Summary: Warns of the dangers of drifting away. How we can know when we are drifting??
When I was a teenager a friend of mine had a beach house in Laguna beach, and we would go down and spend the weekends at the beach! We would basically hang out at the beach all day, of course we wore our short “OP” shorts on and our “Hang Ten” tank tops, but we were not surfers, we did not have surfboards nor boogie boards, this was before boogie boards were invented! Instead we were "Rafters"! We each had one of those huge yellow and blue rafts, the kind with the rope to hold on to. We thought we were pretty cool with our beach towel in one hand and our big blue and yellow rafts in the other, strutting down to the beach! (Ok! we were nerds, but we thought we were cool, no wonder the girls ignored us!!!)
One of our favorite things to do would be to take our rafts the to the gas station and fill them up solid hard with air, then go out to the ocean and ride waves…which really amounted to what’s known as going over the falls. Now the surfers hated us because they would be trying to surf and here comes these nerd on a rafts, right in front of them!
But something would happen every time, after being in the water for a few hours when we came out on shore, we noticed that the towels our clothes, and things we left on the beach were literally hundreds of yards down the beach. How did they move? Did someone move them? Is there some group of kids playing a sick joke on us and moving our stuff??
Well, we know what was happening? We had moved! While we were in the water we were being pulled by the ocean currents And they were causing us drift down shore or even away from land and out to sea And the worst part was, we did not even realize it was happening!
We have all experienced some kind of Drifting before!
1.Maybe you were on a boat! And you stopped the engine for a while and just floated…you did not even notice it, but you were drifting…
ILLUS: Pastor John Courson told of a time when he was a young kid that he was on a boat on the Colorado River right near the Hoover Dam, when the motor on their boat sputtered out! They could not get it started, And they found themselves drifting closer and closer to the dam, passing the signs that say, Danger, Do not pass this point! His brother yelled out, throw in the anchor, and his sister picked it up and threw it in and as it went down into the water they realized the other end of the rope was not attached to the boat so down the anchor went until it disappeared, now they were drifting closer and closer to the dam and to danger! They eventually got the motor started! But they were drifting!
It’s important to have an anchor in order to keep from Drifting!
ILLUST: Have you ever heard of the Wellington River! It’s the River that feeds into the Niagra Falls! There is a sign posted where the Wellington River empties into the Niagra River that says: "Do you have an anchor? Do you know how to use it?" Obviously if you don’t, you are heading for serious Danger! you would not want to be on that river without an anchor, you might not want to be on that river at all!
Well listen, This drifting does not just happen physically, The Bible warns It can also happen spiritually! Just like there is a Current in the ocean, there is also a Rip Tide or current in our lives spiritually, as Christians, of the world, the flesh, temptation, and it’s continually and constantly pulling at us, attempting to draw us away from God! Away from church! Away from other believers! It can be business or busyness, or even bitterness! It can be idleness or indifference!
AND If you have been a believer for any length of time, you have felt this temptation to drift!! As The Great Hymn writer Robert Robinson said: "Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love"
The worst part is we can be drifting and not even realize it?
I Think of Samson. Samson took a strict vow before God as a Nazarite. Yet he compromised his vow, and slowly drifted away, Judges 16:20 says "He did not know the Lord had left him"
Even king Solomon it says 4 times in 1kings 11.."his heart moved away from the Lord".
I’m sure you all have friends who once walked with the Lord? But now they don’t? What happened? They drifted away, it can happen to us!