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Drifting along (Warning!)

Discipleship: Equipping the saints  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:06:15
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Drifting

As we look at our topic tonight may we consider this question, am I diligently pursuing God or am I drifting along?
(Insert Picture- Drifting here)
Story found Gospel Guide by Billy Norris:
“Two 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.”
Drifting (adjective) carried slowly by a current of air or water.
Drifting does not always have to be in the physical realm (Heb2:1)
Hebrews 2:1 NASB95
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
As we start into this Discipleship, equipping the saints lesson tonight, we are looking at the warning against the danger of drifting. It is not uncommon for Christians to drift, and drifting can lead to destruction.
Would you recognize it if you were drifting? May we carefully look at, consider the biblical warning about drifting the the prevention from it happening.
The three things we will touch on tonight about drifting
Things we should know
Common signs
Remedies against

Things we should know

Drifting does not need to be seen to be happening.
Drifting requires no effort (Heb2:1)
Hebrews 2:1 The Message
1 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.
Cease oaring and a boater will begin to drift.
Drifting is an unconscious process
You can drift and even be unaware that you are drifting (bring in rip tide illustration; it maybe unnoticed).
In a boat, the undercurrents are often unnoticeable from the surface.
In a plane, the wind forces move the plane oftentimes with you realizing it without looking at your compass and altimeter
Same is true in the spiritual realm
Many Christians slowly drift away
Stop: Ask the question, how do you think that happens?
Many churches have drifted into error
Stop: Ask the question, how do you think this can happen?
We do not drift upstream or against the tide. (2Pt1:5-7; 2Pt3:18)
Being faithful takes effort, and it is against the stream of this world, it is oaring upstream
You must constantly be adding to and growing your faith.
2 Peter 1:5–6 NASB95
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 NASB95
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
and these things help you grow
2 Peter 3:18 NASB95
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
“The moment you stop growing, you start going backwards or downwards” - Mark Copeland
Stop: Ask the question, how can we add to and grow our faith as a disciple?
Speed increases as you drift downstream
Remember the story we stared with, two young men enjoying fishing by a low dam on a river? they did not notice that they were drifting and as they were drifting it was picking up speed until it was too late.
When we hear the sound of the waterfall, it is already too late.
Now in the eternal, spiritual realm, when we move farther and farther, when we drift from the Lord, we care less about what we do. We compromise where we never would have before because we did not continue to add to and grow our faith.
Drifting is dangerous to others (Eph6:4, 4:14)
Let this sink in
A ship drifting is dangerous to all the other ships around
A Father, Mother, Husband, Wife drifting are going to be dangerous to the spouse or children that are around them or with them.
Don’t lose the opportunity to teach, raise them in the way of the Lord, can you cannot do that if you are drifting from the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 NASB95
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Many a families and even churches can drift and be tossed about when they are not anchored in the Word.
Ephesians 4:14 NASB95
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
For the word will keep all, from being tossed and and there.
Drifting ends up in a shipwreck (1Tim1:19; Heb2:1-2)
As in our story the boat drifted into a shipwreck that took the lives of both the men. It can do that to your faith, it can shipwreck your faith.
1 Timothy 1:19 NASB95
19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
Stop: Ask the question, how do you think you can shipwreck your faith?
Now going back to the scripture, for those who drift spiritually because of neglect, there shall be no escape from the results of the choice, the punishment.
Hebrews 2:1–2 NLT
1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. 2 For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished.
Hebrews 2:3 NLT
3 So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?
(Transition) Danger! There is danger in drifting, if not then the writers are wasting words to warn people against drifting or the possibility of drifting.
As we continue to reflect on “Are you drifting) here are some things to consider.

