When we navigate with a compass if we don’t keep on line with the precise azimuth, we get off course. Just walking across uneven land, over hills and through brush will change our direction and can easily cause us to get lost. I remember as a child in Japan, descending from the top of Mt. Fuji with two other boys. We left the sure circular path to take a short cut. But coming down the steep slope, we walked at an angle and ended up far away from our intended destination, lost and separated from the rest of our group.
Hebrews 2:1—We must therefore pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away.
Recently, I received a letter from Barb, with an update on her children. She shared about her little grandson. He has such a fierce temper that he will hold his breath and pass out! She observed that even little children demonstrate the sin nature so prevalent in all of us. Morality is not something we easily attain and maintain on perfect course. And this is what the author of Hebrews communicates to his readers. We have a responsibility to pay attention to the truth God reveals to us otherwise we will drift away.
Drifting objects in water are easy to spot. A piece of wood is caught in whatever is the strongest current and floats with it. In some ways, this illustrates what happens with followers of Jesus. There are at least five currents (often subtle) which pull us away from God’s course. Many of us float with distractions. Instead of making time to be with the Lord, we fill our lives with other activities. We set aside what is best or right for what is alluring or convenient.
Some of us are misled by deception. We put greater stock in science, education, tradition or what is popularly deemed correct at the expense of faith, steadfastness and the willingness to listen intently to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The voice of the world holds more weight than the whispers of heaven or the words of Scripture.
Others of us drift because of demands. Jobs and relationships can suck the spiritual life out us if we let them. We become so busy needing to meet expectations or please people that we neglect to make time for spiritual nourishment. We stop looking to God and live by our calendars and the never-ending parade of events and projects. We forget how to rest with minds racing to the next . . .
Difficulties cause drifting. Sickness or sadness weighs us down. We become so absorbed in our pain that we doubt our Healer. Persecution and adversity cause us to fear standing with Jesus. We run confused like Elijah, far into the desert only to be burned in the process.
Certainly disobedience creates drift. Whenever we tell God “No!” and go our way should we be surprised when we can no longer feel His presence or experience His blessing?
So, let’s reset our azimuths. Let’s keep “our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith”(Heb. 12:2). Let’s paddle out of those foolish, twirling eddies and get back on track with our Lord. There is no fulfillment in deviating from truth on the road home!
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.—Marjorie Holmes
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)