I took Ellynn, our youngest daughter, on a Daddy-Daughter date a few years ago. Where our other two daughters choose restaurants and shopping, Ellynn chooses Wendy’s in a boat. If you know Ellynn, that is totally her.
So, I bought an inexpensive inflatable raft boat, registered it, and got ready for our date night. I picked up Ellynn, went through Wendy’s drive-through, and headed to the reservoir.
Ellynn and I got on the water and rowed to where she thought it was the perfect place to eat dinner together. It took a little while to row there, but it was all worth it. She got her Wendy’s, in a boat, with Dad.
Wendy’s was good. The boat was great. And being with Ellynn was, of course, fantastic. But what wasn’t was drifting. While it took some work to get to our “dinner spot” on the water, it took zero work to drift from said “dinner spot.”
Typically, an anchor needs to be deployed to keep a boat from drifting. But since we were in an inflatable raft boat, an anchor wasn’t an option. For us to stay in our “dinner spot,” I had to make adjustments using the oars. In other words, I couldn’t just sit still, or I’d drift.
I wonder if maybe the writer of Hebrews thought about drifting when they wrote,
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:19 NLT
What I have discovered is that I am never sitting still. I am either moving toward Jesus or away from Jesus. Doing nothing, I drift and stay neutral. It takes zero effort and work, and I get negative results. I drift away from the relationship that feeds me and my other relationships.
Like an anchor keeps a boat from drifting, so does our relationship with Jesus. It’s not enough just to get a little bit on Sunday and never interact with Scripture again till the following Sunday. Ask your spouse if that schedule is good enough for them or your kids if you have them. Of course, it’s not enough! For those relationships to thrive, you must invest daily and regularly.
Why would our relationships with Jesus be any different? Answer – it’s not.
So how do we do that? How do we nurture that relationship? Many different answers fit me, such as going for a run or sitting in the woods. I connect in those environments naturally. But not everyone is like me. So I can’t go with those as options. But there is one practice, one discipline, that I guarantee works if you do it authentically.
Read your Bible. Engage Scripture. And when you do, invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. He will. And when He does, your relationship grows, and you become anchored in a strong and trustworthy hope that keeps you from drifting. It doesn’t happen staying in neutral. If you do nothing, you will drift away, much like Ellynn and I did on our dinner date. It’s not complicated. Audio Bibles are amazing! There are great plans that you can listen to through YouVersion. And you don’t have to do some “read your Bible in a year” plan. Those are great but seem so overwhelming that it makes you feel like you’ve got to read it to get it done. And if you’re doing it for that reason, you’re missing the most excellent source of peace and hope.
And that’s what Satan wants – you and me to drift and miss that source of peace and hope. And while you may not think you’re drifting, if you’re too busy to engage Scripture, you’re drifting. He’ll try to convince you Scripture is for pastors and teachers only. He’ll try to tell you it’s not worth trying to understand. It’s too much.
You see, Satan isn’t afraid of religion. Religion won’t grow your relationship with Jesus. He’s not fearful of doctrine. Doctrine won’t develop that relationship either. Hell could care less about what you and I believe. Do you know what scares the pants off Satan and sends Him running? It’s three words.
It. Is. Written.
The recorded temptations Satan dangled in front of Jesus were combatted each time with those three little words. Satan can’t argue down or dismiss God’s Word. He can try to twist it, but more likely, he does his best to keep us busy, so we miss it. Or he tries to convince us we don’t need it or it’s too much for us to understand. And so we don’t read it. Engage it. And let it transform us.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading my Bible on more than one occasion. I can look back at those times and see how I drifted. I didn’t drift into some juicy sin. But I drifted away from the closeness that feeds my soul so that I can face life with joy and peace that holds me firm, like an anchor, when life happens. And let me tell you, it is easier to say yes to temptation when we’ve drifted.
So let’s drop our anchors in the Hope and trustworthiness of Jesus and promise to stay in Scripture, for it contains all the promises God has for us, including the promise of hope in Jesus Christ, His Son.
Well, my date with Ellynn on the raft boat was a bit of a struggle, but it was fun. We had dinner. And I rowed…a lot! But it was all worth it. It was an unforgettable date night!
And Scripture has an unforgettable impact on our lives. It may not be one single day. But more likely, it is cumulatively each day in Scripture that adds up over time to make a significant impact. So let’s read our Bibles and draw closer. Let’s not drift but ask Jesus to transform us as we read or listen to Scripture!
You are loved!