Signs of drifting

There are some common signs of drifting and we will look at some of those for a few minutes.
Lack of desire to study God’s word and for prayer (Heb4:12; Ps1:1-3; Mt13:22; Lk18:1; Mk1:35, 6:46)
We know the bible is unique, it is living and sharp
Hebrews 4:12 NASB95
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It is “the” source of God’s revelation to man, so that we may know God’s purpose, God’s plan, God’s promises and God’s provision for us.
It reveals sin and the nature of sin as well as the consequences of sin.
It provides direction for living
Psalm 1:1–2 NASB95
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:3 NASB95
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
For without strength and direction the world can choke us out
Matthew 13:22 NASB95
22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
The man who loses the desire to spend time in God’s word is going to trusting self not God and they are easily drifting and able to be choked out by the world around us.
Prayer is a wonderful blessing, it is our biggest means, avenue to communicate with God.
Jesus loved and prayed to the Father
Mark 1:35 NASB95
35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
Or later he went to the mountain to pray (see Mk6:46)
He told the disciples do not grow weary, and pray
Luke 18:1 NASB95
1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,
(Transition) When a Christ loses desire to spend time in God’s word, or in communicating with God in concerted prayer, he is not being anchored and it prone to drift.
Lack of desire to be with God’s people (Heb10:25; Ps122:1; Rom14:19; HEb3:13; Ecc4:9-12; 1Cor15:33)
Hebrews 10:25 NASB95
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
We have looked at this verse in other sermons, there was a problem, a drifting that was happening in the 1st century that was aided by breaking the habit of assembling together.
We should have the attitude the psalmist have
Psalm 122:1 NASB95
1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
But if we no longer desire to go to the house of the Lord. If we no longer desire have a longing to worship together this is a tell tail sign of drifting. Remember drifting takes no effort!
Fellowship, the desire to be with God’s people goes beyond the assembly as the body (the church)
We need each other to edify, to encourage, one another
Romans 14:19 NKJV
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
and that can, should happen daily
Hebrews 3:13 NASB95
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
We need one another to help one another, one of my favorite passages, OK so I say that about a lot of them but read this with me
Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 NASB95
9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:11–12 NASB95
11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
For we also know that bad company, the wrong company, wrong friends can and will corrupt good morals (thinking of 1Cor15:33)
(Transition): When the Christian prefers companionship of people of the world, rather than fellow Christians, he is drifting toward the rocks of spiritual destruction.
Lack of desire to share the gospel. (Act8:4; 1The1:8; Rom1:16-17)
History lesson, think back, why did you become a Christian? When did you, how did it happen? What did you do after you were baptized for remission of sins?
If you are here and not a Christian yet, think about it, what is hindering you from having YOUR SINS forgiven and being born again tonight?
When you become a Christian life is different, you want to share with the world the world of Jesus why He is the world to you now.
Acts 8:4 NASB95
4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
and I cannot stay away from the proclaiming church who was well known.
1 Thessalonians 1:8 NASB95
8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
(transition) When a Christian looses zeal for the gospel, the power of God unto salvation to share it with others, chances are they are drifting.
Increasing desire for and over the things of this world (1Jn2:15-17; 2Tim3:4)
A few points to make in this section before we get to the application section- things we can do to remedy against or to prevent drifting.
Desire, long for high praise from others over accomplishments (i.e. sports accomplishments, work accomplishments, education, etc.)
Desire for worldly possessions or position to find satisfaction.
John warns of this kind of lust
1 John 2:15–16 NASB95
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:17 NASB95
17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
Paul warns Timothy about it.
2 Timothy 3:4 NASB95
4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
When the love of the world, worldly things is more than the love of God, chances are there is drifting, and spiritually drifting leads to, or can lead to shipwrecked faith.
(Transition) Don’t worry there is some hope, but it will take some work, effort, since drifting takes no effort at all, staying faithful, true and obedient will take effort. Now let’s look at some remedies against drifting.

Remedies against drifting

(Insert Remedy picture here - it is the definition)
If there is an ill we want a remedy. Spiritually drifting is an ill that can grow and it needs the remedy to reverse it and to help prevent it.
Oh the first of the remedies you can pick up on pretty quick:
Keep rowing, for drifting takes no effort (2Pt1:5-8, 10; Php3:12-15, 2Cor4:16)
Keep adding
2 Peter 1:5–6 NASB95
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7–8 NASB95
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
and add in
2 Peter 1:10 NASB95
10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
For diligent, and all the more diligent are important to grasp
No such thing as retirement as a Christian, keep living the Christian life
Even with spiritual maturity there is no retirement, we are not perfected yet, we need to press on! Press on toward the goal the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (this considering Php3:12-15)
Now think of
2 Corinthians 4:16 NASB95
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
Even though the outer body is decaying, serve the Lord for the inner man is being renewed daily.
Watch out for undercurrents (1Pt2:1; Gal5:16-18)
Look out for the temptations of sin, or compromise (expand)
Watch out for fleshly desires that wage war on the soul (1Pt2:1-2; Gal5:16-18)
1 Peter 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
Problem and solution in two verses there. Then you can consider
Galatians 5:16–17 NASB95
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Galatians 5:18 NASB95
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Walk, be led by the Spirit! It will prevent and cure drifting
Expect to row against the tide
(Expand briefly on this, watch your time)
A strong anchor is needed
(Below on slides read but don’t put in the scriptures)
Be rooted and grounded in Christ (Col2:6-7)
Be anchored in the truth of God’s Word (Eph4:14-15)
Keep a grip on an unshakable hope (Heb6:18-19)
And, be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ (Eph3:16-18)
(Conclusion) Drifting in a serious issue and we need to look for the warning signs of drifting to turn back before it is too later.
We have asked some good questions to ask ourselves regarding our walk personally and as a congregation, and there is one more question to ask tonight before we close
(Invitation slide- Are you a Christian?)
(Song) (Prayer) (exit)
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