This is not taken from a sermon I preached this week at Watermark; this is thought’s that I had this morning that I felt like I needed to share.
My wife and I took a trip down to Florida about 10 years ago (our honeymoon). We spent many of the days down there being at the ocean. We loved it. We loved the sun, we loved being together and we loved the adventure of the new journey. We both love the ocean except I wanted to go into the ocean and she wanted to lay out, so I spent most of the day in the water and she spent most of it on the sand. I remember playing in the ocean and then looking up and seeing my wife lying there. I spent hours in the water jumping around and playing with the boogie board. After hours of doing this I looked up and noticed my wife was no longer there. I was worried and upset. My thought was, “its our honeymoon and she left me here; whatever!” I decided to get out of the water and walk unto the shore. As I walked, I grew more frustrated until I saw her in the distance. She was still there! She did not move. She was still laying out and reading a book. I realized that I was the one that moved. I drifted down the shore. I was not trying to drift but the current took me away.
This simple story taught me a few simple but powerful truths over the years that I want to share with you.
#1: God is Still THERE
He is the not the one that moves; we are the ones that walk away, that turn away, or drift. I have heard many times that you can walk miles away from God but it only takes one step to get back to Him. We just need to turn around and take one step back. It says in scripture that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is for us! Here is the truth; We DRIFT from HIM but HE DOESN’T DRIFT FROM US!
If you feel away from God, go back to the place where last met with HIM. Backtrack and find the reason you started to drift. Maybe He told you to give up something and you couldn’t. Maybe He told you to help someone, to speak into someone, but you did not do it. Maybe you just go busy and distracted and loss focus. Maybe trials and storms pushed you away from Him and not towards Him. Maybe He asked you to forgive someone or yourself and you could not do it. Go back to the Lord. Meet with Him again and start the dialogue. He is still there. He does not walk away from us; we walk away from HIM. He does not drift from us; we drift from HIM!
#2 Feet NOT planted
In the story I realized the reason I drifted so fast was because I was on my boogie board and I was jumping around. Even though those things were really fun, I left my feet most of the time. I was not grounded and planted. I was able to drift because I left my feet.
Not only is it harder to drift when your feet are planted; its even harder to drift when you are KNEELING. Prayer keeps you planted and focused. In Joshua chapter 1, God told Joshua “I will give you every place where you set your foot…” He was not asking Joshua to tiptoe, but to stand firm and to march.
Stand firm! Be a person of prayer; be a person of amazing character and be a person who stands tall. “A person who stands for nothing will fall to everything.” We need to stand and planted. This happens by prayer, getting into the WORD, and trusting the Lord. Take a stand and KNEEL!
We need to be ANCHORED in HIM and by HIM. We need to be anchored in His love and passion.
When I was in the ocean and I was drifting, I did not even realize it. I did not realize I drifted. I blamed everything for leaving me, but I am the one that drifted and I didn’t even realize it. We don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Well, I hope I drift today!” We don’t plan on it but we to realize the current is there. That’s why focus is important. If we loose our focus point, we will drift. Satan has already swept too many people away. You cant see the under current from the surface of the water but its there and it can take you out unless you are anchored. You are not strong by yourself to handle the current. You need God and you need others.
I got so caught up in the fun that I got my eyes off where I was at. I lost focus. This is so easy to do. When we loose focus; we begin to drift. Many churches, Christians, and business are drifting because we have loss focus. We get our eyes on everything else and we take our eyes off the prize. Satan’s greatest tool is to get us so focused on the good things that we miss the best things. Matthew 6:33 “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” We need to seek Him first but we usually seek Him second, third or last. Sometimes going to God is an after thought or just in a time of need. What if He truly was our first priority? How would we be different if we actually went to Him first? SEEK FIRST…..THEN ALL THESE THINGS….!
I have heard over the years, “Give God your BEST and HE will take care of the REST.” Truth! Going to God FIRST is giving God our BEST! Making Him priority is making Him first. He wants the BEST for you, He has the BEST for you, and the BEST is revealed when we make Him the first.
I love Psalm 51:10-12, “Create in Me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast Spirit within ME. Cast me not away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my Salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Bring me back to my Salvation. Bring me back to the foundation and the basics. Help me focus. Its not about building the biggest church, having the biggest business, the nicest house, and so on; Its about HIM and what He has done for me. It’s about Grace!
To all the leaders in the Church: Come Back! Believe in Jesus again. Remember the joy of your salvation. Don’t get caught up in all the politics and drama….GET CAUGHT UP IN HIM. Kneel a lot and God will have you stand tall in you community. You are the Pastor to your community. God is not called you to build a church, he has asked you to build people. True vision and strength comes from HIM. MOSES TALKED about the Promise Land BUT Joshua LIVED in the Promise Land. I would rather spend a life LIVING out who God has called me to be. Be anchored and focused. Stay fresh! You are the Salt and the Light to your community. They NEED YOU to Give your BEST to GOD!. Give Him your BEST; He is worth it. Life’s too short to coast (drift). Don’t just go with the current (drift); Seek HIM first and RESCUE others who are drifting. You are Called for MORE. The phrase “good enough” will kill you. I don’t want to be just good enough! I don’t want JUST make it. To just get by. I want to be ALL who God says I am and I want to DO all that God has asked me to do. Do your BEST and let God handle the REST!
My good friend wrote on facebook. “One day I will stand before God…not as “Alicia the wife” or “Alicia the mother” or even “Alicia the missionary,” but just “Alicia.” God will look at my relationship with Him before examining my service for Him.”-A Farrant
The Creed of the “Pararescue” jumpers ends with “SO OTHERS MAY LIVE!”
We live, give and do our best so others may live. We are rescued to help help rescue others. Lets rescue those who are drifting. We LOVE so others may LIVE.