"As a bird that wanderereth from her nest, so is a man that wanderereth from his place." - Proverbs 27:8
I read recently of a 19 year old young man that was alone on a wooden fishing boat off the coast of Indonesia. He had been warned multiple times from childhood not to relax and drift off to sleep while he was the only one aboard. He jumped aboard one day to fish and drifted off to sleep. An hour and a half later he woke up to see no land and to notice the boat had been caught in a stream. He was in the middle of the Ocean and had no idea which way to go. Forty-nine days later, he was picked up by the eleventh ship that passed him by off the coast of Guam. He had drifted over 2300 miles!
When he had regained enough strength to be interviewed, his first statement was simple: "I should have listened, I should not have been so careless." Fortunately, he survived and was reunited with his family. I read recently though that every year around the world over 6,000 people die a year lost at sea! That is an alarming statistic!
Yesterday, I got a call from a young man who was saved and baptized at our church almost five years ago. God was doing a marvelous work in his life. He was getting victory over sin, he never missed a service, he was faithful in everything that was going on in the ministry. After one year he got a great job, started making good money, and was doing great. During that time he began to miss just a few services a month. He told me yesterday, "I had everything under control, I just wanted to hang out with friends on the weekend." One thing led to another and before we knew it, he was drifting. Fast forward 4.5 years; a broken voice on the other end of the line, coupled with guilt from the past, and life apart from God bringing great disappointment. He drifted.
Thank God, he has come home! Thank God, he made it home! Thank God, he discovered in time that there was more grace in Christ than sin in Him! But not everybody makes it home. Child of God, don't drift during this time of quarantine. My fear as a pastor is that many Christians may be out of church while we are out of church. Everyone of us must take full responsiblilty for our spiritual lives. We must prioritize the Word of God. Prayer is essential to our walk with Christ. Don't sleep in during a livestream and say "We'll catch it later." Be intentional! Get up, worship, engage, call friends who are other believers. Encourage other members of the body! Covid -19 should not be our greatest fear, apathy towards Christ and His Church should!
The crazy thing about this young man that drifted 2300 miles and the young man who called me yesterday was this statement they both made: "I can't believe how far I went so fast!" Every one of us as God's children are susceptible to wander from our place and forsake our walk with Jesus Christ! Be intentional today! If you have started drifting, get out the compass of God's Word and find your way Home! If you are feeling spiritually isolated, get on your face before God and speak with the Friend who is closer than a brother! If you have gotten out of church while we are out of church, repent! Get under preaching today! Pull up an archived sermon, listen fervently, allow the Holy Spirit to challenge you. If you have allowed sin to become a normal habit in your life, cry out to God in repentance and turn away from it now! Don't Drift! Don't assume you will be able to return anytime you want! You don't know how far you will go!
May God help each of us today to determine we will be intentional and not drift off spiritually during this season.