Vol. 9, No. 2
~ Page 9 ~
The numbers that are drifting, expecting by blind chance to find heaven's shore, is staggering. They are as endangered children in a small boat wandering aimlessly upon the dark sea. "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them" (Hebrews 2:1 ASV).
When we examine the life of Jesus, we see one whose mind was filled with purpose and determination to work tirelessly accomplishing the will of our Holy Father in heaven. Unlike Jesus, some have not accepted that Christianity is a selfless, self-giving way of life.
Examining the ministry of the apostles, we often see them on the move traveling to various regions carrying the Gospel of Jesus to those who had drifted away from God through sin. The apostles were busy making a difference in the kingdom. They did not wait on tables and thus drift from their function, but rather gave themselves "continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4).
The elders of the early church had a significant God-given role to fill in shepherding the flock within their midst. Paul pens: "...If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work (1 Timothy 3:1). The work of elders is spiritual and extends light years beyond counting the Sunday morning contribution. However, some elders have drifted away from their God-given function as it seems that is nearly all they are interested in. Brethren, if it is expected that sheep are to follow their shepherds, it wouldn't be surprising that drifting shepherds promote drifting sheep. But why are so many precious souls merely drifting along?
As it takes power to move a boat through water, so it takes power to move the Christian in the path of Christ. There is resistance. A boat without power drifts; a Christian without power drifts, too. Christians lose their power, becoming short-circuited, when they put as little as one foot back in the world. God's power is mighty, and he is truly omnipotent (all-powerful). The same degree of power he utilized in raising Christ is available for his use in us as long as we remain fully connected to him (Ephesians 1:19-20). The way of godliness is characterized by one of great power (2 Timothy 3:5), but some turn away to pursue the shiny allurements of the world when they are deceived by them. God's power vanishes and some wonder why?
Some boats drift aimlessly when they are overpowered by stormy winds. This happened to the vessel Paul, his companions and other prisoners were sailing on as they traveled to Rome. "But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive" (Acts 27:14-15).
Some Christians drift aimlessly when they are overtaken by false teaching. Paul still admonishes: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…" (Ephesians 4:14).
Some Christians drift aimlessly when they are swept away by the spirit of worldliness as occurred in the life of Demas (2 Timothy 4:10). While most who have succumbed are unwilling to admit it, many Christians have fallen down to bow at the altar of mammon (Luke 16:13). Their money and only the accumulation of more and more is that which stimulates their worldly minds (1 Timothy 6:10). We need to look on the Lord and allow him to wipe away the filth of green dollar signs from our eyes. Someday all the currency in the entire world will disintegrate in the flames of hell. All men, including elders, will be called to give account of their stewardship and some will tragically fall short of heaven's shore for their failure to dispense that which was properly the Lord's to minister and bless others (Matthew 25:24-30). The Lord has not promised to reward those elderships who have stockpiled the cash reserves and have put their trust in riches rather him. Brethren, Christ will have no need for cash at his coming!
Some drift simply because others are drifting. It takes courage and conviction in one's heart to travel upstream against the tide of popular opinion and modern culture. In a recent national news report, there was the disheartening news that 95% of single people do not wait until marriage. Our nation is drifting in a sea of immoral corruption. However, you and I do not have to drift along with her to death and eternal destruction. Remember the beckoning voice John heard from heaven: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Revelation 18:4-5).
Some drift because they are unwilling to follow the Captain of salvation through the perils of hardship and suffering. We learn from Hebrews 2:10 that the "captain of our salvation" was made spiritually complete through the sufferings he experienced for us while in the body. Too many prefer "flowery beds of ease" to spiritual warfare and have raised the white flag. Yet, James writes, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 2:1-4). We can persevere and be faithful.
Some drift aimlessly because they have lost their anchor. The Hebrew writer depicts our hope as the "anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:19). God has made it such that it is both "sure and stedfast." Hope is vitally important for each Christian as is indicated by Scripture: "For we are saved by hope..." (Romans 8:24). We must not allow Satan or the world to rob us of our hope as such leads only to despair and bewilderment.
Rather than drifting along unto destruction, let us join with Paul: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). In closing consider the following lyrics:
"Sun of My Soul"
"Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes."
"Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere thru the world our way we take;
Till, in the ocean of thy love,
we lose ourselves in heav'n above."
by R.M. McCheyne