Summary: Let’s talk about how we can drift away and then talk about how we can stay anchored (not drift away) in our faith (Material adapted from Craig Groeschel's book, "Weird", Chapter 13 called "Get My Drift")
Love going to the beach with my family- love sitting in the sun- love riding the waves- something that notice when in the water for a long time is that quite a distance from where Crystal is- after a while no longer see her- nothing serious but what if that went on for a long time, be miles away from beach house- if Crystal left and first time in the water might not know where the beach house is- called drift- water flows a certain direction and get caught in drift
Perhaps we have experienced a certain thing- we thought we knew where we were in relation to something (or someone), only to look up and have no idea where they went. What happened? It’s as inevitable as the tide: if we don’t focus on where we are, we will drift away from our priorities time and time again. Including our # 1 priority as Christians, the anchor securing all our values, beliefs, and convictions: our relationship with God.
“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1, NIV. No one thinks, “I’m tired of pursuing God. Sure, it’s really been worthwhile, but I think it’s time to just drift on downstream for a while and see where it takes me.” No, more likely it simply happens the same way it happens on the beach while we are in the water. We get so caught up in having fun that we are not paying attention. We drift down the way and if we don’t pay attention we are miles from where we need to be.
Our culture and our sinful nature will pull us away from God at every opportunity. Nothing big at the time but if we let ourselves go with the flow, then we begin drifting away from the solid rock of God. Oh, God is still there- he hasn’t moved, we have.
Even if we have only been a Christian for a few days, we realize it is easy to get sidetracked from God and just go with the flow.
Thesis: Let’s talk about how we can drift away and then talk about how we can stay anchored (not drift away) in our faith
How we can drift away or how we can lose our faith in 5 easy steps
1. Blaming God
When we are unhappy with our circumstances, it’s normal to drift away from God- especially if we blame God for them. When life doesn’t go the way we want, we often feel more than justified in blaming God- He could have made things work out differently but he didn’t.
We are not promised a carefree life. Jesus said,“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33, NIV.
The book of James talks about troubles and trials. When we go through trials, the temptations often multiply. “When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” James 1:13, NIV. Blaming God for the problems
Sometimes we blame God for things that Christians do, using that as our excuse: Well, so and so, who’s a Christian, did this to me, so I’m never going to church again! Oh, that will get them- not! More like drive a wedge between us and God.
Instead, consider the antidote- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5, 6, NIV.
2. Hanging around bad influences
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”” 1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV.
Yes, we need to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:11-16). However, to continually surround ourselves with people who care nothing about God, is a recipe to drift away from God.
After all, hanging out with strong Christians can be so annoying. They’re constantly encouraging, praying and trying to bless us, holding us accountable to what we say we believe. Maybe we just like spending time with people who do bad things because they make us feel better about ourselves. “At least I’m not as bad as they are.” The problem with spending time with people of poor character is that they always rub off- and not the other way around. Drift
3. Giving in to temptation
Notice the whole context here- “When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15, NIV.