WHAT A YEAR!
I want to encourage you to intentionally lean into God as we finish the year. As this year continues to present challenges, from politics to the pandemic, mixed with high emotions and potential bitterness, it is important to be intentional about your faith. Billy Graham once said “Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.” How true that is, but also difficult at times. At times we drift from God, from our faith. Below is an excerpt from a message I gave last year. In it I presented five ways to drift from God. I encourage you to read it and then reflect on the steps I outlined to fight the drift.
HOW TO DRIFT FROM GOD IN 5 EASY STEPS
1) NEGLECT YOUR TIME WITH GOD. Take spiritual disciplines lightly, especially prayer and your daily 15. You are busy, I’m busy.
How to fight the drift: Spend time in prayer, fellowship, and your daily 15 minutes reading the Bible. O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you… Ps 63:1 2) IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, BLAME GOD. Better yet, blame Gods people - Christians can cause some drama!! Once you get burned in the church, blame God, because they are His people, and of course everything that they are doing is directed by Him. Don’t trust Him, blame Him. Be cynical.
How to fight the drift: Don’t blame. Forgive. If required, take responsibility for your actions. Consider it joy, as the book of James tells us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding… Prov 3:5 3) HANG AROUND BAD INFLUENCES. Soak in all the world you can through your friends. It matters who you hang with. Time and proximity matter. As Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect “According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, [the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.”
How to fight the drift: Search out people who know Jesus, who build you up! Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character...” 1 Cor. 15:33 4) GIVE INTO TEMPTATION. When you are tempted - throw caution to the wind (let’s be serious you probably deserve it, it has been a rough year) never mind it may lead to an addiction.
How to fight the drift: Avoid temptation. Remove yourself from the situation. Surrender temptations to God.
14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14-15
5) LOVE THIS WORLD MORE THAN YOU LOVE GOD. All you have to do is fall more in love with the temporary pleasures of this world and then scripture promises you, the love of God cannot live within you. This is so easy. Lust after the things of this world, believe you are what you drive. Believe that you will not be happy until you have a better house. Go into debt, go into massive debt. Borrow money to buy things you don’t need to impress people that you don’t like. This is brilliant! Don’t believe all that mumbo jumbo Bible stuff about how this world is temporary. Don’t ever send your treasures on up ahead. For goodness sakes, do not be generous! Don’t give sacrificially to the church ever! Don’t make a difference and give to people who are in need. You need every dime you have to invest in the things of this world so you can fall more in love with the things of this world and you can drift even more from God. You want to drift from God? Fall more in love with the things of this world than you do with God.
How to fight the drift: Put God first, then others. Live a life of sacrifice.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
So if this is for you- if the Holy Spirit is tugging at your heart, fight the drift. If you need prayer, text me (810) 334-0539 and I will pray for you. But I can’t make decisions for you; I can’t pick your friends, I can’t force you to stop loving the world, blaming God, or do your daily 15.
I’ll pray that you have strength & wisdom - but you need to fight the drift. Your faith, your family is worth it.