Drifting is a methodology that I have sometimes employed in fishing.It has some inherent dangers. When I was growing up, I remember one time my Dad and I were fishing for flounder in the inland waterway near Little River, SC. We had drifted in such a way that our fishing lines were still in deeper water, but our boat was over an oyster bed. Because the water was murky we didn’t realize it and we managed to shear the pin on the propeller trying to crank the motor. We had to paddle until someone came along to tow us.
I also remember my grandfather fishing in a waterway in Florida. He had put out the anchor, but the current and pulled him loose, and he snagged a stingray with the anchor line. Trying to untangle the rope from the stingray, he had gotten jabbed by the barb of the stingray and nearly died at his age before reaching shore.
In Hebrews 2: 1-4 we encounter one of the warning passages prominent in the book. This one warns of the danger of drifting in our Christian life. Notice in this text:
1. The Possibility of Drifting.
The writer says, “we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away . . .” “Lest we drift away” speaks of the possibility. There would be no warning given by God in His word if it wasn’t possible. But it is a real possibility; in fact it is a dangerous possibility.
2. The Penalty of Drifting.
In verse 2 the writer gives us a comparison to a lesser significant word calling for obedience.. He says “if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward. He states this as a matter of fact. Since this is true, then he says, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
Notice he does not say anything about “rejecting” so great a salvation. He mentions “neglecting.” At the very least, drifting away from fellowship with God causes us to forfeit the joy of living in God’s Presence. Unchecked drifting results in loving discipline to correct our behavior. God as our Father takes good care of His children.
3. The Process of Drifting.
Drifting occurs because of “Neglect.” We fail to secure the cords of our spiritual disciplines to the anchor. Drifting only occurs in one direction, and that is away from God. It occurs because the current of the world is always in that direction. No one ever drifted into a closer walk with God.
Neglect of prayer. Neglect of time in the Word of God. Neglect of time in God’s family, fellowship with other believers. Neglect of sharing our faith. When we neglect the disciplines of our Christian life, we drift.
4. The Prevention of Drifting.
The prevention is the beginning point of the passage. “We must pay more earnest heed to the things we have heard.” We live in God’s Word and in prayer. Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and if my word abides in you, then you will ask what you will and it will be done unto you.” John 15:7
Jesus said again, “If you continue in my word . . .you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The writer of Hebrews tells us in Chapter 10 that we are not to neglect our meeting together. We secure the lines to our anchor (Jesus) by the disciplines of our Christian walk: prayer, God’s Word, fellowship with other believers, actively sharing our faith.
I heard about an older couple that tied their house boat one night to a dock, but during the night, the moorings had come loose. When the husband went out on deck the next morning he looked around and realized they were not where he had secured their boat. He hurried back inside and said to his wife, “We are not there anymore.” If you find yourself “not there” in your Christian life, confess it to God. He loves you and wants you to come back. No one likely ever got up one morning and said, “I think I will walk away from God.” Instead we drift. Stop drifting. Secure the anchors of your soul today.