This is one of the more painful posts I have ever written.
Last night, as I was driving home with a dear friend, we processed our fears of drifting. Very few of us wake up one day and just decide we don’t want God. It happens slowly. Over years and years.
As I crawled in bed last night I tossed to Heaven a simple prayer: God, please. Just please. Save me from drifting.
This morning, I was in 1 Kings 11. I watched as Solomon turned away from the Lord. It didn’t happen overnight. His love of the world just pulled and tugged at him until one day he found himself building alters to foreign gods.
I felt chills as I read the text.
My heart is desperate to use glorious truths as shields against the intended conviction of God’s Word. If we are His – we will never leave Him. I’m His – I won’t drift. Great. Done. Close the Bible. Ignore the warning of Solomon’s life.
But this crazy story has an intention and God forbid (and Satan delight) that I use truth to deflect the arrows of God’s words.
This text is written for me and you today to remind us of the very real and very gradual danger of drifting. None of my theology is intended to dilute the holy fear I should feel as I read this text.
Nor does it.
Because as I sit here typing this, sitting just to the left of me, on top of my Bible, are four old wrinkled and worn pieces of paper filled with some of the most haunting words I have ever read, typed on an old-school type writer.
These pages hold a beautiful sermon, written decades ago by a man I never knew; a man who was pursuing a life in service to God.
They are filled with such passion and such truth that it fills my heart with devastating pain and terrifying trembling.
Because these pages are written by my father. They were written ten years before I was born, before I met the man I knew as a devoted atheist - who not only ignored God but denied God.
I am sad about Solomon, the man whose wisdom wrote huge chunks of my favorite book in the world built alters to other gods.
But Solomon is a character to me, if I’m honest.
My father, now lost to me, is not a character. And to read his words written so long ago is terrifying because they read like a blog post of mine.
And I wonder: am I just my father’s daughter? Passionate about whatever cause is in front of me and it’s just currently God? Will I drift as well?
And I’m crying. Like a girl. Right now, as I type this. Because I don’t want that life. I don’t want a life without the sweetness of my Savior ringing in my heart. I don’t want a day when He’s not my father and friend.
And so here’s what I’ll do I guess:
1. Battle. Today – if you hear Him right now – today – don’t harden your heart. Don’t ignore His voice. Don’t assume that there will be room or the will tomorrow to fight to love Him.
The war we are in is real. The attack comes in the form of complacency and apathy. It comes in the form of distracting battles about chicken sandwiches that waste precious energy and result in us shooting hostages instead of waging war with the real Enemy.
Today is the day to listen to God speaking to you about the false gods you are feeding.
2. Battle together. Since I’m at the end of myself today, I’ll tell the truth.
I no longer have the capacity or the patience for ‘biblical community’ that will ignore or overlook my sin in the name of ‘friendship’.
Look, I get that you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Me too. I don’t want to say hard things. But – honestly – with tears and love I say – screw that.
There is a battle for our souls here, and our exhortation of one another is the means of our perseverance determined by God.
I am not going to make it alone. I need people who will die to their obsession with approval and start speaking truth. I need to be one of those people.
2. Repent. Today, I want to turn back to Him. I want it so desperately.
I see the ‘loves’ in my life that are luring me away from Him: food, or boys or TV. And the temptation of these things is not a joke.
They have very real potential to lull me into a peaceful sleep until I wake up one day, pulled miles from the shore by a current that I am then too weak to fight.
2. Pray. I deeply believe in the sovereignty of God. I cling to the promise that He will finish the good work He began in me, but I see clearly in the Bible that this faith will be evidenced, not by apathy or indifference or ambivalence toward my sanctification, but a passionate prayer life.
I do not know if Solomon repented and returned on his death-bed. I do not know if he was regenerate in His heart – truly saved.
I do not know if my father repented and returned on his death-bed. I do not know if he was regenerate in his heart – truly saved.
I only know that both of their legacies have been placed in my hands today by the grace of a sovereign God as rudders to my soul to direct me to do battle and repent and pray.
And I pray it will do the same for you.
That’s not my cute ‘bloggy’ end. I’m typing it with tears. I’m over my word count. This post is too long to be ‘popular’. But I need you to know those aren’t just words I’m writing.
Please. Stop right now. And beg God to wake you up. Please.
Let us not waste the great and glorious Spirit whispering conviction in our souls.
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you and may we finish this thing together.