Christian Tagalog Blog: What To Do When You’ve Drifted Away from God Part 1

Hebrews 2:1We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

Hebrews 3:12-13See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were closer to God than you are right now? If your answer is YES, then, believe it or not, accept it or not, you are already backslidden!

You see, backsliding is not just having gone back to our old ways. You may be active in church, always present every Sunday, giving and still be a backslider. You have already drifted away from God.

One of the things we’ll talk about is our relationship to Jesus Christ. It’s one of the keys to understanding how to not drift and how to stay close to God.

Our relationship to our Lord Jesus Christ is like any other relationship. It must be maintained. They have to be maintained in order to stay fresh. If not things happen in that relationship we wish had not happened.

Like any other relationship, our relationship with God is always changing. It’s impossible for a relationship to stay the same way. It’s always getting better or it’s getting worse. Your heart is always either growing warmer towards God or colder, moving away from God. There will be times when you don’t feel as close. If your tendency in those moments is to pretend that the feeling isn’t there and just hope that it will go away, that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Hebrews 2:1We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

As in any relationship, if you feel a gap is building up, you need to face up to the problem and deal with it head on. How? We will try to answer that question later on. First let me call your attention to Hebrews 2:1. Notice the centrality of the Word of God in revival. The Bible “is a lamp to [our] feet and a light for [our] path.” (Psalm 119:105) It keeps us from wandering. Like a lighthouse it leads us to shore.

The Word of God is not only instrumental in keeping us from being lost, it is also key to bringing us back to God.

Example: Revival in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (ch.8).

I encourage you to answer this question: Has there ever been a time in my life when I was closer to God than I am right now? Yes or No?

Is it yes? If it’s yes then as we look at this today we’re going to look at how can you get back to feeling closer to God. If it’s no, I’m as close to Him now as I’ve ever been, then as we talk today we’re going to talk about how to keep from drifting from this point on.

Letter to the Church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7): Here we find three things we need to do when we have drifted in our relationship with God.

A. RECALL WHAT CAUSED YOU TO DRIFT (Maanod) AWAY.

Drifting always takes you in one direction – away.

The easiest thing in life is to drift. What do you have to do to drift? Nothing.

It’s often something you don’t even notice that you’re drifting. But all of a sudden you’re somewhere where you never thought you’d be because you’ve drifted.

What are some of the causes we drift away from our relationship with God? Let us take the example of Peter. In Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ, the night before Jesus was going to be crucified, you see four common causes of drifting away.

1. Overconfidence. In his overconfidence, Peter started to rely just on himself. The night before Jesus’ death, Jesus is with His disciples alone with the twelve and He announces to them, One of you is going to betray Me.” (Mark 14:18) And then He added, “You will all fall away.” Simon Peter says, Even if all fall away, I will not.”

Overconfidence is often the first step in drifting away because we start to think, “I can handle this on my own. I can make this work on my strength. I can do everything on my own.” As if God didn’t have enough strength to help us all out we begin to think, “God, go help those other people out. They must need it more. I’ll handle this on my own.” God can help every one of us all at once. That’s how strong He is.

1 Corinthians 10:12If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”

Proverbs 16:18Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

 The problem is our own ego (pagkamakaako, sarili). We slowly but surely edge God out of our lives. We edged Him out of our finances, our family, our career; until finally we’ve edged Him out of every important area of our lives and we’ve drifted away from Him.

2. Laziness. Laziness is another common cause of drifting away. We just get lethargic (nananamlay). Sad to say we are famous for being tamad! (Lazy) Kinatatamaran din nating gawin ang mga mabubuting bagay na dapat ay ginagawa natin. That can happen in a marriage. That can happen with your kids as a parent. It can also happen in our relationship with God. Good habits like reading God’s word, the Bible. If I’m going to have a good relationship with God I’ve got to let Him talk to me. He does that through the Bible. When I stop doing that I drift away. Good habits like talking to God in prayer. If I don’t take the time to talk to Him I’m going to drift away. Good habits like giving. When I stop doing those things, I start to drift.

In the next scene, in Mark 14, Jesus is with His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. He asked a few of the disciples, including Peter, to stay and keep watch for an hour and pray with Him. Jesus goes off and prays looking toward the fact that He was going to die on the cross the next day. It was one of the most agonizing moments in Jesus’ life as He struggled through what that would mean. He comes back to see these disciples that He’d asked to watch and be with Him. They’re all asleep. Verse 37 He says to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?”

Doing the right thing is often hard. It requires more effort. It requires more energy. What’s easier? Exercise and go on a diet, or watch TV while eating ice cream? Which would you rather do? It’s difficult sometimes to do the right thing.

 Because of that we have to make sure we have the energy to do the right thing in life. Because of that you have to regularly recharge your spiritual batteries in order to do the right thing. You’re not super man. You’re not super woman. So if you’re just trying to keep on going and keep on going no wonder you’re drifting away. (Energizer) You need to recharge your spiritual batteries.

Fatigue is a huge warning light in life. When you get fatigued you’re going to be tempted to drift away. It lowers your defenses. It makes you vulnerable to temptation. So when fatigue comes you need to recharge your batteries. Some of you need to recharge your batteries this week.

Matthew 26:41Watch and pray so you won’t fall into temptation.”

A third cause of drifting away is…

3. Fear of ridicule (panlilibak, panunuya). Fear of what other people will say. When Jesus was arrested and taken down into the city for a trial, the Bible tells us that Peter follows Him. But he followed Him at a distance.

Mark 14:54Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.”

 He stayed back. He didn’t want to be identified with Jesus so he stayed far enough back. Jesus had become unpopular. He was going to be tried. The crowd had turned against Him. So he was worried about being ridiculed, put down, harassed (guluhin), he stays back.

Do you try to follow Jesus at a safe distance? Just far enough back maybe that no one will notice. We become ashamed of Jesus Christ. We don’t admit to it. But when we don’t want anybody seeing us carrying a Bible or reading a Bible; when we don’t pray in public; when we don’t want to share our faith; it is a sure sign we are ashamed of Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:25, Fear of man will prove to be a snare.” Because you live the rest of you life based on what other people think. Who wants to live that way? Jesus said in Luke 9:26If anyone is a shamed of Me, I’ll be ashamed of him.” There is no such thing as a secret agent Christian in God’s army. That’s not the way it works. We’re identified as God’s people. That’s what it means to follow Him. So this desire to follow Him at a distance can cause us to drift away.

When you’ve drifted away from God, when your heart has grown old, after you admit what the cause was the fact that it’s happening in your life, the second thing you do is…

(We will talk about that on the second part)

Guys, I’m not saying that I am perfect but this also hit me. This should be a challenge for us. Till next post.

About Ang blogger daw na si Iska

I am saved by Grace
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2 Responses to Christian Tagalog Blog: What To Do When You’ve Drifted Away from God Part 1

  1. Pingback: Christian Tagalog Blog: What To Do When You’ve Drifted Away from God Part 2 | ChristianBlessings

  2. ptl2010 says:

    It is so important for us to review our relationship with The Lord for it affects how we live – in fear or victory, in truth or lies, in anger, on forgiveness, bitterness or in the grace and mercy of The Lord, in love and forgiveness. You must chose how you want to live. You chose to remain depressed and oppressed by the enemy or to be risen and an overcomes in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Joshua told the Israelites to choose whom they will serve and we are given the choice today. If you do not choose it does not mean you have not chosen.

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