It’s just too easy to wander away from God.
I know because I wandered away for several years when I was a young adult. I moved away from home and gradually filled my calendar with activities I knew were not the best for me. The people I met while doing these activities weren’t interested in a relationship with God so we never talked about him. My whole lifestyle changed to ‘looking for love (and fun) in all the wrong places.”
It was easy.
Several years later, I woke up (with a lot of nudging from the Holy Spirit) and realized I was not where I wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong – I had worked hard and gotten the degree, the husband, the career, the house, the kids and the cars that I thought I wanted – everything I thought would make me happy.
But I wasn’t happy. I was empty. I had a huge hole in my life. I needed a meaningful purpose for getting up every morning beyond feeding the kids, paying the bills and getting my ‘to-do’ lists done.
It took me awhile to figure out that the aching hole in my life was where God was supposed to be. I’m sure the Holy Spirit had to work very hard on me to get me to see that. My relationship with God at this point had melted into nonexistence.
I realized I missed God. I missed my spiritual family.
I’m extremely grateful that the Holy Spirit helped me identify my real need and desire so I could get back on track. My relationship with God has given me all the purpose and joy and success that I was looking for.
Huge numbers of Christians have wandered away this last year because of the pandemic:
- their Bible started gathering dust on a shelf.
- with churches closed, other things used up the time they used to spend with God and their church families.
- it got so easy to tune in to church on line when it was convenient. It’s so much easier than going back to church in person.
- their week became too busy with other things and they didn’t like zooming so they dropped out of small group Bible studies, leaving their Christian friends behind.
Do any of these describe you? I’ve got to admit the ease and convenience of on-line church had a hold of me for awhile….especially since I moved out of state at the start of the pandemic and I needed to find a new church home. But then the Holy Spirit gave me a significant nudge, reminding me of the importance of having a spiritual family full of people who I can worship with, serve with and grow with. So my husband and I searched and prayed and God is blessing us through our new church family.
I am reminded that wandering can happen to anyone when I read about the end of King Solomon’s life. He was the wisest man who ever lived and yet his pagan wives influenced him to such a degree that he turned his heart away from the One True God and started worshipping manmade idols. Unbelievable! Such a sad end to an awesome life.
God had warned all the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them (foreign wives), because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” 1 Kings 11:2.
I feel like God is warning me today through his Word. I must be diligent about keeping my priorities straight. If attitudes and activities start to draw me away from God, I need to adjust my focus.
I wandered away once when I was young. I’m determined not to do it again.
Please keep me close to your side, Abba Father