Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Feelings Part 03 - Feeling Distant from God

“Shipwrecked Faith”! The words painted a picture in my mind as they jumped out at me from the pages of 1 Timothy 1. These are drastic words!

Here Paul was warning young Timothy to guard against false teachers who promote controversies rather than God’s work.

He tells this young leader to teach love which flows from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Twice he warns that wandering from these things will lead to meaningless talk and eventually to shipwrecked faith.

It’s a pretty simple formula. Keep a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith and love will flow from you.

Reject these things and you are in danger of shipwrecking your faith.

What an excellent check point for our faith walk with Jesus.

Whenever we feel our faith wavering or weak, or when we recognize a wandering in our hearts that could take us away from our God, we can use these to help keep us from the danger zone of “ship wrecked faith”.

Keep a pure heart

Ask yourself if there is any area in your heart where impurity is creeping in? It’s subtle. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are my motives pure in the relationships I put my time into?
  • What kind of a diet do the movies and TV shows I watch give me?
  • Do my thoughts reflect areas where I need to ask for God’s help?
  • Do words come from my lips that need checking?
  • Am I willing to ask God for a pure heart?

Keep a good conscience

(That inner sense of knowing right from wrong.)

  • Are there areas in my life where I willing choose wrong from right?
  • Am I willing to ask for God’s forgiveness and help in these areas?
  • When something bothers my conscience do I push it down or examine it and go to God for strength?
  • Am I willing to allow God to touch my conscience?

Keep a sincere faith

  • Is my faith a part of my everyday life or is it a panic button in trouble?
  • Is my faith the center of my life?
  • Am I willing to put time and effort into growing my faith?
  • Am I willing to meet with fellow believers to keep my faith edge sharp?

Often we settle for a “wandering faith” where we know the pull of our lives is subtly drawing us away from God. Yet the end of that is not where we want to go. It draws us away from the mercy and grace of our Lord and toward controversies and doubts.

Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and to be on guard for his faith.

Do you need to fight for your faith today and make some changes in your own heart? Shipwrecks don’t get to where they were headed but end up on the rocks.

God’s plans for you are good. His peace is there for the taking. Nothing is worth it that draws you away from Him and your faith. Don’t let the subtle erosion of your heart lead you to where you don’t want to go.

prayer & reflection

Father God,
How wonderful that You give us check points to guard our faith and to safeguard our hearts. The way of the world is subtle. Help me to daily mind my heart so that I keep purity and good conscience in focus. Thank you that You never wag Your finger at me but lovingly call my name to draw near to You. May I keep short accounts with You and may my heart be drawn to times in prayer, time in Your word and time with fellow believers, so that my faith may remain secure and strong. Thank you that You love me and desire only the very best for me.
I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.