I was excited to be fishing on Lake Ontario with my friend. That is, until a huge seagull dove at my shiny surface lure and hooked itself in its foot.
I’m reeling this thing from the sky and it’s screaming, flapping, and swooping like some kind of mad kite. I manage to grab its leg. It’s a squawking, pecking, furious mass of wings and beak. Somehow I remove the hook from its webbing without losing my eyes and it flies off quite glad to be away from me.
A little later the wind picks up and we begin drifting. We’re not concerned – the boat has an outboard motor. After a while we notice we’re moving toward the intake area beneath the looming stacks of a nuclear power plant, and see the warning signs on either side of the opening – “Danger: Do Not Go Beyond This Point.”
We try to fire up the motor – it’s dead. We drift past the danger signs. A stab of panic. We grab the oars and begin rowing furiously. I think we may really be in trouble. Eventually, with much effort, we row out of the intake area to safety.
Had we neglected the danger signs’ warning and continued to drift, it could have been disastrous. Spiritual drift is even more disastrous.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
If we don’t pay close attention to the gospel, we’ll drift from Christ. Hebrews doesn’t say we MIGHT drift, but we WILL drift away. There’s no staying still in the Christian life – we must swim against the powerful current of the world, our flesh and the devil every day.
Drift is gradual
No Christian says I’m going to reject Christ, never read his word again, I’m done with fellowship. It happens gradually, over time. We begin to neglect Bible reading and prayer. It’s not a sin if we fail to read Scripture every day, but if we neglect it for days or weeks on end, there can be consequences. It’s not a sin to miss a Sunday or small group meeting, but God warns us to be careful, because we can so easily drift.
Drift is imperceptible
We say I really ought to get back to reading the Bible. I will tomorrow. I’m going to pray tomorrow. I really should worship with the saints this morning, but I just don’t feel like it today. But I will next week.
I once heard someone say that “tomorrow” is the devil’s favorite word.
How do we keep from drifting from Christ?
By paying close attention to the gospel. By regular Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship. By daily seeking to apply God’s word to every part of our lives. If you’ve drifted or are drifting from Christ, repent, ask him for help and get back in the race. Ask a brother or sister to pray for you.
It’s a fight, but there’s grace in Jesus.
photo by Donald Macleod