church life because they have fallen in love with things or activities that have no eternal merit. . But if something begins to adversely affect the spiritual involvement and development of you or your family, then pull the plug immediately.
Discouragement can drag you down too
Satan uses his weapon of discouragement to drag people away from spiritual activities. When the trials of life cause a person to become discouraged, he often begins focusing on those problems and takes his eyes off of Christ.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Does abundance cause you to turn to the world and away from God? It does many people and it has been happening all throughout the Bible and time since then. People struggle, God blesses them, they become prosperous, and then they depart from God. People of plenty often choose recreation over worship. Why go to church if you could be out golfing, boating, camping, or going to movies or sporting events? Wealth and abundance make it even easier to lure us away from God. Many people begin to drift away from God, because they have sins in their lives that cause them to feel guilt when they show up at church. And they feel reluctant to pray or read their Bible when they know they have these issues in their lives. Most of us have been there and done that many times over. Our sins are parasites to our soul. Isn’t it easier to go to God and get right with Him than keeping sin in your soul that can keep you out of heaven?
The solution for our soul
The resolution/solution here is not to run/drift from God. The key is to confess your sin to God who will restore you and make you whole again. When we are right with God and stay as close as we can to Him……..we will make it over the finish line at our last breath and hear, “Welcome Home! I sure want to hear that: do you?