As we are being introduced to new information. It is vital that we pay close attention. That we do not “drift” into closed mind or limit the flow of knowledge in God. Which is extremely easy to do.
Always take new truths back to Holy Spirit and wait truly wait for revelation. Never fall back into old ways trusting in ourselves and blinding ourselves to the new.
Please take a moment to read this great article on the topic…
Of course, we first need to understand just what it is that we are not to drift from. We need to understand precisely to what we must pay the closer attention.
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord? (Hebrews 1:1-3)
This exhortation implies that they were paying attention to something but that now they are to pay much closer attention to something else. When they Pay attention to the covenant that had been mediated in the Old Testament by angels, they had been paying attention to the old covenant. They were now being called to pay even closer attention to the new covenant; the covenant mediated by God’s Son; the covenant mediated by the one who had a more excellent name than the angels; the covenant mediated by the one who, though He experienced humiliation, yet ascended after His resurrection to exaltation above all.
They were being exhorted to move beyond a deficient view of Christ to one that was doxological. They were guilty of an attention deficit when it came to Christ and His gospel and this needed to be corrected. In observation, “The Hebrews are exposed to forces that will carry them away from what they have heard unless they repeatedly make efforts to counter them. Doing nothing will result in the loss of everything.”
This is so often the same problem we face. For various reasons we find ourselves not paying attention to Christ. The result is that we drift and live unproductively—even irresponsibly. Like the Hebrews, we need a correction of our attention deficit problem. We need help.
The Problem with Old Wineskins
There were no doubt several factors impeding their ability to pay attention, but a large one was an obsession with the past. In keeping with the parable of Jesus, they were being exhorted to move beyond a fascination with the old wineskins and to appreciate the new wine of the gospel as experienced in new covenant structures. And as we saw previously, a major issue here was that of the visible versus the invisible.
I suppose that one of the problems they faced was that of the familiar blinding them to the new. They had become so used to the old covenant rituals and to the old covenant prophets that they were having a difficult time accepting this major paradigm shift.
Previously, we saw that one of the reasons that we are tempted to drift is because of the familiar, but here the familiar becomes a different kind of temptation. Whereas the familiar can become ritualistic so that we drift from the truth that the traditional was intended to point, there is another danger that attends the familiar: That is, we don’t want the familiar challenged or changed.
They needed to pay close attention to what they had heard rather than to what they had seen. And this was different. It is not a profound insight to say that people do not like change. But when we confuse the structure itself with what the structure holds then we are in trouble. In the example that Jesus gave us, when the wineskin becomes more important than the wine then we have completely missed the point (Luke 5:37-39).
I would guess that only a fool would pay a lot of money for the bottle and then pour out the award-winning Chardonnay. But in many ways, as we will increasingly see in future studies, this is precisely what a lot of first century Jews were doing when it came to the gospel. They were hanging on to the old wineskins while emptying it of the substance of the new covenant gospel. They were missing out on the wine of Christ as they bragged about the bottle!
In a parallel sense, we can be guilty of the same.
Sometimes we can miss the wood because of the trees. We can even miss the cross, not because we are bored with it, but because we become blind to it (see 2 Peter 1:5-9). We can be so obsessed with form that we fail to see what the form exists for!
At the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will! (Hebrews 2:3-4)
If Christ is all that this verse so clearly asserts, then it is essential for us to hold to the new. In revelation of God we must make a practical difference in our everyday lives. In other words, it should drive us to pay attention to what comes next.
How We Must Pay Attention
Three things are fundamentally necessary if we will pay attention: the Voice of God, the Spirit and self–control.
The recipients of the gospel letters were responsible to persevere in their profession of faith. They were required to take themselves in hand and to pay much closer attention to the truths they had heard. No one could do this for them. The responsibility was theirs.
Therefore, if you are drifting when receiving new revelation, realise that you must take responsibility to stop your drifting. Start loving what Christ loves. Take yourself in hand and be done with a lazy approach to your spiritual life. Stop with the self-pity and the self-absorption and become obsessed with Christ, the Lord of all and His voice!
Those on whom God bestows His gift of so great salvation, who have been graciously blessed to inherit the salvation that Christ purchased for His own, are characterised by a pursuit of holiness by the convincing work of the Holy Spirit who now inhabits them.
If we will pay close attention, then we need to come to Christ with a sense of expectancy. We need to gather with the expectation that we will hear the truth. We need to come expecting that we will hear-the Lord. And, all things being equal, such expectancy will not be disappointed.
Please grasp this essential biblical revelation: “God’s speaking is the basis for our relationship with Him.”The basis of a relationship with God is that God speaks to us and we respond to Him. That is the key to both embracing and then continually experiencing so great a salvation.
The cure for SADD is:
By the aid of the Holy Spirit, take yourself in hand and listen for the voice of God. Don’t drift, pay attention, lean not to your own understanding.