"We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard..."On Thursday a member of our church board of directors sent me the following devotional message based on the passage above. It was originally written by Dr. Charles Stanley and distributed by "In Touch" ministries:
The Signs of DriftingThe person sending me this message then said:
Regularly gathering in the house of the Lord with brothers and sisters in Christ provides an "anchor" of support and accountability. But skipping church in order to pursue other interests is an obvious sign that a believer has begun to drift away from God. Less apparent are the men and women who mentally skip the worship service. The act of attending means nothing unless we make a deliberate decision to receive God's Word and apply it to our life. As the writer of Hebrews warned, if we do not pay attention to what we have heard, we will drift away from it (2:1).
However, Sunday morning is not the only time for receiving a steady diet of nourishing principles and encouragement from the Bible. We should be in its pages every day, reading and meditating for ourselves. When our interest in what God has to say decreases, we're already slipping out into troublesome waters. The only way to keep our way pure is by following His Word (Ps. 119:9).
If Bible reading is neglected, a prayer life has usually faded as well. Prayer is the way believers communicate with the Navigator. If we stop talking with Him, the God who once seemed so close soon feels far away. That chasm in our spirit is one more sign that we're far from shore and safety.
I've watched many a captain guide his cruise ship through a narrow channel. The crew members are intensely focused on their tasks because drifting means disaster. Life is full of narrow channels to navigate. We cannot afford to drift away from God and His Word. Only He can bring us safely through.
"He's talking to me..."When I read it, I thought it was, indeed, a good word from the Lord. A good word of warning that we need to pray about--not only now in summer, but also during other times of the year as we choose other activities for ourselves and our children--activities other than gathering with other Christians for worship and mutual encouragement.
Because I thought it was a good word, not from me, but from the Lord, I asked each of our board members at Crossroads to read it over and give their permission to have it sent out in their name, that is, in the name of the whole board. It's also printed on the back of the bulletin that people will get when they come to worship on Sunday.
So, is the Lord speaking to you in this? Pray and discuss it with your family. Is God calling you to take some action, to make a change? Remember - this message is not from me as a pastor. It's from the Lord.