I like to think of myself as a good listener.
Frequently, I’ll get my wife a cup of coffee in the morning and we connect. We talk about the day and such. And then we go have our quiet times with the Lord. It’s a great way to start the day.
But sometimes my mind drifts when we talk (okay, not a lot, but it happens – I'm a guy – guilty as charged).
And in those rare times (smile) my wife can tell. It’s a universal gift of women – they know when we’re actually listening to them (smile).
And she’ll say to me: “Hey, where’d you go?”
And it dawns on me that while she was talking, I was thinking of something else and left the conversation – even though I was still physically present.
But she knew it – even when I didn’t.
And I’ve realized that I do the same thing with God.
We’re walking and talking in close fellowship together and then I start to drift – but I don’t even realize it – until the Lord says to me: “Hey, where’d you go?”’
And it dawns on me that even though I’m still doing the same things I’ve always done, I somehow drifted in my mind somewhere else – and I tend to be the last one to know it.
But there are clues that I’m drifting from the Lord: I’m more attracted to the world, I’m less in tune with those around me, and it feels like I’m withdrawing into myself – my hearing is muffled, my feelings are numbed, and my vision is blurred.
It’s like I’ve started walking around in darkness and drifted from the light.
And I’ve realized that’s one reason that God’s Word talks in terms of location (“walk”, “live”, “remain”, etc.) when it teaches us about staying close to God and not drifting into the darkness of the world.
Consider these passages about walking in the light, continuing in him, remaining in him, and not being led astray from the letters of 1-3 John…
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7, NIV)
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 John 2:9-11)
“As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” (1 John 2:24)
“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1 John 2:26-27)
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28)
“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray…” (1 John 3:7a)
“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them…” (1 John 3:24a)
“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:4-6)
“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9)
“It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:3-4)
Do you see the concept of location (walking, continuing in, remaining in, and not being led astray)?
And since God is light, when we drift away from him, we are drifting away from the light and into the darkness of the world.
Like they say about real estate: “It’s all about location, location, location.”
Simply put, God is saying: “Stay close to me.”
And when we drift, God says, “Hey, where’d you go?”
It’s not rocket science. It’s simply relationship. Like me with my wife in the morning over coffee: stay engaged; listen; don’t drift.
Isn’t it great that the Lord wants to be close to us? I love that about my wife, and I love that about God.
We just gotta stay engaged; listen; and not drift.
How’s your hearing? Do spiritual things seem a bit muffled right now?
How’s your vision? Do spiritual things seem a bit blurry right now?
How’s your relationships? Do they feel a bit numb right now?
That’s what it feels like to drift away from the light and into the darkness of the world.
Don’t let the world seduce you; don’t let Satan lead you astray. Come back.
Hear the voice of the Lord right now, loving calling to you:
“Hey, where’d you go?”