Billy Norris writes of a tragic event that resulted from
men were fishing above a low dam on a river near their hometown. As they were concentrating on catching fish, they were
unaware that they had drifted until they were not far from the
water flowing over the dam. When
they realized their situation, the current near the dam had become
too powerful for them to keep their boat from going over.
Below the dam the water was dashing with strong force over
great boulders and through crevices in the rocks. Caught by the
swirling waters under the rocks, they never came to the surface.
After days of relentless searching, the divers finally
found one body, and then, two or three days later, the
other." (Gospel Guide)
The danger of drifting is not limited to the physical
2:1, we find a warning against drifting
Sadly, it is not uncommon for Christians to drift toward
You Drifting?" Would
you know it if you were? With
this lesson I hope to stimulate careful introspection regarding
the danger of drifting away from the Lord.
THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DRIFTING
DRIFTING REQUIRES NO EFFORT...
stop oaring or tacking against the wind, and a boater will begin
The same is true for the Christian, which is why we are
told: "We must give the more earnest heed..." - He
IT IS AN UNCONSCIOUS PROCESS...
is possible to drift unaware
In a boat, or undercurrents are often unnoticeable from the
In a plane, the wind or gravitational forces move the plane
without you realizing it
The same is true in the spiritual realm
Many individual Christians have slowly drifted away
Many churches have gradually drifted into error
Only one day to find themselves far removed from the
WE NEVER DRIFT UPSTREAM OR AGAINST THE TIDE...
to the Lord is like oaring upstream
You must constantly be "adding to your faith..."
You must continue to grow - 2
The moment you stop growing, you start going backwards or
THE SPEED DOWNSTREAM INCREASES...
The dangers increase with the speed of the drift
When we can hear the noise of the waterfall, it is already
When we lose sight of land, it is more difficult to discern
that we are drifting
As we move farther and farther from the Lord, we care less
and less about what we do
IT IS DANGEROUS TO OTHERS...
A ship, just drifting, is a hazard to all other vessels at
Parents who are just drifting, will soon loose golden
opportunities to teach their children - Ep
Many are tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind
of doctrine - Ep
IT ENDS IN SHIPWRECK...
A boat adrift will crash on the rocks or go over the falls
For those who drift spiritually through their own neglect,
there shall be no escape from a just punishment - He
[The danger of
drifting is real, or there would be no need to war against it.
So again I ask, "Are You Drifting?"
To help answer the question, here are some...]
COMMON SIGNS OF DRIFTING
DESIRE TO STUDY GOD'S WORD AND PRAY...
The Bible is a unique book - a source of information not
found anywhere else
Without God's revelation, how could we truly know our
origin, purpose, destiny?
It tells us of sin's dreadful consequences, and how God
saves us from sin
It provides direction for living happy, useful lives - cf. Psa
When one loses their desire to study God's word, they are
Prayer is a wonderful blessing - an avenue to communicate
Jesus, who loved His Father, often prayed - Mk
He expressed concern that His disciples not grow weary to
pray - Lk
When the Christian prays less and less, he is drifting more and
DIMINISHING DESIRE TO BE WITH GOD'S PEOPLE
This includes attending services to worship God
One should always have the attitude of the Psalmist – Psa
If we no longer rejoice in the worship of God in the
presence of brethren, we are drifting!
Fellowship with God's people extends beyond the services of
We are to be concerned with edifying one another - Ro
Such edification should occur even daily - He
For the right kind of friendship strengthens us, while the
wrong kind leads us to sin - cf. Ecc
4:9-12; 1 Co 15:33
When a Christian prefers the companionship of people of the world,
rather than fellow Christians, he is drifting toward the rocks of
DIMINISHING DESIRE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL...
When one obeys the gospel, he knows God has blotted out his
sins, made him a new creature in Christ, and he wants to tell the
world about Jesus - cf. Ac
8:4; 1 Th 1:8
When a Christian no longer has the desire to take the
message of salvation to others, he is drifting!
INCREASING THRILL OVER THINGS OF THE WORLD...
Such as greater thrill over worldly honors; for example:
Parents of one young man were excited beyond measure over a
worldly honor he had received
They had never demonstrated such emotion over spiritual
Within the passing time, the entire family had drifted
beyond the point of no return
The apostle John warns us against the love of the world and the
things in the world - 1
Such as increasing enjoyment in worldly pleasures
Paul described some who were "lovers of pleasure more
than lovers of God" - 2
If we reach the point when we find more pleasure in some
worldly activity than meeting with others to worship God, we
definitely are spiritually adrift!
[Such are some of
the signs of drifting away from God.
If we are to remain close to God, it will not be easy.
REMEDIES AGAINST DRIFTING
Spiritually speaking, this involves diligence - 2
It also means to keep abounding in our Christian graces -
There is no place for "retirement" in living the
life of a Christian! - cf. Ph
3:12-15; 2 Co 4:16
WATCH OUT FOR UNDERCURRENTS...
We must always be on guard for undercurrent of temptation
For we have a fleshly nature which wages war against the
soul - 1
Pe 2:11; Ga 5:16-18
EXPECT TO GO AGAINST THE TIDE...
There are many tides to sweep us away
Popularity, peer pressure, the praise of others
Modernism, skepticism, humanism
Denominationalism - false doctrines of all kinds
Liberalism and worldliness in the church - probably the
greatest enemies of the church in our lifetime
Neglect -- indifference, apathy, lack of interest and
If one drifts along with the majority, he certainty will be
lost - Mt
WE MUST HAVE STRONG ANCHORAGE...
Rooted and grounded in Christ - Co
Minds must be anchored to the truth - Ep
Possessing an unshakable hope - cf. He
Rooted and grounded in the love of Christ - Ep
Brethren, are we drifting?
The danger is real, we would be foolish to say otherwise
Many have drifted away from the Lord, we would be arrogant
to say it could not happen to us!
Are there signs of drifting in your life?
Honestly ask yourself:
Is my desire to study God's word and pray diminishing?
Is my desire to be with God's people not what it has been
in the past?
Have I lost my desire to save those who are lost?
Am I too much enamored by the things of the world?
If in any way we
must confess that we are drifting, then may we encourage one
another to give earnest heed as warned by the writer to the
"Therefore we must give the more earnest heed
to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and
every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how
shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the
first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by
those who heard Him..." (He
salvation in Christ is simply too great for us to neglect!
main idea and many thoughts from this lesson were taken from a
lesson by David J. Riggs.
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