We all know people who say they believe one thing but do the exact opposite. It’s hypocrisy and we have no respect for it in others, yet we tend to justify it in our own life. This is not a new problem, the writer of Hebrews warns the early Christians not to turn away from the living God…spiritual drift. It happens so gradually and incidentally that it’s hard to remember how we got from where we used to be to where we are now. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to discard your standard of right and wrong. No, the drift starts with one small moral compromise, then another and another. Initially you may have felt guilt or shame, but in time it became your standard mode of operation as you question your beliefs and rewrite your theology to justify your actions. Hebrews calls this the hardening of sin’s deceitfulness. Sin deceives us into beliefs with no foundation; it causes us to justify our sin, and ultimately we are spiritually adrift with no compass. We no longer desire the companionship of those who are founded on what we used to believe. There’s just too much tension.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (Heb 3:12-14)
Spiritual drift is a disease to which all Christians are susceptible, but there is a cure. In verse 13, it states that we are to encourage one another daily to prevent drift and its consequences. That seems like an overtly simple solution, but in the Greek language the word “encourage” is much more aggressive than in ours. It means to urge, exhort and even to beg or plead. It’s like a cheerleader urging the team forward and leading the fans to cheer. Active involvement with other believers (fellowship, friendship and accountability) prevents spiritual drift. Alone, you can pray, read your Bible and do lots of good things, but without the community of faith to encourage you, you become high-risk for spiritual drift. Engage in worship, Bible study, fellowship and serving with other believers. With the encouragement of your brother and sisters in Christ you are securely connected; your belief will remain strong even when the current pulls.
Are you experiencing spiritual drift in any area of your life? How did it start? What do you need to do to regain a firm foundation? Do you give others the right to speak truth into your life when they see you drifting? Are you willing to speak truth into the lives of others when you see them starting to drift?
Be the voice of encouragement to the believers you associate with. Be bold in your faith. Hold fast to your beliefs. Worship, serve, fellowship and learn with and from other believers.
Our gracious Lord, keep me securely moored to the foundation of my faith—Jesus Christ. When the current pulls and tries to dislodge me from what I know to be right, give me strength to resist and surround me with those who love you and will encourage me to be the best I can be for you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.