The danger of drifting
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – How do you taste and see that the Lord is good and then drift away from him? Mike Dorough -- student pastor of Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins, Ga. -- raised that question at Truett-McConnell College's chapel service, Oct. 18.
Reflecting on his own life, Dorough explained how he drifted away from God as freshman in college.
"No matter where you are, if you don't allow God to speak to your heart everyday, you'll begin to find every excuse in the book to backslide," Dorough said. "There is danger in drifting ... and it's a gradual slope."
Dorough preached from Hebrews 2.1-3, outlining his sermon into five points on how to recognize one's drift away from God: when you loose your hunger for God's word, your heart for worship, your passion for the lost, your hatred of sin and your hunger for Jesus, you can be sure you're drifting from God, he said.
"Your most important appointment of the day is your personal time in the Word of God," Dorough said, emphasizing the hunger Christians ought to have for the Bible. "We must hunger for the Word of God," he added, noting that Christians should prioritize their reading of the Bible.
"When you don't hunger for worship, something is wrong," said Dorough, explaining the importance of private worship, which makes "corporate worship to be so much better. You're drifting if you lose your heart for worship."
Dorough said a passion for non-Christians is vital in any believer's life. "There are people around you who don't know Christ," he said. "Do you view them as an annoyance or your mission field?" he asked. "We must have a hunger for lost souls."
"Are you more annoyed by the sins of those around you or by your own struggles?" Dorough asked, noting that a lack of the hatred for sin signifies a believer's drifting. If your sin doesn't bother you like it once did, then it's clear you're dangerously drifting, he said. "You better listen to the voice of Truth."
Citing the need for believers to spend devotional time with Jesus Christ, Dorough said losing one's hunger for Jesus is another clear sign of drifting. "Do you even notice when you miss a quiet time?" Dorough asked. "Do you thirst and hunger for God?"
Echoing John 14.15, Dorough said if we love God we will keep his commandments: "Our love for Jesus is measured by our obedience to Him."
Dorough quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer, saying, "Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes."
We have to stay hungry for Jesus, Dorough said.
Dorough warned students to beware of the dangers of drifting and asked four important questions: Are you totally certain that you are genuinely saved? Are you determined to stay faithful and not drift? Will you let God break your heart for others who are drifting and the many that are lost? And will you ignore the stern warning?
The characteristic of a believer is someone who is changed by God, Dorough stated. "When God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit steps out of heaven and into your life, you will know it," he said.
The importance of staying faithful is vital, Dorough said. "If you don't stay strong until the finish line, you'll drift."
Emily Grooms is a Truett-McConnell student and a freelance writer for the college.