A few weeks ago, I found myself in an interesting mood. One of those moods that has you questioning a lot of things about yourself. So I got on my motorcycle and decided to just ride away whatever had me in this mood. My motorcycle has always represented freedom – it’s always been a way to clear my mind. But on this day, instead of singing “Born to be Wild” … I started to pray. Not long into my prayer, as I was asking God to help me with whatever it was that was going on in my mind, He replaced everything I was thinking about with the words to “Come Thou Fount”. Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God … Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. I tried to think about something else, trying to deny what I knew God was trying to tell me. Then I laughed to myself when I realized I was wearing a t-shirt that said “All those who wander are not lost”. I have always said that God has a sense of humor. As we all know, we can’t hide anything from God … but yet we try all the time. God knew my mind had been wandering, that I had been feeling like I was having a “spiritual drift” - Times where you feel like things are keeping you away from Him? At times, religious habits seem to take the back seat, but not our religious beliefs or religion itself. This can be caused by things as simple as a new hobby, a new career, a relationship, problems with family or friends, or just by being consumed by other things and not choosing to make time for God.
An article I once read by Jim Renke, explained 5 easy ways to determine if we are starting to wander or drift away from God.
Worship of any kind, or style seems empty - we seem to be going through the motions during worship services. Worship is designed to bring us closer to Him. We were not meant to worship in isolation, but in community. The Word of God seems flat – we no longer hunger for God’s word. Reading passages no longer impact our desire to draw closer to Him. This usually means that we are deciding to lead our own lives and trust on our own understanding. A day goes by without considering God and His desires – if we go through our day without a thought of God and his role in our lives, we have minimized him in our minds. He has become an after-thought. We wake up and go to work and fall asleep at night without thanking him for all the blessings in our lives or even talking to Him through prayer. You are making big decisions without prayer – we no longer ask for God’s guidance when making decisions like buying a car, entering a relationship, etc. If we do seek Him, we usually ask him to Bless the decision we have made on our own. You no longer look forward to being with Jesus – our desire to have him as part of our everyday life isn’t important. We have let other things take His place.
If any of these 5 indicators seem to hit home, then maybe you are starting to wander down the wrong path or experiencing a drift. Did you use to feel closer to God? Did it use to be easier to get up on Sunday mornings and attend corporate worship with your church family? Is it hard to find words for your prayers?
Renke also suggests that we Remember, Repent and Do. Remember what worshipping use to feel like. Remember which friends use to encourage you in your faith and didn’t mind talking openly about God. Remember the feeling of opening a devotional and reading God’s word and praying to him. What places did you use to go that brought you peace and inspired you to reflect on your life. Repent from putting Him second, behind your friends, job, etc. And finally Do. Do the things that bring you the greatest joy. Find the worship songs that you use to sing in your car that would always uplift your mood. Call those friends that encouraged you and invite them to dinner.
For me, it took a ride on my motorcycle on a beautiful sunny day, the wind in my face and the opportunity to be alone with God and spend time in prayer. Then He took it from there … I just listened and decided to respond.
Psalm 119:10 – With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments.