With busy schedules these days, it’s pretty difﬁcult to get everyone around the dinner table for family time, much less have their undivided attention. We are living in a time of such convenience, and the ability to stay connected socially, yet never has there been such a time if disconnect. Oh, we may see, text, call, or send some sort of picture message to our friends or family, but are we really in touch with one another? Do we really pay attention to what’s going on in their lives, or are we just concerned about being the ﬁrst to know?
The writer of Hebrews tell us in chapter 2 verse 1, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” This was not some mere suggestion of what we ‘should’ do, but an afﬁrmation of what will happen when we don’t pay attention.
If it is so difﬁcult to make family time with those we love, can see, touch, and talk to… how easy is it then to let time slip away from bible study, prayer, praise, church and learning about the Savior we can’t see?
We can’t merely exist as a Christian, it takes action (I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wast cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-17). We must take up our cross and follow Him, put on His armor, and produce the fruit of the Spirit. To exist without any growth, is not a witness for Him, nor is it advancing His kingdom. If we were to just sit in a boat and drift, where would we end up? The word “slip” in Hebrews 2:1 is deﬁned in Greek as “to ﬂow by” (drift), “carelessly pass,” “let slip” (3901 Strong’s Greek dictionary of the NT).
We don’t have to “try” to get away from God. When we neglect His word, His people, and time spent in prayer, it will just naturally happen! To let something slip, or to drift requires no effort, it is an unconscious process. It also leads us away from where we started! We need to take notice of any signs that this could be happening to us.
So, what is the remedy of such an occurrence? Well ﬁrst, keep rowing! We must be diligent in our spiritual life. 2 Peter 1:5-10 tells us we must “add” to our faith, gain knowledge and be fruitful, and in doing so, we will not fall. If we are rowing, then we are not drifting. Even if we feel like we may not be getting anywhere, paddling keeps us from speeding downstream to the danger of the waterfall.
We can also expect to go against the tide sometimes. There are many things that can carry us away from our faith, like… indifference, unforgiveness, popularity, modernism, apathy, peer pressure, and just being plain old too busy! When we are anchored in Christ, having a ﬁrm foundation in His Word, then we are less likely to be carried away by such temptations. Colossians 2:6-7 says “As ye have therefore received Christ
Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Let me encourage you today, don’t be disheartened if you feel you have been drifting. Just get out your paddle and begin to row. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your ability to row like an Olympian! Start out with stretching exercises… maybe get up a few minutes earlier to read a chapter and pray, take a few minutes at lunch, or give up some of the games on the phone! As you begin to add a few minutes here and there “to give earnest heed”, you will begin to see your relationship grow… move upstream! Your spiritual muscles strengthen as your faith increases, and your ability to overcome daily struggles will grow.
Just as we should never neglect our families, friends and neighbors, we can not afford to neglect our salvation. Just because it’s offered free to us, doesn’t mean it didn’t cost anything. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
Give heed to the things you have heard, get into God’s Word, get around His people, spend time in prayer, and ‘row, row, row your boat’, and you will not drift!
Rev. Cathleen N. Catchcart is the pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg. This is the sermon she delivered this past Sunday.