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  • Wayne Hoag

The Dangers of Drifting


“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).

I have always been fascinated by this verse because it is a warning, given to Christians, concerning a very subtle danger in the lives of us all, drifting.

Here is the picture. A boat is tied to the pier but not tied securely enough. As the waves lap against the sides of the the boat, it is rises and falls with the waves. The rope that attaches it to the pier loosens to the place that it eventually drops into the water. Now untied, the boat begins to move away from the pier with every ensuing wave. Slowly but surely the boat begins to drift away from pier and the harbor and after a period of time is found in the middle of the lake. It all happened because of some carelessness when tying the boat’s lead line to the pier.

You might now ask; how does that relate with the life of Christian? You must understand that drifting is not planned event, it is not deliberate, it happens when one gets careless with the upkeep of their Christian life. It is not a plan where one wakes up one day and says, “I think I will see just how far I can walk away from God today.”

Drifting is subtle. A day or two of missed devotions and prayer, turns into a week, a month, or even longer. Church attendance becomes sporadic and soon it is easier to stay home or engage in some Sunday activity. The heart begins to grow lukewarm and indifferent; the mind begins to feel lonely and removed. None of this happened overnight, none of this happened deliberately. Drifting is rooted in carelessness.

I remember my old friend, Leonard Ravenhill saying, “We would have never read of Peter denying Christ is we had not first read, ‘And Peter followed Him from afar” (Mark 14:54).

Like a fire that needs fuel, oxygen, and heat to thrive, the Christian life needs spiritual fuel to thrive. The Christian life is fueled by prayer, study of God’s Word, fellowship with other believers, and service to Christ and His church. Take any of these away for very long and drifting will begin.

This is why Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). The Christian life requires daily maintenance if it is to remain alive and vital and growing. My friends, guard against the dangers of drifting.

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