Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"The Power of Drift"

2nd Corinthians 13.5 “The Message”

“Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need first hand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.

Jesus Christ is the starting point. He is the center of all human history and the cornerstone of all right theology. He is the reason for my existence and my confidence in the hope of eternal life. If this same Jesus is in me then I pass the basic entrance exam… I am “solid in the faith”. That’s good, but not good enough. I need “regular checkups”. Am I focused today on my walk with Christ? Or, do I occasionally “drift along taking everything for granted”?

“Drift” is a real phenomenon. It quietly drags us downstream before we know we are moving. We tend toward the path of less resistance, allowing random circumstances to direct the course of our lives. This is “drift”. We think we’re ‘going with the flow’ (i.e.; a good thing) when in fact we’ve become aimless, falsely trusting our past experiences with Jesus to carry us through our present ordeals of faith (i.e.; not a good thing).

We need a fresh dose of Jesus every day. We must engage Him in regular conversation and consciously live in recognition of the on-going activity of His Spirit. Like Brother Lawrence [1], we are invited to “practice the presence of God” or, according to the Apostle Paul, be “led by the spirit of God” (Romans 8.14). Otherwise, we fall victim to the power of “drift”, which most likely moves us away from God, not closer to Him.

“Test it out”. Are you drifting from Christ like a cork on a slow-moving but powerful stream? If so, “do something about it”.
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[1] Brother Lawrence, alias Nicholas Herman c.1605-1691, was a French contemplative who joined the religious order of the Carmelites in Paris at the age of 44. He is known for his “practice of the presence of God” in the simple acts of service. According to Brother Lawrence: "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it" (The Practice of the Presence of God, D. Attwater, Orchard Books, 1926).

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