Have you ever started doing something and then find yourself drifting away from it? We start working out and a week later are selling the treadmill. Or maybe you decided to eat healthier and still find yourself reaching for the ice cream. It happens all of the time. As humans, it is just part of our nature for our priorities to drift. One thing we want to make sure doesn't drift, is our focus on Jesus. It has happened to all of us, sure, but let's talk about how to put that focus back on Jesus so that we are living a life that is in accordance with Him.
Mark 1:17 ESV
And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
The main text we will consider here is John 21:1-14. Here we see that Jesus's disciples have gone fishing. If we look back in the Bible in Mark 1:17, we see that Jesus found these men while they were fishing. He asked them to follow Him and instead be fishers of men. What has happened is something that we all find ourselves doing. Reverting back to something that is comfortable. In the context of John 21, Jesus has been crucified and the disciples have watched it happen. In their grievance, they have sought out comfort in the things they know. In this case, fishing. If you really think about it, you can probably identify something that is your comfort. Maybe it's food, your family, your house, exercising, there are lots of things out there that we can resort to. What I want to challenge you on, is to resort to Jesus instead.
You see, in this chapter of John, Jesus meets his disciples right where they are. One of the interesting things Pastor Jason called out is that he called the men "children". Why do you think he choose this word?? In this text it specifically means infant. Jesus is making a comparison here between where these men were when they were with Him, and where they are now that they have drifted back into their old ways. They have gone from full grown adults in Jesus, and have slid back into the infancy stage.
John 21:4-5 ESV
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No."
Have you ever heard someone call a new believer an infant in Christ? The term is used to describe someone who is just starting out and has a lot to learn. As we continue to strengthen and deepen our relationship with Jesus and learn more about Him, we continue to grow in our faith. Getting us closer and closer to the adult stages of our relationship with God. The men in John got to spend time IN PERSON with Jesus. Can you imagine? They got to learn from Him directly and see how he interacted with people and the world around Him. Their faith and relationship with Him must have been so deep and so strong. However, here you see them sliding back into the infancy stage. They have gone back to the things that gave them comfort before they came to know Jesus. This is a sad thing if you think about it. After all of the time and energy that was put into them, it was so easy for them to slide back into their original pattern.
What's interesting about drifting back into old, comfortable patterns, is that it can leave us feeling pretty empty. There is only one thing that will truly fill us and that is the Holy Spirit!! When it gets a hold of you, you will be so full of love for the people around you that you won't know what to do with all of it. I like to think about the fact that this feeling is something that God wants for all of us. He wants you to feel the kind of joy and love that only he can bring you. The same can be said for success. You can lead a very successful life, but anything that is achieved apart from God doesn't have that fullness that only He can provide.
It's amazing how the more you lean towards the flesh, the more empty you feel. The more you lean towards Christ, the more full you get.
-Pastor Jason Williams
In order to get there, you have to put your focus on Jesus and not let yourself drift away from that focus. We will all find ourselves losing our focus or getting distracted at times. It is so important that in these times you have something to ground you back to Jesus and what he wants to do in your life. We have an amazing opportunity as followers of Jesus to have a relationship with our Lord and Savior. Let's take advantage of it and make it our biggest priority!!
What are some of the ways you can work towards prioritizing your relationship with God? Here are a few ideas you can try to help keep yourself from drifting.
Find an accountability partner- An accountability partner is someone who can help call you out when you are drifting. This is usually a good friend or family member. Someone who knows you well enough to see signs that you may be sliding away from your relationship with God.
Join a Bible study group- Whether it be in person or virtual, a Bible study group can help you get a deeper understanding of what it means to have a relationship with God. The more you learn, the more you have to hold on to when you find yourself drifting.
Read the Bible- Yep, that's right. Simply reading the Bible can help you make sure you are keeping your relationship with Jesus a priority. Schedule a certain time of day to read the Bible and spend some time with God.
Pray- I don't know about you, but I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. Taking time out of your day to pray and talk to God is a vital part of building a relationship with Him. The best part is that you can do this wherever you are. You can literally pray anywhere. Sometimes I find if I am having a tough time with something, a little prayer can change my perspective on the situation.
Find someone to talk to- God talks to us through His people. It is the only reason He left us here on Earth!! Find a fellow believer to talk to if you find yourself drifting or sliding back into old habits.
Keep a journal- A journal of what your goals are in your relationship with Jesus and use that journal to keep yourself honest.
John 21:3 ESV
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Can you remember a time when you were excited about Jesus?? A time when you were on fire for Him and His works?? Well church, its time to get back at it!!! We need to find a way to reignite that fire for Jesus and for what He wants to do in our lives. We would love to connect with you. You can reach out to us on social media using the links on this page, or you can come and join us for a service!! We want nothing more than to spend time with the people in our community and share Jesus with them. Lets join together to make Jesus a priority!