When I was a boy, my dad would take us out fishing on the drift boats that dock in Fort Lauderdale. After heading out into deep water, the engines would be turned off, the lines dropped, and the boat would drift in the direction of the current. It was a lot of fun, but after a while the boat would drift in too far on the current and we would reel in the lines, start the engines, and head back out into deeper water.
In the Christian life, there is something I call “the devil’s drift,” which happens when we have shut our spiritual engine off for too long and allow the currents of life to take us where they want us to go. And make no mistake, where the currents of life want us to go is not where God is calling us to be!
I want to call your attention to something today: drift happens slowly, silently, almost imperceptibly. In no time at all, it can take us from deep water to dangerously shallow water, and ultimately onto the rocks if we are not paying attention.
What starts as an infection (a little neglect here and a little neglect there) winds us an insidious disease. We skip our time of daily devotion. We miss a service or two. We neglect our prayer closet. We add more and more to our professional plates and before we know it, we find ourselves in a place we don’t want to be and don’t even know how we got there!
So how do we deal with the devil’s drift? INTENTIONALLY! You see, the captain of the drift boat pays close attention to the location of his boat. He focuses intentionally on the position of the boat to ensure it does not drift into danger. The same should be true for the Christian, who must continually fight against the devil’s drift. We must be intentional about our walk with Christ. We must intentionally plan our work and work our plan, making sure we do not push our Lord out to the periphery of our lives.
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Hebrews 2:1)
Note this truth: there is no intention needed when it comes to drifting. Just turn off and tune out and let the currents of life take you where they want you to go. You will inevitably drift away from our Lord. To keep from drifting we must be intentional. As we focus on Christ, even when the currents are their strongest, He is stronger still and will hold fast to us. “No one can snatch [my sheep] out of my hand,” our Lord assures us (John 10:28).
If you have been dealing with a bit of drift in your life lately, fear not. You may feel far from God, but He is not far from you. You may have moved a great distance away but He has not moved an inch! His promise to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) is your power to intentionally turn back toward Him.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!