Have you ever had one of those “Are you kidding me?” meetings?
You know that meeting where you hear about a pastor having an affair? Or, a person who once ran a marriage ministry has walked out on their spouse? Or, the star teen who once led the youth group in high school is now an atheist?
How does this occur? I think it happens because of what I call, “The D.R.I.F.T.”
D–Distracted from Jesus and His Gospel
We drift from Jesus when we allow the good gifts God gives us — like a ministry success, a job, or our influence — to become more satisfying than Jesus himself.
We drift from Jesus when we’re not honest with our negative emotions — like anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment.
We drift from Jesus when we fail to grow in our “union life” in Jesus. In Jesus, we’re forever forgiven, declared to be as righteous as Jesus himself, and loved beyond measure. All because we are “in Christ” and “Christ is in us.”
We drift from Jesus when we try to establish an identity based on anything we do, instead of everything Jesus has done.
R–Refusing to Repent
As our hearts drift away from Jesus, we refuse to repent to Jesus and to the person we’ve offended. This is simply pride. At the root of every sin is pride. God will crush the pride out of us one way or another. He loves us, and his glory, too much not to do it.
I–Intentional Acts of Disobedience
As “The D.R.I.F.T.” progresses, we begin to intentionally sin. Instead of sprinting to Jesus to satisfy our needs, we run to other things — like work, pornography, people-pleasing, sex, food, self-sufficiency, and lying.
The next phase leads to fake fellowship (community). We stop being honest with our spouse, our family, our friends, our bosses, our small group community, and others. We become numb and plastic people.
T–Treasuring Something or Someone More than Jesus
The ugly offspring of “The D.R.I.F.T.” produces people who begin to treasure something or someone other than Jesus. The human heart is made for worship. People caught in the clutches of “The D.R.I.F.T.” are now worshiping people or things that will ultimately hurt them and those they love.
So what can we do if we are experiencing “The D.R.I.F.T.”?
Confession. Confess to Jesus that you have pursued lesser and false gods and that you need him.
Community. Confess to your closest brothers and sisters in Christ, and drown yourself in God’s grace as expressed in our union life in Jesus.
Contribute. Minister to someone who is experiencing “The D.R.I.F.T.” Let them know that you’ve been where they’re going and it’s not worth it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Heb. 12:1–2, NLT).
Marinate on that.