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Hebrews 2:1- We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

I don’t think that most people who drift from the faith mean to.  I don’t believe they purpose to.  If they are people of faith, people who really have a personal relationship with Jesus, I don’t think they wake up one day and make a conscious decision to just drift away. But it happens.  If you have ever been in a raft or boat and fell asleep and found yourself far away from where you started, you likely have said to yourself, “Where am I, and how did I get here?” It isn’t desirable to not know where you are.  It isn’t desirable to be lost, but many people, people who grew up pursuing the Lord, are living that way.  That is the consequence of drifting.

No faithful disciple of Jesus is a drifter.  Disciples don’t drift.  They are determined to stay connected to Christ even when it means they tirelessly must row upstream. They are watching Jesus, listening to Jesus, and are closely following Him. They are seeking to know Him by delving into the Scriptures and by dialoguing with Him daily.  They are in regular fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and they are actively pursuing Christian community for worship, instruction, and encouragement. They incorporate spiritual disciplines in their lives because they know that spiritual disciplines keep them spiritually sharp and sensitive to God’s leading in their lives.  They keep anchored and grounded in truth as they center their minds on Heaven and things of the Kingdom of God.  It takes effort to do what Galatians 5:25 calls, “Staying in step with the Spirit.” Disciples who keep up with the Holy Spirit have to have their mind set on doing it, their heart devoted to doing it, and discipline to act accordingly. 

It takes effort to be a disciple of Jesus. Drifting takes none.  Drifting is the past of least resistance.  It’s the path of no resistance.  Drifting is the easy way but leads to the hardest place.  If you are going to go somewhere in a rowboat, you had better be using some paddles.  It won’t do you any good to have paddles lying in the boat.  They have to be in your hands, and you have to be rowing if you will be going in the direction you desire to go.  But if you want to drift, if you don’t care where you wind up, just kick back, and do what the world encourages you to do, “Go with the flow.”  Just let the current decide where you end up. Oh my.  Can we see where that has gotten those who have left discipleship for the drift?  What a mess.  What brokenness is all around us.  Financial ruin, empty relationships, messed up families, lust without restraint, selfishness, greed, and loneliness that brings despair.  No wonder we are warned against the dangers of drifting. If you just drift along with the current, you’ll wind up far from God’s intended purpose, far from His charter for your life.  Satan doesn’t have to get God’s people to leap into some major sin in order to take control of their life.  He just has to get them to drift.  

Drifters don’t even try to resist the current. Disciples, however, are determined to row against the current to go where Jesus is calling.  Drifters will willingly be dragged downstream, but disciples will press on to the upward call in Christ Jesus.  Disciples will fight to keep Jesus in their sights.  They will war and struggle against being taken in the wrong direction.  They will put up a fight against those things which tempt them to compromise and cave to the cries of the culture. They will look away.  They will run away.  They will strive to avoid the very appearance of evil, I Thessalonians 5:22.  They will call upon God to help them resist the Devil’s schemes.

Drifting may seem harmless at first, but as you let yourself be carried away by the current, you’ll find that as you move downstream, the speed of the current increases.  All the sudden, you will find the pull and pace begin to speed up and by the time you hear the noise of the waterfall, there won’t be anything you can do to stop going over it into destruction.  No one sets out to destroy their faith.  No one sets out to destroy their relationships.  No one sets out to destroy their health.  No one sets out to destroy their reputation or future.  It starts with drifting.

Disciples cannot drift.  What does drifting look like for a Believer?  Maybe we just start missing services once-in-a-while.  We sleep in.  We watch online.  We watch online later.  We meant to watch online later, but now it is next week and it is too time-consuming to catch up.  We get involved in other things on the weekends.  Being in church and serving the Lord cease being a priority.  It becomes more of a pastime or hobby than an intentional pursuit.  We begin to miss out on what is going on in people’s lives in the church. New people come into the life of the church, and we miss getting to welcome them. New ministries begin and we aren’t part of them.  Before long, we feel like an outsider because we have drifted right out of fellowship, forfeiting some of the richest relationships we could ever know this side of Heaven. 

When we stop reading the Bible devotionally, our devotion to the things of the Kingdom will begin to wane. God stuff just isn’t on our radar.  We might go days without even thinking about God’s will or asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do” in my situation?  

If we quit pursuing the knowledge of God, if we stop seeking to know the truth, if we cease trying to know ourselves correctly, if we just allow the world to tell us what to think and how to feel, and if we don’t care about purity of heart, we will find ourselves dangerously drifting away from anything good that God has for us.

When a person’s prayer life becomes no more than a once-in-a-while desperate plea for God to get them out of a fix, that person has drifted away from the purposes of prayer.  For the Drifter, prayer is nothing more than just some human effort to try to control some outcome.  Drifting totally downgrades every aspect of life as it minimizes the role God wants to play in our lives.  Without His leadership and power, we just become victims of the drag of the drift.

Being a Christian is about more than being saved from sin. That is certainly crucial, but being a Christian means we seek to become like Christ.  Becoming like Christ is completely incompatible with drifting. 

If you have taken the name, “Christian,” if you say, “I am a Christian,” what you have essentially done is taken a charter, a motto, a pattern for life that says, “My goal is to follow Christ and to become like Him.”  I will seek to act like Christ.  I will seek to have the attitude of Christ.  I will treat people like Christ did.  I will pursue a relationship with my Heavenly Father like Christ did.  I will intentionally choose His life over mine and over anything this world would offer me.  I will tell you, graduates, and other fellow believers, what the world needs most right now are Christians who won’t drift from the faith.

Determine today to be a disciple, not a drifter.  Determine to fight against the pull of the ignorance, stupidity and chaos of the culture. If I could paraphrase a phrase from Paul, “Row with me, as I row after Christ.”  Be a disciple, not a drifter.

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