How to Defeat Spiritual Drift
Why some turn away from Jesus and what you can do to guard against it
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not DRIFT away from it.” Hebrews 2:1
I’m sure you’ve seen the regular headlines the last couple of years about “famous” Christian leaders who have renounced Christianity. The secular press always loves these kinds of stories, so they give them lots of attention, but the reality is there have always been people who have renounced the faith.
The bigger question is why would anyone renounce the only Source of abundant, eternal life after receiving Him as Savior and Lord?
There are many possibilities, many factors like: unanswered prayers, suffering, influence of unbelievers, lack of joy in their faith, etc. Most of the time it is not a “one-shot” event but rather what the writer of Hebrews describes as “drifting away.”
In Revelation 2, when Jesus corrects the Ephesian believers He tells them they “left their first love”. He didn’t leave them, they did things to leave Him. They drifted.
How do we stay close to Jesus? How do we guard ourselves from drifting? Let me give you what I believe is the #1 factor in following Jesus and why it is the enemy’s #goal to push us away from Him.
The #1 Factor in Spiritual Growth and Following Jesus
Our response to the Word of God is the most important factor in experiencing God, following Jesus, or not following Him.
In the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4, Matthew 13, Luke 8) it becomes very clear that if the Word of God is understood, received, and held on to, over time it will produce good fruit…30, 60, 100 fold. Jesus describes the Word of God as “seed.” If the seed is stolen, no matter how good the condition of the soil (our hearts), there can be no God growth.
The enemy’s #1 goal since Adam and Eve has been to deceive us into not believing God’s word is true. Once any person buys into that in any area of their life, he has an inroad to increase his deceptive tactics.
From the beginning He challenged: 1. What God actually said. If we don’t know what God actually said or he can get us to doubt what God said, then he has an open door with the follow up “God is not telling you the truth.”
This is the heart of “drifting”. This is the heart of hardening our hearts and gradually falling away. This is the core of all the enemy’s deceptions. This is always the main battle: is what God said true or not?
If we stay solid, don’t drift, stay grounded on the fact that God is true and He only speaks truth, and we respond to what God says, the enemy has no room to wedge his lies in our hearts and minds.
Here are three recommendations to keep from drifting away.
1. Submit your mind and heart to the God of love and truth. There is plenty of solid evidence to support the truthfulness of God’s word; God doesn’t expect blind faith. But remember He is God, He cannot lie, and even the parts of the Bible you don’t understand or that are being attacked by current culture are still true.
God cannot lie. He knows all things, He created everything. He has given us the Words and wisdom we need for this age, in the Bible.
None of us will understand everything in this life. I’m reading a book right now titled “How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist” and the author (a rocket scientist) states over and over again that in science few if any discoveries are facts, they are simply higher probabilities. He writes that the brightest minds in science understand very little of how this vast universe works.
Their theories and teachings are all works in progress; not unchangeable truths and facts.
You know who knows everything? Do you know who’s views never change because they are unchangingly true? God. And the smartest thing any of us can do is submit our opinions, ideas, and beliefs to His words.
Jesus prayed, “Father, sanctify them in truth: Your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
2. Regularly deal with issues of the heart. Hebrews 3"14–15 says, “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
I think this is one of the reasons Jesus taught us to pray regularly about forgiving our debtors and “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Perhaps at night, review the day, thanking God for what you learned, what He did and asking Him to search your heart regarding deception seeds or bitterness seeds that have been planted. Get rid of them right away before they start taking root.
3. Stay connected to encouraging believers. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called, ‘Today”, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sins.” (Hebrews 3:13)
Discouragement, in its various forms, if not dealt with gives the deceitfulness of sin power to harden our hearts. When the heart gets hard, spiritual drift soon starts
Encouragement from other believers is a powerful practice for staying open and receptive to Jesus and His Word.
We don’t have to drift. We can stay on target, we can press on for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, we can run the race with endurance and we can finish that race with enthusiasm and joy.
Submit to God and His Word
Keep your heart clean and tender
Join with other encouraging believers.
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