Hebrews 2:1 gives the following exhortation, “For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.“ What is it they had heard? The Gospel! The fact that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh came to earth and through His sacrifice on the cross, has made purification of sins. He now reigns with His Father, making intercessions on behalf of those who believe in Him (Romans 8:26, 27, 34). The writer of Hebrews tells us to pay close attention to these things and not to drift away from them.
When I hear the word drift I think of a boat whose mooring lines have been unattended, allowing them to drop into the water, exposing the boat to the mercy of the waves lapping against the shore. Slowly but surely the boat begins to drift with the receding waves. After a while it is far from the pier drifting along at the whims of the wind and the waves. I believe that this is the very picture that filled the writer’s heart.
Now, let me say this, the boat is not in the middle of the lake because of a deliberate act on anyone’s part. A line not tied with the proper knot has loosened at the tug of the waves against the boat. Even then, it has taken some time for the mooring line to become fully detached from the pier. Even at that the boat could easily be recovered because it was still close to the pier. None of this was deliberate. It was a process of inattention.
Our spiritual lives can become like a boat adrift when we are not paying attention to the little things that keep us securely moored in the Master’s harbor. In moments of inattention we have all taken our Lord, His care, and our relationship to Him for granted, drifting from the disciplines of prayer, study, fellowship, a service. Then, at some time, an awakening comes that we have drifted from those things we have heard and know to be true. Mind you, the drifting did not start with the conscious thought and declaration, “I think that I shall get up today and endeavor to drift as far from my Lord as possible.” No, it all begins with inattention to the little things that keep us safely moored.
These thoughts came to my mind this morning as I read from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Daily Readings. He talked about the things that cause the loss of peace of mind and the enjoyment of God’s graces. He said, “It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline.” The closet he speaks of here is obviously the prayer closet of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:6, that place where we often get alone with Him, shutting out the busy-ness and noise of our lives so that we may commune with Him. Spurgeon believed that this neglect is the beginning of spiritual decline, the beginning of drifting from those things we have heard.