Have you ever asked yourself, or thought to yourself, “How in the world did I get here?” You find yourself in some situation and you are not sure how you got there. Over time you neglect your physical health and then one day you look in the mirror or get on the scale, and it hits you, you are overweight and in poor shape. You continue to buy stuff using your credit card, until one day you wonder how you will ever pay the balance off. You neglect your spouse or kids, only to find yourself distanced from them, wondering what happened.
The same can be said of your relationship with God. You begin to neglect your spiritual life, just little by little, until one day you wonder how you got so far away from God. You begin to do things your way rather than seeking God’s guidance, only to eventually find yourself in a mess.
Picture it this way. You and friends are in a sailboat, enjoying a day at sea. As it gets dark you find a cove to anchor the boat for the night, keeping you safe and secure while you sleep. One problem though, you forget to drop anchor. While you and your friends are in the boat, it slowly drifts out to sea. From inside the boat, you cannot feel this movement, but after hours of not being anchored, the boat has ended far away from shore. In the morning, you climb up to the deck, only to be horrified to find yourself in the middle of the stormy ocean, not even knowing where you are, let alone how you will get back. Failing to anchor your sailboat has allowed it to slowly, almost unnoticed, drift away from safety.
The writer of Hebrews gives us this warning – “We must pay careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (2:1) How we drift from Christ is addressed later on in Hebrews, but here the point is simply to stress that drifting has disastrous consequences. We wake up one day and find ourselves drifted outside of God’s will, trapped in sin, doubt and defeat.
The rebellious spirit in all of us, due to our sin nature, causes us to naturally drift away from God. It takes commitment and continuing work to not only stay close to Jesus, but also to strive to become more like Him.
How do you get back to land? How do you stop the drift?
Begin by making a decision to not live that way any longer. Realize that you are drifting and be willing to change course. Repent of your disobedience. Then ask God to, by His great love, power, grace, and mercy, to begin to change you and draw you back into submission to Him. Anchor yourself to the Word of God.
Today, if you find yourself drifting at sea, and we all drift from time to time, look to God to help you begin the journey back into His good and perfect will.
New Bern, North Carolina