April 11, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." Hebrews 2:1
It was a time of great prosperity and a golden age, more than Israel had ever known, except during Solomon's reign. At least that is how it appeared on the outside. Within, there was moral decay slowly eating away every fiber of hope and relationship they had ever known with Jehovah. Flagrant injustice by those in authority, inhumane treatment of the poor and needy, discrimination and greed by the rich, and a total disregard to all that were not in the inner circle. Their worship was an abomination. Prostitution and homosexuality abounded within the temple. Their own children were sacrificed to the gods. All of these actions pointed to the utter disregard of Jehovah.
How could people fall to such a diabolical state of sin after they had been miraculously delivered from the bondage of Egypt, had been led, protected, and provided for by God for 40 years in the wilderness, had been led into the promised land, and had seen time and again the mighty power of God manifested for them?
One of the stories that came out of World War II was about a Navy cruiser that was anchored in the Azores, off the coast of Spain. It has been told that the sailors on watch asked a group of Army infantrymen, who happened to be on board, to "stand watch" while they went below for a meal. The soldiers were more than willing to help. Unfortunately, they were untrained for their new responsibility. They were unaware that the ship's anchor was not secure and that the ship was gradually drifting toward shallow water. A trained seaman knows to periodically check a stationary landmark to keep tabs on the stability of the ship's anchorage.
Within an hour, the ship had drifted against a line of rocks. Minutes later, a wave lifted the ship onto the rocks, ripping a hole in the bow. An alarm was sounded and the ship was evacuated. As the big cruiser heaved to one side, some of the equipment on deck collided and caught fire. Soon the entire vessel was engulfed in flames and sank.
Each day, we all battle an "unseen current" that leads to utter destruction and makes us susceptible to the infiltrating ways of Satan. We must be constantly aware that the effects of the tide can move us away from God. We need to focus on Christ, and watch the compass to chart our course. We have a tendency to drift toward where we focus our attention. If the soldiers on deck had focused their attention on a fixed position on shore to check the ship's movement, they could have avoided disaster.
The focus of our attention determines our life's direction. When we are too busy to pray, neglect reading the Bible, and fail to spend time with God, we're not only too busy, but we are drifting slowly but surely to spiritual disaster. We become insensitive to the Holy Spirit and unresponsive to His drawing us to Christ. Our hearts become dull and cold and we, like Peter, will follow afar off. "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so we will not drift away." Jesus Christ is the Lighthouse that warns us of danger, but also gives us the direction of our course. I trust the focus of our lives may be "LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=102&date=2012-04-11
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