For anyone who has been caught in an undertow, it can be a scary experience. However, even though at times the current can be strong, there are other times it can be subtle. Slowly drifting you farther and farther from shore. Likewise, there are distractions we face in life that can cause us to drift farther from our calling in Christ:
Self-Sufficiency: Many of us don’t like admitting we need help. We want to be self-sufficient and not be a burden to others. This of course can be a good thing, but it can also slowly drift us away from God if we aren’t careful. For we might begin thinking we don’t need to bother God with our small and/or petty problems. We may also attempt to pursue dreams and goals apart from Him. The problem with this of course is what if those plans and dreams aren’t what God plans and dreams for us (2 Corinthians 3:5)?
Self-Reliance: Similar to self-sufficiency, self-reliance teaches us to not rely on anyone but ourselves. This too can be good, but can also quickly lead us away from Godly fellowships, relationships and discipleships. For we begin to feel we can accomplish all things on our own, rather than doing all things through Christ who strengthens us (Romans 12:3). We are not to be isolated islands, but rather integrated members of His body.
Self-Interest: Naturally, we are all interested in our best interests, but this too can drift us away from Godly interests. For we become consumed with what we have, what we want, what we do and what we need. A powerful remedy to this undertow however is remembering the acrostic J.O.Y., which reminds us to prioritize Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last (Philippians 2:4).
Application: “Crisis Point” – Exodus 33:15
Once when my daughter was little, she got caught in a slight undertow at the beach. It frightened her and she screamed out for my help. Naturally, I quickly ran to pick her up and carry her safely to shore. Likewise, may we be wise enough to call to our Heavenly Father for help when we sense we are being swept away by the temptations of self. When we do, He too is quick to respond and return us to safety. For He thankfully has Godly plans and purposes for each of us and when we surrender to Him, acknowledging we don’t want to do anything, or go anywhere outside of His will, He sets our feet on back on steady ground.