Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
Most people don’t go from living a normal life of working a job, going to church and paying their bills to suddenly going out and robbing a bank. The path is usually a slow fade, as the Casting Crowns song aptly says: “It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray, and thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid, when you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade.”
To not drift away from the things we know with that slow fade that leads to trouble, takes diligent attention. There are at least 5 things I can think of that cause us to drift:
- Busyness. Everyone is just busy these days, even retired people. But the things that we are busy with aren’t always the most important things. Sadly, the most important things get pushed to the back shelf until a crisis hits, or something that jolts us into more clear thinking. Ephesians 5:15-16 reminds us to “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.”
- The cares and riches and pleasures of life, as described in the parable of the sower from Luke 8:14. They were the thorns that choked out one of the soils, causing the seed to be unfruitful. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul said in the last days people would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Do the cares, riches and pleasures of life cause you to drift from your devotion to God?
- Distractions. They can be really good things that distract us, like time with family, much needed sleep, or chores. But usually the things that keep us from having a daily time of connecting with God are less noble–like a “must watch” TV show, fiddling on the Internet, or not being self disciplined enough to have a set quiet time.
- Unattended sins. In 1 Timothy 1:18-19, Paul urged Timothy to “keep fighting the good fight, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made a shipwreck of their faith.” In other words, if you don’t keep a clear conscience it can shipwreck your faith. Unconfessed sins, or living a sloppy faith life with delayed obedience, partial obedience, or just plain disobedience can make you distant and disconnected from the Savior.
- Lack of concentrated effort. If you love something, you spend time and money on it. If you have a desire to get good at something that you like, you work on it and put sweat equity into it. Matthew 6:21 says it: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Perhaps drifting is a sign of where your heart is and it’s time for a gut check if this is where you are at. Many people have “yes, but’s” when it comes to moving ahead in their faith walk, but they don’t have those same big but’s when it comes to doing something they really love. They plow through the obstacles.
Next time we will look at how not to drift. We don’t want to stop on the negative things before we get to what may help us to not drift. May God, the One “who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” be at work in you to keep you from drifting.