Dangerousness of Drifting

 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

~ Judges 16:20


Five days after Christmas 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 departed from JFK Airport heading to Miami International Airport.  As it began it’s decent into Miami when the pilots flipped the switch to let down the landing gear they noticed the landing gear indicator light on their dash did not light up. As they began to assess the situation they received orders from the tower to climb to 2,000 feet and the hold due west over the Everglades.

What  tragically transpired next was while the pilots were working on the situation wondering if the light was simply out or if they had a real issue, the plane got knocked off autopilot and began an ever so slow decent into the Florida Everglades. So slow in fact that no one realized they were descending until at the last moment when it was too late. On December 29, 1972 Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed killing 101 of the passengers and crew plunging into the ground at more than 220 mph.  (you can read about it more here)

A slow descent towards destruction, unnoticeable until it was too late.

Unfortunately we see a similar situation when we examine the life of Samson, whose story is told in Judges 13-16; he was set apart by God to be a Nazarite, to deliver the Israelites. Throughout his life we see a constant drift, wandering eyes chasing the women of the land, a disobedience to the Lords calling on his life by touching a dead animal. Eventually this drift lead to Samson coming under attack with him not realizing the Lord had left him, that ultimately lead to his death.

The wandering eyes of Samson lead to spiritual blindness, he did not notice the Lord had left him (Judges 16:20), that eventually lead to his physical blindness and death.

Much like Flight 401 and Samson, we are prone to wander, to drift away from holiness towards our destruction without proper evaluation of where we are, and fighting to press on to obtain our goal. As DA Carson states:

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.

Apart from grace-driven effort we are prone to drift to our destruction. We must fight for holiness! Fight to live in open community to allow those around us to look into our lives to help us notice where we are drifting. Let us examine our lives, press into the Lord allowing Him to supply all that we need to live a life of Holiness (2 Peter 1:3).


2 thoughts on “Dangerousness of Drifting

  1. Nick this was wonderful very thought-provoking you know sometimes we just have to stop and think about things you were wonderful and I sure love you Nana

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