It’s easy to start drifting because it’s hard to stay disciplined. Staying consistent with my Bible reading, praying, and thinking about others takes some work – drifting makes life easier. It’s almost enjoyable to drift because it can be like meandering down a slow moving river on an inner tube. Unfortunately, the result of drifting isn’t simply missing a deadline or giving up on a goal. Drifting can be so costly that we can deconstruct everything we’ve previously worked so hard to build – including our friendship with God.
Drifting is easy because God is so busy. God will still be good regardless of my faithfulness or complacency. When I’m bad, God is still good. If I choose not to help others, God will still show kindness and help. Actually, an argument may be made that if I do drift my way into unfaithfulness it actually works in God’s favour because, by contrast, it reveals how faithful God actually is.
Honestly, that’s a crazy idea and I really stretched to make the point. My faithlessness does not enhance God. But it was an actual idea that Paul confronts in Romans 3:1-8 while he continues to address his complacent contemporaries.
In Romans 3:1-8 Paul teaches Why Drifting Is So Easy, So Costly And How You Can Reengage
I. Drifting is easy because God is good
In Romans 3:3-4 Paul writes, “Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar” NIV.
Regardless of the Jews’ faithfulness or faithlessness, God is still God, eternally faithful. Even though Paul’s contemporaries had rejected Jesus, He had not rejected them or the rest of the world. God never stops working to draw the world closer to Himself.
That’s a problem for all of us who are prone to drifting because it makes it too easy for us. I know that my choices will never effect God’s love and activity in the world.
II. Drifting is costly because God is relational
In Romans 3:8 Paul writes, “Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just” NIV.
Rather than writing, “God is relational,” I could have written, “God is our judge,” but that would suggest something incorrect about God. God doesn’t want to judge us. God wants to spend eternity with us in a very close friendship. Unfortunately, God does have to step in as our judge, though. It’s not because He wants to judge us, but it’s because we simply don’t want Him. When we choose to reject Him relationally, He’ll give us what we want – forever without Him (that’s called “condemnation”).
That’s a problem for all of us who are prone to drifting. Drifting doesn’t put a relationship on hold, it deconstructs any relationship that had been built and casually creates a distance until there is no more relationship.
If you’re prone to drifting then here’s a heads up: drifting is easy, but it’s too costly to ignore. Here’s how to reengage:
1. Schedule faithfulness
When I put my Bible reading time into my calendar it becomes a lot harder to miss it. Being intentional about when I will connect with Jesus is essential for consistency and tracking my progress.
2. Fear God
I know this is a reference to a different passage, but it’s just as wise to put it here. God is relational and wants us to embrace His offer of relationship. Remembering that God is my judge, and keeping in mind the penalty for rejecting God, is a good motivation to keep me away from drifting. It’s a lot harder to drift when we consider what’s waiting for us at the end of the meandering, slow moving river.
3. Keep a short account
Trying to justify my actions (or lack of activity) is far too costly. An apology keeps a dialogue running and helps move a relationship forward. So, be quick to ask for forgiveness, accept the forgiveness, and continue forward with your fellowship with God.
Drifting is too easy and too costly, but it’s correctable. If you’ve been a Believer for 100 years or 10 years, or you’re not yet a Believer, the correction is always the same. Lean into the friendship by believing in Jesus and the work on growing the relationship.
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