June 11 I Monday
“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
Alan Redpath, a British evangelist, pastor and author, has said the biggest need for Christians is not to know more but to do what they already know. The biggest struggle for many of us is not that we are ignorant of things God has said but that we do not appropriate, obey, believe or receive those things. We may hear from or read the Word of God week in and week out but neglect it by not paying “the most careful attention... to what we have heard.”
Imagine being sick and receiving medicine from a doctor only to forget about it. We have what would make us well if we would take it, but it does us no good left sitting on the counter. Though we have easier access to the Word of God than ever before, perhaps even having a Bible app on our phones, Scripture is still easy to neglect. This is not outright rejecting the Bible or its teaching; we may simply never have made it a habit to diligently read and study Scripture.
The same goes for how we approach church. Some of us attend on Sundays without any expectation of meeting with God. Perhaps we come because it is the tradition in which we were raised. We can grow up going to church every week but never allow the truth we hear to impact our lives. Some go to church because they enjoy the music, the fellowship or the preaching but do not apply what they learn on Sunday during a midweek crisis. Like the Bible remaining unopened or unheeded in our homes, it is possible to be physically present during a church service but spiritually absent with no growth, no fruitfulness and no wrestling with how these truths become real in our lives.
To neglect the Word of God is no different in its end consequence than rejecting the Word of God. We do not stay neutral when we fail to heed His Word. Indifference or passivity chokes our study of Scripture, inevitably causing us to drift away from Him. It is when our relationship with God feels the most hollow and distant that we most desperately need to open our hearts to the working of His Spirit. He alone can make us hunger and thirst again for His Word so we can be reacquainted with the heart of God. As we diligently study and meditate on Scripture, God will restore our wonder for His Word so we come to know more deeply who He is, how He operates and what He desires for each of us.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, forgive me for neglecting Your Word and what You are saying to me through Your Spirit. Please grow in me a desire to take to heart the things You say. In Jesus’s name.