Sheets of icy wind gusted straight from the west across open farm fields blasting snow banks along the road such that patches of black became invisible—treacherous. I kept both hands steady on the wheel and prepared for the drifts along the way. One nearly caused us to fishtail. We held our breath as our hearts beat wild for a minute.
Drifting. Beautiful, white, pristine snow gets pushed and pulled by unseen forces and it moves. It moves into new places where it doesn’t belong and before long, it gets hit and run over. And when it’s in places it doesn’t belong, it threatens to harm all on the path.
Drifting. It happens with snow. It happens with souls. When elements aren’t firmly packed, winds whirl and displace. It happens.
Drifting. It changes the landscape of souls and makes pleasant paths hazardous.
And snow isn’t the only thing that drifts.
Several years ago, Todd and I were walking the beach when we spotted a man in his boat drifting to shore. He appeared to be in some sort of trouble so we entered the water and helped pull him in. Turns out he was partying with others in boats along the shore of Michigan’s Lake Michigan when he “fell asleep”. Next thing he knew he was drifting to shore—in another state. First thing he asked . . .
We don’t know who was more shocked—him or us. He had drifted clear across Lake Michigan and ended up on our shore the next morning without even knowing what had happened. And he was out of gas. We put as much gas as we had in his tank and floated him a loan (pun intended) to fill up at a marina to the north.
Drifting. Snow and boats and . . . . us?
Have we drifted away from God? Maybe not completely. Maybe a bit. But have we drifted? Have we been pushed and pulled and moved by unseen forces, maybe without even knowing it?
Drifting. Unknowingly we can end up on unexpected shores.
Drifting. We can get stuck in places so deep we need to be dug out like our dog did today.
Drifting. It’s a human problem and God knows it . . .
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying it’s power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, New International Version)
A form of godliness? Church-going? Professing believers? Using Christian clichés? Following Christian traditions? Knowing Christian doctrine but not applying it personally?
Jesus had much to say about drifting as He spoke to seven churches in Asia and all believers everywhere.
Christians had lost their first love. They were compromising with their culture, tolerating immorality and accepting those in their midst who promoted immorality. They looked good on the outside but their insides were infested with sin. They had become lukewarm, indifferent to their ungodly culture, content to just go-with-the-flow, allowing themselves to be changed for the worse. (Revelation, Chapters 2-3, paraphrased)
Sound like ancient problems in ancient churches?
Jesus exhorted/urged/implored all to repent—to turn back and follow Him fully. He reminded them He was coming again. He warned them of what they had to lose if they kept going, kept drifting away.
He promised to come back for His own. He promised . . .
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:21-22)
Jesus didn’t die just so we could fly to heaven on the wings of angels when these bodies quit. Jesus died and rose again so we will rise again too—body and soul! And He didn’t die so we could remain in bondage to anything or anyone anymore. He died and rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father to reign as King of King and Lord of Lords FOREVER. And He intends for us to RULE in RIGHTEOUSNESS with HIM on a NEW EARTH in NEW BODIES. Have we forgotten our goal? Have we forgotten the gospel? It’s not just about heaven. It’s about restoring heaven on EARTH, beginning with the prize of His creation—US! And the reverse of the curse began on the cross.
Our business as Christians is about kingdom preparation NOW, kingdom building NOW. Is this the direction we’re moving? I ask myself. Every day. Every moment. I must ask myself. Where am I going? What am I doing? Turning back? Drifting? Moving forward toward the goal and the prize?
Jesus, help us keep moving forward, intentionally. Keep our eyes fixed on Your glory day coming.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)