I heard a story some time ago about an ungodly farmer. It is said that when he died, it was discovered in his will that he had left his farm to the Devil. In the court, they didn’t quite know what to do with it — how do you give a farm to the Devil? Finally, the judge decided: “The best way to carry out the wishes of the deceased is to allow the farm to grow weeds, the soil to erode, and the house and barn to rot. In our opinion, the best way to leave something to the Devil is to do nothing.” In the same way, we can leave our lives to the Devil doing nothing. Just let the weeds grow, and the soil of our hearts erode and our spiritual house rot, slowly drifting away with whatever currents this world might. But the Bible warns of the dangers of neglecting our great salvation:
Therefore 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, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. – Hebrews 2:1-4
The word neglect (amelesantes), is the same word used in Matthew 22:5 (they made light of it) to describe those who disregarded the invitation to the marriage supper. It means to have the opportunity, but to ignore or disregard it. Let’s keep in mind that Hebrews was written as an encouragement and warning to discouraged Christians, those who neglected an abiding walk with Jesus. The danger described in these verses isn’t rejecting salvation (though the principle applies), but rather, neglecting salvation.
He tells them what they needed to do to stay anchored in Christ and also he warns them about the consequences of neglecting what they have heard about this great salvation. He tells them that the only way they could stay grounded, connected and anchored to Christ is by paying a closer attention to what they heard and persevering in it. What that means is that they needed to not only listen to the word but also apply what they have heard to their lives with care, candour and deep concern. Let me add a few more things they needed to do. They needed to:
- Understand the power and authority of the one speaking – Jesus, greater than angels, greater than the prophets
- Understand that every word they heard was realable, solid and sure
- Understant that those words were God breathed and the very essence of His will
- Understand the danger of neglecting the words they heard
- Prize the word highly in judgment as matters of great importance, everyday for the rest of their lives
- Read the word frequently, study it diligently, meditate upon it closely, mix it with faith and saturate it in prayer
- Embrace and hide the word in our hearts and affections, retain them in their memories, allowing it to dwell in us richly
- Finally, they needed to regulate their words and actions according to the word as they admonish and encouraging one another to good works
In other words, this was the only way they will be able to stay anchored in the Lord? Because drifting is something that happens when we are not anchored to anything solid; if we are not “anchored” in Jesus we are going to drift. Doing nothing about this word or this great salvation we have received will be like that ungodly farmer. leaving our lives to the currents of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Do not neglect this great salvation! Most Christian regress comes from a slow drifting, not from a sudden departure. Get anchored in Him and His Word today.
What does it mean to have an opportunity to something but completely ignore it or disregard it? How does it apply to the issues of faith? Can we apply it to other areas and aspects of life?
Do you agree that most Christian regress comes from a slow drifting instead of a sudden departure? What does that mean?
How can one reverse drifting into isolation – be it spiritual, marital or social; bitterness, loneliness, depression, drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse? How can we keep our kids from drifting into unhealthy lifestyles?
Featured and inserted photos: Courtesy Michael Steward