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How to Avoid Drifting in Your Faith

Part VI of Pastor Bob's blog series in Hebrews



"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by cgifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." – Hebrews 2:1-4

I had the privilege of serving in the USAF, and one of the first lessons we learned was the importance of paying attention to details. From the start of our training, we were taught to pay careful attention to even the smallest details of our jobs. This principle was drilled into our heads starting in Basic Training using inspections. The drill sergeants would inspect our lockers, our uniforms, and our drills for any deviation from the standards. They wanted to make sure we were not neglecting any detail.


The reason this principle was so important in the military was that when an airmen started his or her real job in the military, paying attention to detail could be a matter of life and death. For example, part of my job in the Air Force involved packaging and loading cargo on aircraft. We had to learn about every aspect of packaging and loading aircraft with extreme attention to detail because faulty packaging or neglectful loading could put the pilot and crew in grave danger. In the military, attention to detail is vital.


The reason I begin with this story is because attention to detail is also vital in our walk with God. In fact, the issue of paying attention to the details of our salvation and the details of God’s Word are what the author is addressing in the next section of this great letter.


We have learned that the letter of Hebrews was written primarily to Jewish people who were hearing the gospel and coming to faith in Jesus Christ. As the gospel message took root in their lives and communities, they were met with pressure from their families to reject it and persecution from their government to renounce it.


It’s in this context that the author writes in part to encourage them to resist the temptation to turn to the old covenant practices of the Levitical system. He does this by mounting a systematic argument from Old Testament scriptures that proved that Jesus Christ was the coming Messiah and the fulfillment of the law of Moses. As such he is superior to the angels, to Moses, and the prophets.


In Chapter 2, we can recognize that one of the reasons these believers were in danger of drifting from their confidence in Christ was due to their neglect of the gospel message.


The author writes in verse 3, "how will we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"

Later in his letter, the author cited an Old Testament truth regarding those who received but neglected the Law of Moses and how it relates to neglecting the gospel.


"Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?" – Hebrews 10:28-29 

We have inherited salvation as a gift paid in full by Jesus, therefore it can be easy to neglect our salvation and to drift from our devotion.


Verses like 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV) remind us of the greatness of our salvation: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”


So, how can we avoid neglecting our salvation? The author gives two commands that apply to us today…


Firstly, Pay close attention to what we have heard and believed.

Vs, 1a For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard,

  • The phrase "pay attention" refers to the fact that when scripture talks about hearing, it means more than just audibly perceiving God’s word.

  • For example, Jesus said in Matthew 13:13, concerning those who did not believe him, “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

  • Hearing the word of God rightly is a spiritual hearing one that involves believing, obeying, and submitting to what is heard.




  • We must hear with our hearts.

  • We must pay attention with our hearts not just our heads.


Most of the struggles I see people go through in their walk with God, and that I have been through myself, are due to not paying enough attention to God’s word. We are so busy that we run out of time in the day to meet with God. Yet meeting with God and paying attention to his word is the most important thing in our lives.


Secondly, take signs of drifting seriously.

Vs, 1ab For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.


The Greek word translated as "drift away" literally means to flow by like a boat floating effortlessly away on the water.

  • The word "drift" was often used to describe a ship that had been allowed to drift past the harbor.

  • When the boat crew wasn’t paying attention, the boat would drift passed its harbor and out into dangerous waters.


Albert Mueller said, “We avoid spiritual drift by dropping the anchor of our souls in the deep waters of the Word of God.” 


If you are not concerned about the problem of drifting, you should be. Many believe that the great falling away predicted in the Bible has already begun. As we open chapter two of this great book is we have inherited so great a salvation, we should be even more eager to pay attention to God.


Until next time, Stay strong in the Lord!

Pastor Bob



 


About Pastor Bob Moya, DMin.

Pastor Bob Moya has served as the lead pastor with his wife Candace at City Chapel in Arlington, Texas for over 22+ years. He recently graduated with a doctorate degree in Spiritual Renewal and Leadership in the spring of 2024. When not serving at the church, you'll find Bob enjoying a good read at Barnes & Noble, sipping a nitro cold brew or black coffee from Starbucks, or spending time with his family.

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