Have you ever been to the ocean? You stand there with your feet in the cold, wet sand while the smell of salt and seawater in the breeze, rise up to meet you at the waters edge.
The salt leaves fine grit on your skin and you can taste it on your lips.
Then the waves come.
The waves lap at your feet and you re adjust to keep your footing. Slightly bigger waves roll in and you find you are now working harder to prevent your feet from being buried up to your ankles.
Before you know it, you are gasping for air. You look up and find you are 20 feet down the beach from where you started and you are treading water. What happened?
Undertow can happen just about anywhere and at anytime in our life.
It can be a positive experience as in when God is calling and preparing His people for service to Himself and He is leading, guiding and protecting.
Undertow can also happen when we become over confident in ourselves, our own abilities and we discount the power and forces of Satan that seek to keep us sidelined in our journey of faith.
There is a subtle shift that occurs. We begin to rely on our own intellect and understanding and soon we become numb to the idea of submitting our hearts and thoughts to the Lord.
Over time we lose our spiritual bearings and we become disoriented.
Like a swimmer who has been caught off guard and swept out by the rip tide we find ourselves far from where we began, disoriented and unsure of how we are going to fight the current that is preventing us from returning to safety.
I propose there are a few things we can do in our spiritual journey to protect ourselves from undertow. The first is something we all learned as kids at summer camp…
The buddy system.
The bible says in Matthew 18:20
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Accountability is so important as we journey with Christ. There will be distractions and temptations. Having a few people to walk with you on your journey is essential. Our faith buddies can often spot things on the path of life that would trip us up.
Ecclesiastes 4 says it best:
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Another critical area of prevention is being anchored in a church. Having a church home keeps us accountable and connected. It gives us a place where we can be taught, be ministered to, a place where we worship the Lord through His word, through music and through giving. It also gives us a place to serve Him with the gifts He has given us.
The most important aspect of prevention I believe is in the time we spend alone with God.
When we purpose to know Him – He meets us and reveals Himself to us.
Through the reading of His word (the bible) through prayer (conversation with God) and through meditation (listening to God), I believe that we grow strong as we become more deeply rooted in Christ.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
To some this may seem overly simple and to others it may feel like swimming against the current. Regardless of where you are on your faith journey with Christ, keep your eyes on Him and allow the Lord to be your Lifeguard.
I hope that you are on a path of pursuing these elements in your life. If you are struggling to get connected to God or others drop me a line. I would love to pray for you on your journey of becoming deeply rooted in Christ.
Grace & Peace…Karen