Drifting Is A Subtle Danger

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Eph 5:15 KJV) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

This past week has been an eye opener for me. I have been doing something for the past three years and did not realize how detrimental it was to my physical body. What was it? I was wearing the same pair of comfortable sneakers. Now I wear a size seven and 4E width. I have small but wide feet. Some years ago I was looking for sneakers which would be wide enough for me and found a good pair. In 1990, I had an arthroscopy on my right knee and my doctor told me to wear sneakers or something spongy. I have not worn shoes since 1990, only sneakers because of my knee condition. I wore black sneakers to work and even when I preached in churches.

Last Sunday, I decided to put on a new pair of sneakers because the old ones were becoming worn out and were also showing an outward angle owing to the way I walk. Well, I put those new sneakers on and experienced some major hip, leg, and knee pain. My legs were popping from top to bottom. Why? My old sneakers, although very comfortable, were causing my legs to adhere to damaging angles. When I placed the new sneakers on, it had kept my legs as straight as they could be and was beginning to bring my legs back into alignment but that process had caused weakness and pain in my legs. What I had been a victim of was the comfort of old sneakers which were causing harm to me while giving me that comfort. I was being deceived that just because my sneakers were comfortable, that they were satisfactory.

Instantly it reminded me of how easy it is to drift into a sinful situation while living in comfort. The Pharisees and Sadducees of old thought they were living a proper life before God yet they had drifted into an apostate lifestyle which was not in concert with God but against the ways of God. Solomon was probably one of the best examples from the Old Testament who started out very solidly in his relationship with God but then had drifted from sin to sin till he eventually reached the point of building places to worship the false gods. Solomon was probably counting on his relationship to God yet he failed to keep his life in check. Like my comfortable sneakers, until I put new ones on, I didn’t realize how much damage they were doing to my body.

Such is the essence of sin. It can cause us to be blind to the reality of what is really happening to us and around us. How many people who love to eat have gained massive amounts of weight simply because they would nibble here and nibble there, not realizing that even small amounts of calories add up. If there is one major principle of sin that we must understand, it is the fact that it is collective in nature. David didn’t sin with Bathsheba on a whim! For him to commit adultery on such a quick moment when he had a good relationship with God meant that he was probably already thinking these things in his mind and when the moment of testing appeared, he failed. Anticipation is the greatest deceiver we can yield to. How many times have we said to ourselves or to another, that “if only I had that thing I would be better off” or “If I dated her or him, I would be much happier.” We anticipate what life is going to be like if we get our way by satisfying our flesh. Then when we bring to fruition our anticipations, we then find that we have made a grave mistake in judgment. How many have gone deep into debt believing that they should have something better. They see something they want to get and keep thinking about it until they take the plunge and then realize they made a mistake. Beware of anticipatory gratification, it can lead to much trouble.

When I wore my sneakers past their usefulness and they were slowly causing my legs harm, the realignment with the new sneakers had caused pain. Whenever we begin to drift out of our Christian walk, the realignment of our spiritual walk may cause us much pain too. David’s sin with Bathsheba caused him much pain and others suffered with him. You see the consequences of our actions will always cause others to suffer. Remember Jonah? He was trying to run from God and those seamen on the boat he was on had nothing to do with his sin, yet they suffered much loss because of Jonah’s sin. Solomon had drifted far from the Lord in his walk and that resulted in the dividing of the kingdom of Israel which eventually lead to its downfall and removal from the nations of the world forever.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the States and many families had gathered together to give thanks. The problem is that family life has drifted so far from the One who gave the family as a source of strength for individuals and the nation. Many gathered to say how thankful they are. My question is that those who don’t believe in God, who were they thanking? “I am thankful for my friends and family.” So who is the object of their thanks? Is it their own family? Is it the wind? Is it the football games? How can you say you are thankful without having an object for your thankfulness? As Christians we thank God for everything He has provided for us.
(1 Th 5:18 KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Maybe the day after Thanksgiving is a time to take our spiritual temperatures and assess how thankful we were or how superficial we were in our prayers. The holidays can be a watershed for us as we do some introspection. It is always a good time to be introspective because the more times we check ourselves, the less times we will get caught up in a life of drifting. The spirit must rule over the flesh, not the other way around. If Solomon would have realized this, he could have taken responsibility for his actions and cleaned out all the false gods. David could probably have prevented himself from sinning so rapidly with Bathseba. If in our own lives if we find ourselves overly quick to sin, then we need to realize that our flesh is ruling the spirit. If you are tempted and you have a conscience about the sin, then you are allowing your spirit to rule you and that is the ideal situation. Men like Solomon and David are examples to us, not only when they were obedient to God, but the fact that even God’s children can drift into sin and ruin their lives. God allows their sin to recorded in the Bible so He may show us what can come of our lives if we too cross the line of conformity to the words of God. So the next time you check your shoes or your sneakers, make sure they are still in good condition so they won’t hurt you. While you are doing that, then do a check on your own spiritual walk to make sure that you are not drifting.   (11/26/04)