• Tyler Barnes

Spiritual Drift

Amidst the storm of accusations and moral failings of SBC leaders in recent months, I can understand only one reason why great men fall, because they are men. At some point, we can all become so comfortable in our Christian faith that we leave God out. On the outside we have it all together: we may teach scripture in our small group, or spar about the nuances of theology, and serve in our local church. But somewhere along the way we leave God out, and over time the light that used to shine so bright begins to fade, the spiritual fruit we once displayed becomes rotten at the core. Lord, keep my faith fresh.

Otherwise, we become bound by religiosity without God, what a desolate place to be. This isn’t anything new; we see in Matthew 23:23-28 the warnings from Jesus about religion and hypocrisy. 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

It’s always what’s on the inside that matters most to Jesus. These events and this passage sparked a journey of honest self-appraisal and I found my heart lacking. I need to be more compassionate by simply making myself available to those that need me. I need to approach life as more of a servant, willing to be the least of these. I need to tell more people about who my Jesus is and what he’s done for me personally. We cannot grow if we are not willing to look at where we're weak.

Then I confessed it to a small group and found peace indescribable- the kind of peace that only comes from the Spirit of God. There is a freedom found through confessing our shortcomings. Sin grows in secret but loses it's grip when shared with others. I encourage you to look at where your weak and share it with someone close to you. You will experience a spiritual renewal, your own inward revival that has the potential to spread across your church and the power to change not just you but your community.

A spiritual drift from God is natural, but we must recognize it and come back to him, drifting less each time. I ask that you join me in prayer for a renewing of the Spirit of God in ourselves, our churches, the communities we serve, and across the world.