Red flags in our Christian walk: Most of us have, at times, drifted in our relationship with Christ. Maybe you’re caught in that current right now. How can we know we’re drifting before we go too far and suffer the consequences?
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7 Red Flags You’re Drifting in Your Relationship with Christ
We’ve all experienced it. Drifting. Drifting away in your relationship with God.
At times, it feels good.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired. Tired of being the one perceived to be against everything. Feminism. Abortion. Living together. Tolerance.
Even though I know Galatians says, we’re not to get weary in doing good (Gal. 6.9), I get tired of feeling like I’m held to a higher standard. Other Christians get away with (fill in the blank). I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way at times.
Sometimes we’re busy. I mean BUSY. There’s marriage, kids, ministry … laundry.
We don’t mean to drift away. We’ll get to it tomorrow, our relationship with God that is. Because, right now, there are so many other things.
We’re Martha’s instead of Mary’s (Lk. 10.38-42).
Sometimes we’re disappointed. We prayed and prayed, but nothing happened. We thought life would straighten out because we accepted the Lord, started going to church, got more involved …
Even though Jesus warned us life wouldn’t always be easy (Jn. 16.33), life has been hard and it seems there’s no end in sight. It’s easy to forget he also told us He’d give us rest and cause our burdens to be light (Matt. 11.28-30).
Sometimes drifting kind of sneaks up on us. It’s OK to miss church just this once. I’ll read my Bible tomorrow. My co-workers will think I’m too religious if I pray over my lunch. It’s just one improper movie, night out with the girls, or racy novel.
So, how can we know our relationship with God isn’t what it should be?
7 Red Flags You’re Drifting
1. You no longer read your Bible regularly.
You no longer have a hunger for God’s Word. If you do read your Bible, it’s just one more thing on your to-do list. It’s not about spending time in His presence.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Ps. 34.8).
Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119.97).
2. You’re not praying.
I’ll pray tomorrow, in the car, or when I get a chance. But it doesn’t happen.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up (Lk. 18.1 NLT).
Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess. 5.17-18).
3. You’re missing church.
You look for any excuse. Or you go because it’s expected, but your heart’s not in it.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10.24-25).
4. You don’t miss His people.
You’ve had it with other Christians. They’re all hypocrites and you’d rather be around unbelievers.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13.34-35).
5. You’re doing things you once thought you were done with.
Unwholesome words are slipping in. You go places you shouldn’t. You justify things God told you to leave alone.
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4.22-24).
6. The fruit of the Spirit is sadly lacking.
You lose your temper with the kids. You’re impatient with your husband. You’re unkind to those you consider inept or who mess up your plans. Self-control is out the window.
Consequently, you have no peace or joy. Frustration, anger and bitterness have replaced them.
7. You’re all about your rights.
You’re sick of being a doormat. You’re tired of putting what everyone else wants ahead of what you want.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2.3-4).
I’ve found myself here a time or two or three …
What should we do if we’ve drifted from God?
7 Steps to Get Reconnected with God
1. Come clean.
Confess your sin to God. Repent of selfishness, busyness and any other sin.
Ask Him for forgiveness. He loves you and He’s waiting.
He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Prov. 28.13).
2. Own your sin with others.
If you’ve sinned against someone else. Go to them humbly. Ask for their forgiveness without minimizing or blame-shifting. How they respond is between them and God. Just do your part.
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matt. 5.23-24).
Make a commitment to pray regularly. If you don’t know where to start, use the Lord’s prayer as an outline or pray God’s Word back to Him. Find those verses that you want in your life and ask for His help.
Ask Him to incline your heart to Him and give you a hunger for His Word.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way (Ps. 119.35-37).
4. Start reading your Bible.
Even if you’re not especially motivated, start. Read a Psalm or chapter of Proverbs each day. Read through one of the gospels. Read the book of Acts and remember how those in the early church lived out their faith even when it was hard.
5. Get back in church.
Sit in the back if you must. But go.
6. Make yourself accountable to someone.
Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. We need each other.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (Jas. 5.16).
7. Accept His mercy and grace.
We serve a gracious God who loves us. We can’t do this Christian life perfectly. We’ll fall short. We’ll fail Him miserably. That’s why Christ died.
When we drift, these seven simple steps can make a huge difference. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you’ve gone too far or messed up too many times. Worse yet, don’t let Him deceive you into believing your drift is no big deal. Come back to the Father, confess your lack of faithfulness, and fall into His open arms.
Next week: “Ways to Enhance Your Quiet Time.” Sign up for “Christian Living Posts” so you won’t miss it.
Blessings as we grow together,
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