A Downward Cycle

Read Hebrews 2:1

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1

If we do not listen to God's Word and really hear it, we will start to drift. Neglect always leads to drifting, in things material and physical as well as spiritual. As we drift from the Word, we start to doubt the Word because faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17 KJV). We start to get hard hearts, and this leads to spiritual sluggishness, which produces dullness toward the Word. We become "dull of hearing" (Matt. 13:15 KJV)--lazy listeners! This leads to a despiteful attitude toward the Word to the extent that we willfully disobey God, and this gradually develops into a defiant attitude--we almost "dare" God to do anything!

Now what does God do while this spiritual regression is going on? He keeps speaking to us, encouraging us to get back to the Word. If we fail to listen and obey, then He begins to chasten us. This chastening process is the theme of Hebrews 12, the climactic chapter in the epistle. "The Lord will judge his people" (Heb. 10:30). God does not allow His children to become "spoiled brats" by permitting them willfully to defy His Word. He always chastens in love (Rev. 3:19 KJV).

Applying God's Truth:

1. Can you recall a time when you were caught in the drifting-doubting-dullness-despising-disobeying-defying cycle? What was the lowest level you reached? How did you break out of the downward spiral?
2. How can you keep from beginning to drift in the first place?
3. Have you ever experienced God's loving chastening? In what ways?

Devotions for Confidence and Integrity ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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