The greatest affliction of the Christian life, in my opinion, is drift! Drift occurs when we neglect our Christianity, our relationship with Christ, our salvation!
The reason I know this is because I, too, suffer from drift. I don’t always apply to my life what I’ve been taught in church since I was a child. I don’t always read and study my Bible regularly. I get busy and neglect my prayer life. And consequently, I neglect my salvation. Then I start to drift.
We neglect our salvation by not practicing it. And then we become Christians in name only. When we don’t pay attention and do what we have heard through teaching, preaching, Bible study and prayer, then we start to drift.
We know we are drifting when there’s no plan, no direction and no action in regard to our spiritual lives, our salvation. We become casual Christians, convenience Christians, expedience Christians. We only read our Bible when a verse is displayed on the screen during a church service. We only give our money and time to the church when it doesn’t interfere with our own personal wants and needs. We only pray when tragedy strikes.
In other words, we don’t put our salvation into practice!
Here’s what I mean about practicing our salvation. I play golf. Let me re-phrase that. I own golf clubs. And, on great occasion I go play a a round of golf. But I never practice my golf game. I never go to the driving range or the putting green to practice so I can improve my game. In fact, I don’t even play a round of golf regularly. But, I suppose I could say that I’m a golfer because I own golf clubs and have played golf.
Some folks approach their Christianity in the same way. They get baptized and join a church. They occasionally attend worship services and Sunday School or Bible Study. They may even drop some money in the offering plate from time to time. But, they don’t really put their Christianity into practice. They don’t develop and improve their spiritual lives. They don’t grow closer to God. But, I suppose they could say they are Christians because they joined a church and occasionally attend.
Yet, Christianity requires more of you than just being a Christian in name only. Being a disciple of Jesus requires you to practice your salvation. There’s things you must do to make it happen, to sustain it, to improve it. You must regularly engage in a spiritual workout: prayer, Bible study, worship, giving, serving.
But, God doesn’t make you exercise your spiritual life. God doesn’t make you practice your salvation. It’s voluntary.
Sure, God wants you to draw closer to Him, to have fellowship with Him. God wants to have a personal relationship with you! So, He sends His Spirit to dwell in you, to be your Guide, your Counselor, your Comforter. But, there are things you must do to reciprocate, just like with any relationship, to help it thrive, if you want to draw closer to Him, if you want to maintain fellowship with God.
Because what you do with your life in this world is preparing you for the world to come. Your life in this world and on this earth is preparation for eternal life with God in His very presence.
You can’t just drift into heaven. You’ve got to get there on purpose and with purpose!
So, avoid drift by practicing your salvation, by exercising your spiritual life, by getting prepared for eternity!
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, NASB)