Whenever we go to the beach, I love playing in the waves with my kids. We will stay out there for hours jumping waves and diving under them. I’m always amazed by how quickly we drift with the current and find ourselves far away from the spot where we started. We get out, walk back to our beach umbrella and start again. Depending on the conditions, it can happen in minutes. Drifting takes us by surprise.
I’ve never really been out to see on a sailboat or a raft, but I hear of those who drift “off course.” Without navigation and the right winds, it happens quickly.
My soul drifts. Left on its own, it drifts off course. The thing is, my soul tends to drift in the same direction;then it runs aground on Me Island. Ever heard of it? It’s the place where every thought is about…me! All the work, effort, and activity done there is for my pleasure and happiness.
Without the navigation of the Holy Spirit and without the Holy Spirit’s wind blowing in my sails, I drift into selfishness. In the quiet of morning, before my people woke, I heard the whisper of God convicting me heart and asking me to turn my little boat around. He wasn’t angry- just letting me know that I was there again- Me Island. He knows that I can’t find real joy there so he was guiding me back home. He knows that nothing eternal happens in the midst of selfishness. No fruit grows there.
I have been struggling with abiding, seeking out times to be close with God. I wake up early to read his word and journal my prayers. Yet, somehow the rest of my day is spent thinking of myself. Drifting.
I believe abiding, as commanded by Jesus to his disciples, is mostly about focus and acknowledging. It is moment by moment; checking our coordinates and keeping our eye on our destination. It is acknowledging his presence, his provision, and his activity in our moments. Drifting happens when we forget him for a moment. That moment becomes more moments, until we are far off course.
He has gently but emphatically said that apart from him we cannot do anything lasting. He has told us to stay connected, as a branch to its vine. The life flowing inside from the vine produces the fruit on the branch. Ten times in ten verses he used the word “abide” or “remain”. He knows how easily we drift away.
Yet, he has a purpose for us, those who he desires to reach through us. Their changed lives, encouraged hearts, and answered prayers are indeed the fruit Jesus speaks of in John 15. I so want my life to bear fruit for eternity.
How can I keep from drifting?
In order to stay the course, I hear God asking me to change my perspective. I can’t “spend time with him” and then go chase my day. He wants to be in all of the moments. A continual conversation, a constant acknowledging, an expectant heart. Yes, those moments in the early hours when I have uninterrupted time with him are beautiful and needed; but he is available to me all day.
Amazing to think about his grace and mercy that patiently teaches me how to love him, how to know him more. He is so good to me.
Why would I drift from Him?
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5