“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
— Hebrews 2:1
Have you ever rowed a raft on a river? If you have, then you probably know that when you row upstream, away from the falls, you have to keep going. If you stop rowing, you’ll inevitably drift backward, silently, imperceptibly toward the falls, toward danger. But as this happens, you may not realize that you’re drifting away.
The Christian life is like paddling against a rapidly flowing river. It takes a definite decision of our wills to live for Christ, but it takes no such definite decision to drift away. All you have to do is neglect your faith, even for a brief time, and before you know it, you’re headed straight for spiritual destruction.
You’ve probably heard the classic story about the wife who complained that her husband never sat next to her in the car anymore. He, the driver, turned to her and said, “But, dear, I never moved.” We’re the same way with God. Though sometimes we may feel far from Him, He never forsakes us. Instead, we allow ourselves to drift away from Him.
Such drifting in the Christian life seldom happens instantly. When we neglect our relationship with Jesus Christ, even for a short while, the drifting begins. Continued neglect leads to disaster. Someone has put this truth into an easy-to-understand word picture. To maintain a flow toward Christ, we must apply ourselves to the “oars”—the oars of Scripture reading and prayer which together provide for our devotional life. As we “row” toward Christ, we grow closer to Him and further from the crashing falls. But if we just let the oars sit in the water, we go wherever the river runs, in a direction toward crashing defeat.
If you’ve been drifting away from the Lord, then I urge you to draw near to Him today. Make a conscious decision to apply yourself to the oars of faith, interacting with God daily through His Word and through prayer.