October 31, 2017
It’s not only easy, it’s natural. If you've been in a boat of any kind in the water (no matter the size) you are aware of the unceasing movement that occurs. Even on a calm day, the current pulls you from your original spot.
The writer of Hebrews uses this picture to remind of us of our tendency to drift away from what matters and lasts.
""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)
You would think that the spiritual life would be immovable. Truth is unchangeable, God is unmovable, but the human soul is not. ""Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,"" wrote Robert Robinson at the age of 22 in 1757.
Strong winds push us. The world and its marketing, our flesh and its weakness, and the devil and his incessant whispering, all push us downstream. We can wake up in an instant a million miles from Christ and His truth.
The remedy for this drift is to ""pay much closer attention to what we have heard.""
We pay attention to what we value. If there is a current television show we want to see, we plan our schedules around it. We wouldn't miss it for anything. We give meticulous attention to our appearance, to our environments (because we love our comfort), to the latest, greatest material possession.
But what about the words from heaven? When Almighty God is speaking, do we listen? And, not just listen, but pay ""much closer attention?"" Surely there could be nothing more important than to be lashed to Him and His truth which sets us free.
What adjustments should be made in our lives this week to fight against the drift? More prayer, more study of His Word, more attention to instant obedience to the Spirit's prompting, more scripture memorization (a lost art to most), more fasting, more time with life-minded believers would fight the drift. Robinson felt that the constant meditation on God’s goodness would help us. “Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
Surely there could be no greater task, for everything of value comes by closeness to God and attention to the words that are designed to keep us from being “led away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Robinson's prayer (put to music written by the great revivalist of the 2nd Great Awakening, Asahel Nettleton) is as important for us today as it was 260 years ago.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
October 13, 2021
October 12, 2021
It could not be worse. God is gracious in His offering of forgiveness through Jesus Christ to all who believe. Those who come to know God and obey Him will experience the best in this life and the life to come.
But what of all those who ignore God? Who will not trust Him? Who never follow and obey the one true God? The Bible leaves no ambiguity about this, and its clarity should sober us.
October 07, 2021
My son, who is planting a church in a Northern Colorado city, intentionally took me for a walk through a sculpture garden recently that is located in a prominent spot in his large city. It was beautiful, convenient, and filled with people.
To my amazement, at every 30 yards or so, there was a stone statue. The whole garden was a prayer garden, and each statue was named. The farther we walked, the more I realized it was a garden designed to help you pray to ancestral spirits. This religion is called animism and is no different from the false religions we read of in the Scripture. Paul encountered this in Athens.