No More Drifting

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated” (D. A. Carson).

That one smarts a bit. It’s truth but it doesn’t necessarily make us feel good. But sometimes we need to feel bad before we can feel good. In other words, we need a godly sorrow that leads to repentance, conviction that leads to change, and dying to self that leads to rebirth and growth.

You really don’t just drift into holiness. You can’t obtain godly wisdom through osmosis by sleeping with your Bible under your pillow. Your level of holiness depends on how desperate you are to be holy. Of course, God is the one who transforms, but apathy never led to any kind of spiritual revival, whether corporate or personal. You have to want it.

I’m the first to say “Amen . . . and ouch.” I recognize that I have been guilty of trying to drift into godly character. I’ve been known to think things like “Well, since I’ve been saved for so long, surely I’m bound to just become more godly.”

I believe that it starts with God putting the desire in you. But then you are the one who develops the disciplines of Bible study, prayer, fasting, and discipleship. Again, you don’t drift into discipline. You have to give up your own things — sometimes good things — to make room for godly things. You have to put in the time to see the fruit.

I’m preaching to myself again. Lord, help me to want holiness as much as you want me to be holy.

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