Drifting, Part 3 – The Lure of Isolation
2 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
Debbie McDaniel writes:
We see it all around us, in headline news stories, or from the lives of those we know and maybe once trusted. And even so often, in our very own lives. Sometimes it happens before we realize what’s occurred. It’s unintentional. We don’t plan it. Lulled by the slow pull away, swayed by other things we start deeming more important, we wake up one day and realize things seem different. We find ourselves in a place we’d never intended to go.
The drift. Happens.
Sometimes out of busy-ness.
Sometimes out of hurt.
Sometimes because things are bad.
Sometimes because things are good.
Sometimes because we’re overwhelmed.
Sometimes because it’s hard to forgive and move forward.
And often because we begin to stumble. Temptation is fierce. The enemy waits for one wrong move. Sin crouches, ready to devour, as we head down a slippery slope. We can’t find a foothold, and begin to lose our way. By definition, to drift means “a continuous slow movement from one place to another.” It doesn’t happen quickly. It often takes us unaware. It’s simply the natural process that occurs, when we lose our bearings, and stop moving in the right direction.
And one thing is sure, it rarely happens because we intend for it to.
Jesus did something curious when facing His darkest hour:
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
ISOLATION: To become spiritually and emotionally disconnected from God or community so that secrets grow and spiritual growth stops.
Sarah Kinzer writes
Consider the experience of plugging your phone in and going to bed at night and waking up in the morning, picking up your phone only to find it hasn’t charged at all. You check the connection on the phone end, and it seems good, but as you move the cord, the charger port falls out of the outlet because it had become loosened from the wall. Not so loose that you noticed the night before. Not so loose that it didn’t LOOK plugged in. But loose enough to render it ineffective and loose enough that it barely takes any nudge at all to completely knock it out. And unless the port is plugged back in, the phone will continue to drain battery until it is entirely dead.
There are Christians who say “This is my church,” and yet don’t attend regularly, don’t serve, don’t give, don’t study the Word, don’t go out on mission. Their connection to the church, to the faith, to Christ, is tenuous at best, and ineffective at worst. And it will take very little nudge at all to make it apparent to all that they have drifted, have disconnected, and have lost all charge.
The great news is that the opportunity is still open to reconnect, to come back not to an entity but to your faith and to your community, and your Savior and your community are waiting and welcoming return.
When we drift into isolation, we put ourselves at great risk.
But the problem with isolation is more than that. When we disconnect we violate the design and will of God Himself.
We tear away at what God has built – hurting His plan and the ones beside us.
We’re not now living in a time of isolation, but a time of overcoming isolation.
This is the perfect time to hear this message because we’re faced daily with the need to overcome isolation and restore connection however we can.
Five signs that you may be drifting:
- You have less intense passion for God – His word, His worship, His heart.
- You don’t regularly practice a biblical sabbath.
- You are often emotionally or spiritually disconnected.
- Your schedule is out of control.
- Technology doesn’t serve you, it runs you.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Romans 12:3-5
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizenswith God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundationof the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy templein the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.