This weekend I am going to be talking about the heart of a disciple. The heart is our center. So naturally, when the heart becomes deceived by incorrect thoughts, wrong priorities or spiritual neglect we then begin to drift from the Lord. When we drift from the Lord we drift from His ways. When we drift from His ways we drift toward our ways. Our way is selfish, self-centered, and not Christ-centered. In my experience and knowledge of the Word I offer these five signs that manifest when a believer’s heart begins to move away and drift.
- Behavior and Beliefs no longer match up. What you know is right and true begins leaving your life. What you lived with passion and grace was once fed by your convictions and commitments. Now things are changing. Your behavior is being compromised and sadly most people will align their beliefs to their behavior sooner or later, and simply stop believing.
- Time alone with Jesus rarely happens anymore. There is time for TV, IPAD, phone, friends, Facebook and constant looking at social media, but your private time to be in the presence of Jesus in prayer and the Word has, or is, disappearing from your daily routine. Your desire for that connection with Christ is being lost in the desire for other things of this world. The world’s ways is gripping stronger on your heart.
- Being part of the faith community (church) is stopping. There is always a reason why skipping church, not being in a community small group, or serving is now more normal. Always a reason to appease a conscience, but in your heart you know you are jeopardizing a lot. Your kids are learning the habits of their parents. The body of Christ misses out on what you have to offer and the opportunity for worship, encouragement and the voice of the Lord in your life is lost.
- Desire to see other’s saved has vanished. There is no thought of the commission to make disciples. Talking about your faith with unbelievers or inviting them to church is the farthest thing from your priority list. Gone is giving to missions, volunteering for missional events, and crying in God’s presence as you pray for unsaved family and friends. The heart has been deceived that their salvation is not a priority. Your own life and thoughts of you, your needs, wants, hurts, desires, has gobbled up your heart. You are into “you”, and others and their eternity has become or is becoming irrelevant.
- More connected with your time, money, and interests to the things of this world, than the things of the Kingdom of Christ. My brother Steve once told me; “let me look at your checkbook and your calendar. I will tell you what you really believe.” I have never forgotten that. It’s true. Talk is cheap, and actions and priorities are manifested.
- Your kid’s sports, and schedules, are more important than their faith. The five things above, affect your children’s faith. Parents, not to be fears-ish but we are accountable to the Lord for how we raise our children. I know when they are adults they make up their own minds, and choose their ways, but until then, it’s our ways that affect them. More is caught than taught. We must lead by example and by heart. They will follow us, but we must lead them and be a godly example with Jesus and His word a priority of our life. Disciple your children. Don’t let the world do it.
What to do if you know this message applies to you?
Repent, which means to change direction. Adjust and calibrate your life to Jesus. Pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness and recommit your ways to Him. Open the Bible and read once again. Raise your hands to heaven and thank Jesus for His grace and patience. Bask in His love for you and the knowledge that He wants the best for your life, your marriage, and your children. Pray for your family, pray for those that are not saved yet. Get back to your church and don’t let the enemy give you anymore weak excuses. Manage your life daily and don’t let the things of this world dilute your fresh commitment to Jesus. Then, never look back. Serve Jesus with all your heart. With prayer and the heart of God.