Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Danger of Drifting Away

The author to the letter to the Hebrews warns his readers that they should pay special attention to the things they know about God and his salvation, lest they drift away and be lost (2:1). After a pretty impressive list of things the Ephesians are doing well and right, the author to the book of Revelation warns them that they have abandoned their first love and are in danger of being lost forever (2:4). In the book of Judges, we find a pattern played out over and over again: God was with his people, but they, in their comfort, forgot where that comfort came from and they drifted away from their relationship with God.

One of the things to notice when thinking about this kind of drift is that in order to drift to darkness and damnation, you have to drift from holiness and the presence of God. Before drifting away from God, God’s people were walking with him, worshipping in spirit and in truth, loving one another, standing for truth and against error. But slowly, imperceptibly, like a frog in slowly warming water, they begin to d rift away from what they knew and embraced at first.
Are you experiencing the relationship you had with God at first? In some cases the lack of zip is because those first few months were filled with the kind of joy that newly married folks enjoy. But in other cases, maybe most cases, the absence of thrill in the presence of God is due to drifting away. You may be coming to church, but not spending time with the Lord like you did back then. You used to attend weekly, sometimes daily, bible studies. You were always at the weekly prayer meetings, wondering why we “don’t have more of these.” You used to take your Bible and your hymnal out to the park and sit and read and sing for hours at a time.
But now things are set, they are different. Times are good. You focus on weekly covenant renewal worship. God is happy with you. The kids don’t fight. They are getting much better educations than you ever had. Things are good.
Peter tells his readers to beware of the devil, who is prowling around like a lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Pe 5:8). Which sheep do the lions pick off? The ones who drift away from the shepherd.
James tells us to, “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (Ja 4:7-8).
This reminds us of our need to confess our sins, so as you are able, please kneel. Let us pray.

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