“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” Hebrews 2:1
When I was growing up in Southern California, I loved to go to the beach. My brother and I played and swam for hours in the bright sun. The salty seawater dried on our skin, turning it blotchy white. We would go out into the ocean until our feet left the ground, then swim back with the waves, all day long, until my parents declared it was time to pack up and go home. I’m sure we protested loudly.
My mother always laid our beach blanket near a lifeguard station and warned us to keep our eyes on that certain station, noting the number that was hugely painted on its side. It was an “anchor” for our bearings. We’d been pulled down the coastline by the current enough times to know that the danger of getting lost was real. And Mom was right—all those mommies and beach blankets look the same from out in the water.
Paying attention to things that are visible is easy—even a child can be taught to do it! Paying attention to invisible things is harder, and yet we are exhorted to do so in Scripture. “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18b).
I pulled up anchor off and on in my life, and got my eyes off the lifeguard station, causing me to drift away from the things of God. When I was younger, I drifted into sins that are visible and obvious. Others judge us by our visible sins, and these are usually the things we feel worst about doing—the things that tarnish our stellar reputations. Later, the drift took me into the seemingly invisible realms of spiritual lethargy, apathy, lukewarmness, unbelief, misplaced trust, idolatry (giving God’s place in us to something or someone else), and an unsubmitted thought life that so grieves the Spirit.
We are prone to drift away from who we were created to be in Christ Jesus. A new believer may not know these things yet, but surely most of us reading this are without excuse. According to today’s Scripture, if we will give careful attention to God’s Word to us (our “lifeguard station”), we will not drift.
An anchor is only good if it is secured to something that cannot move. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” (Matthew 7:24).
“Father, we secure our anchor to Christ, the great, immovable Rock. Give us a hunger and thirst for Your Word, that we may not drift away from the hope that is in You. Help us to pay attention to what You say, for You have the words of life. We pray in the strong Name of Jesus, Amen.”