Subtle Drift

Journal Entry // October 30, 2022

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (ESV)

Hebrews 2:1

Of all the warnings in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, drifting away from Christ is the one that most worries me. It worries me in the sense that I can more readily see the drifting of my heart away from Christ at various times and seasons. This continuous slow movement from being a faithful follower of Christ to a place of complacency and apathy is what my sinful thoughts keep pushing me towards. The drift is dangerous because it is oftentimes so gradual that I don’t even realize I am or have drifted until I pay attention. This is the point of the passage. I must pay attention, close attention, to the spiritual state of my heart, mind, and soul. There is no autopilot in the Christian life. There is only careful intentional attention to the details of salvation and grace in my life through Jesus alone.

Drift is always deceptive in my life, as it is amazingly subtle and nuanced. I have been drifting for a while recently and the words of this passage speak directly to the truth I experienced in my drift. I can see that I was not paying close attention to my relationship with Jesus. Quite the opposite in fact. I was taking my relationship with Christ for granted as I continued this journey of faith. The difference this time was that I could feel and recognize the drift. I was aware that I was slightly off balance in my walk and was leaning off the straight and true path. “It’s just a minor point.” “It’s just a momentary break.” “I just need some me time.” These were some of the deceptions that I told myself and wanted to believe. Even though I knew they were not true, I wanted to believe them still.

So I walked slightly off balance and began to drift ever so slightly. Like a ship that is in need of a minor correction, I could still see the shoreline and it still felt near to me and there was not much difference in distance. That’s the worry though. Drift is so gradual and miniscule that it lulls us into a state of relaxation. It’s the subtle lie of our enemy that he spoke to Eve, “Did God really say…” I relax on one minor point, then another, then another, then another. It becomes all too easy to begin questioning all the points of faith. It becomes easier to trust in my self-righteousness instead of the righteousness of Christ. My drift is simply another way to bring comfort, pleasure, and ease into my life that doesn’t involve Christ and only seeks to satisfy my own desires and cravings.

The cure is readily obvious. I must pay close attention to the grace of Jesus Christ. All of life is to be rooted in Jesus. Not just Sunday morning when I go to church. Not just weekday mornings when I read my bible. Even these can become stale and sources of drift if I am not paying attention. If I am on auto-pilot going through the motions, this will inevitably lead to drift. No, I must live every moment, every breath, in the grace of Jesus. Paying close attention is calling me to keep my eyes fixed on Christ. The focus of my heart, mind, and soul is to please my Savior. My every action, my every word, my every moment is to bring praise to Jesus. This is born out in my relationships with others and in my relationship with Jesus.

There are no stray moments in this life. No moments that are not important. Drift is seeking to infiltrate and penetrate my heart and it does so through these stray moments when I let down my guard and make myself vulnerable to the lies and attack of the enemy. I need to stay focused on Christ at all times and in every circumstance. And when I stray and begin to drift… repentance and faith is the pathway back to faithful obedience. This is paying close attention as the writer says. I need to recognize drift early in the process. I need to see my sin and repent in faith. Clinging to Christ as my only hope and paying careful intentional attention to the details of my heart and mind. Not being satisfied with how I compare to anyone other than Jesus but only wanting to please my great and wonderful Savior every moment of every day. 

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