Friday, February 7, 2014

Warning Signs of Spiritual Drifing

Warning Signs of Spiritual Drifting
Romans 13:14
 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Many years ago, when my daughter was only a toddler, we went to California to swim in the Pacific Ocean and play on the beach. Growing up in Southern California, I had been to the beach many times and knew that swimming after 3:00 p.m. was sometimes dangerous because of the under current or riptide. But, my husband, being from Indiana, wanted to say he had been body surfing in the Pacific Ocean. I asked him if he wanted me to tell him how to body surf and he said, "Woman, I know how to swim!" In man language that means, "Don't tell me what to do!" I sat on the beach with my daughter and played in the sand while my husband and his brother, Mark, started walking out into the water. They were enjoying themselves and splashing each other when all of a sudden a wall of water hit them unexpectedly. They were taken off guard by the under current pulling them out further and further into the ocean. Both were  engulfed by the enormous wave and the overpowering water plummeted them to the ocean floor. While being dragged to the bottom, the overwhelming force of the water resulted in an unbelievable occurrence, the collection of sand and sea shells in their swimming shorts. The rolling and tossing motion caused them to hit heads, giving Mark a severe bloody nose and both a headache. In the midst of their turmoil, as I watched and waited for them to come up for air, I admit, I did giggle as they dragged themselves out of the water and emptied their shorts of debris. My husband and his brother missed some warning signs making them vulnerable to the power of God's magnificent ocean.

We too, can miss some warning signs and fail in our efforts to bring glory to God, living out the abundant life He has declared is ours. We can become self-satisfied giving a sigh of relief that finally we have everything under control putting all our confidence in ourselves and our past record rather than in the LORD. We need to beware of thinking that we have any situation or sin under control permanently. (I Corinthians 10:12) "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Some who have succeeded  in overcoming their sin become prideful in their success and acquire a better than thou attitude especially when they see their friends fall into the same trap they were in. This places them in a position of feeling they have mastered the situation having everything under control, no longer fearing sin. 

Christ wants to be the Master of your entire life making you aware of the danger of  hidden provisions for defeat. Is there something in your life that you are not willing to surrender to the search light of the Holy Spirit? Are you slowly drifting away from God without even noticing? Have you become comfortable and see no need of change in your life? Be careful of pride sneaking in and causing you to fall. Past victories are no guarantee for future triumphs.

When drifting away from God, you can weaken your walk in Christ, when you tolerate personal sin for even a little while. You may be able to live a compromising lifestyle for a short time with no disastrous results, but eventually, it reduces your strength to resist. Are you caught in that old trap, back in the same rut? Satan would like for you to stay there, forever. You're probably feeling guilty and hopefully, uncomfortable, in your sin. God's motivation to help you live righteously is His grace and love. Grace freely given does not give you a license to sin; rather, it should motivate you to give yourself without reservation to the One who loves you so deeply. Confessing your sin the moment it is brought to your attention will restore your fellowship with God and lessen the chances of spiritual stumbling and drifting.

Thought: You're probably wondering, "What Happened?" How did I fall in this trap again, an ugly cycle of thinking I can do this once more and it won't bother me. The lies of Satan are divisive, destructive and deadly. Picture swimming in the Pacific Ocean. The tide begins to pull you out or down the beach without you even noticing it. Before you realize it, you have drifted away from the place you started from, away from God, in sin. When you allow sin to cause you to drift away from God, you don't realize how far you've gone until you look at the shoreline or landmarks to see where you are. Spiritual coasting is a warning sign to cause you see that you have drifted from your first love and didn't even know it. Beware of spiritual coasting and spiritual drifting, it could take you farther than you want to go.

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