We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
The imagery used by the writer of Hebrews is of someone not paying attention and finding themselves adrift from their faith. When a boat breaks its mooring it may drift away, with those on board sometimes being unaware that they are drifting.
Drifting starts with only a small change, but as the pace increases the drift becomes larger and larger. How does this apply to me, my family or my church?
I was listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg from 1997 in which he mentions one sign of the drift he had noticed amongst those who would call themselves the people of God. The illustration he used was of individuals and families deciding that they would no longer attend evening services. Almost 20 years later the drift has continued, with many churches no longer able to sustain an evening service. Why has this happened? Increasing busyness by individuals and families has resulted in the easy excuse of tiredness (although the Bible teaches that Sunday should be a day of rest). The need to devote time to getting the children to bed has also caused many husbands and wives to stay at home, rather than take it in turns to attend the evening service. Perhaps more alarming are men who are unwilling to take the spiritual lead in the family and set an example of consistent attendance at worship.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pointing the finger here. I committed my life to Christ in 1971 and over the 40 or so years since then I have had the same battles as everyone else. I have found it easy after a busy day to make an excuse not to go to the evening service. When a father of young children I found it easy to use the children’s bedtime as the excuse not to be involved.
The writer to the Hebrews issues a warning that what might start almost imperceptibly can result in the Christian drifting away, firstly in small things and ultimately away from their faith.
So let us all pay more careful attention so that we do not drift. Ask God to reveal to you those areas where you have been drifting and have the courage to ask for strength to get back on track.
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