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Adrift


I heard a story some time ago about an ungodly farmer. It is said that when he  died, it was discovered in his will that he had left his farm to the Devil. In the court, they didn’t quite know what to do with it — how do you give a farm to the Devil? Finally, the judge decided: “The best way to carry out the wishes of the deceased is to allow the farm to grow weeds, the soil to erode, and the house and barn to rot. In our opinion, the best way to leave something to the Devil is to do nothing.” In the same way, we can leave our lives to the Devil doing nothing. Just let the weeds grow, and the soil of our hearts erode and our spiritual house rot, slowly drifting away with whatever currents this world might. But the Bible warns of the dangers of neglecting our great salvation:

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. – Hebrews 2:1-4

The word neglect (amelesantes), is the same word used in Matthew 22:5 (they made light of it) to describe those who disregarded the invitation to the marriage supper. It means to have the opportunity, but to ignore or disregard it. Let’s keep in mind that Hebrews was written as an encouragement and warning to discouraged Christians, those who neglected an abiding walk with Jesus. The danger described in these verses isn’t rejecting salvation (though the principle applies), but rather, neglecting salvation.

He tells them what they needed to do to stay anchored in Christ and also he warns them about the consequences of neglecting what they have heard about this great salvation. He tells them that the only way they could stay grounded, connected and anchored to Christ is by paying a closer attention to what they heard and persevering in it. What that means is that they needed to not only listen to the word but also apply what they have heard to their lives with care, candour and deep concern. Let me add a few more things they needed to do. They needed to:

  • Understand the power and authority of the one speaking – Jesus, greater than angels, greater than the prophets
  • Understand that every word they heard was realable, solid and sure
  • Understant that those words were God breathed and the very essence of His will
  • Understand the danger of neglecting the words they heard
  • Prize the word highly in judgment as matters of great importance, everyday for the rest of their lives
  • Read the word frequently, study it diligently, meditate upon it closely, mix it with faith and saturate it in prayer
  • Embrace and hide the word  in our hearts and affections, retain them in their memories, allowing it to dwell in us richly
  • Finally, they needed to regulate their words and actions according to the word as they admonish and encouraging one another to good works

In other words, this was the only way they will be able to stay anchored in the Lord? Because drifting is something that happens when we are not anchored to anything solid; if we are not “anchored” in Jesus we are going to drift. Doing nothing about this word or this great salvation we have received will be like that ungodly farmer. leaving our lives to the currents of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Warning #1:

Do not neglect this great salvation! Most Christian regress comes from a slow drifting, not from a sudden departure. Get anchored in Him and His  Word today.

________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

What does it mean to have an opportunity to something but completely ignore it or disregard it? How does it apply to the issues of faith? Can we apply it to other areas and aspects of life?

Do you agree that most Christian regress comes from a slow drifting instead of a sudden departure? What does that mean?

How can one reverse drifting into isolation – be it spiritual, marital or social; bitterness, loneliness, depression, drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse? How can we keep our kids from drifting into unhealthy lifestyles?

Featured and inserted photos: Courtesy Michael Steward

This entry was posted in: Blog Series

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There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter

9 Comments

  1. Fix your eyes on Jesus

    The writer of Hebrews writes to them, encouraging them to not quit, to not go underground with their faith, to not deny Jesus, but to endure. The way he does this is by holding up Jesus, who He is, the power Jesus has, and what He has done.

    Hebrews 12:1
    looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Keep you eyes on him!
    Walter

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  2. Three verses for the spiritual dropout

    Here is the the legacy of following Jesus (Hebrews 10:35; cf. 2:1; 4:14), those who have gone before us and how they endured and the prize that awaited them for their faithfulness.

    1. Do not throw away your confidence
    Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10:35

    2. Do not drift away
    Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1

    3. Hold fast unto your confession
    Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

    Walter

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  3. Church Dropout

    According to researchers Christian young adults are leaving church at an alarming rate? 38 percent of Christians ages 18 to 25 have significantly doubted their faith. At the age of 15, 57 percent said they were less active in church and 59 percent have dropped out all together. According to these researchers, there are different and a good number of valid reason for the drift: and the cite the following:

    1. churches are judgmental, overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly toward doubters

    2.. Christians demonize everything outside of the church. And one in three believes “church is boring

    3. church doctrine is not relevant to modern society.

    Seriously, I am afraid to say that all the above seem laughable to me in the face of Immence trials these Hebrew Christians were going through a 10:35-39. The reasons sound rediculous in the face of Heb. 12:4 – In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Church is boring? Como on!

    Christianity is not a spectator sport, it is not a lazy boy couch, it is not a have it your way, whenever, however you want it. It is serious business. It is life. I think it is hard work. That’s the problem – nobody wants to work at it! That is why some are faltering in their faith – neglect – in the face of problems.

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  4. In response to question #2
    You do not fall into sin – you slide into it!

    But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
    “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” james 1:14,15.

    It starts with a thought, and sometimes it takes years for that little thought to be acted upon. All the time that thought lingered it wasn’t sin, it was a temptation, temptation is not a sin. But when the temptation is acted upon – only than have you fallen into sin. But the slide began with being enticed by a desire. We are all given to ability and power to resist temptations. It is possible to stop the slide into sin.

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  5. Very interesting post, I especially love the quote “It means to have the opportunity, but to ignore or disregard it.”, which I believe can be applied to so many aspects of life, especially ones where we are guided by our heart but, for some reason, choose not to listen to it.

    Like

    • Somebody once said that opportunities of a lifetime must be ceased in the lifetime of the opportunity. This in deed, can be applied to every aspect of life. Unfortunately, like you said, we fail to act for one reason or the other. Fear, laziness, lack of vision, motivation, courage, faith. Thanks for the comment.
      Walter

      Like

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