Beware of Slipping Away
Precariously perched on the edge of the tallest building in town, you look down. Next thing you know, you're tumbling quickly toward the earth. Your heart races, fear rises, with every muscle rigid. It feels like you're falling forever as seconds pass like minutes. Then, suddenly, you wake up. It was only a nightmare!
"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God" (Heb. 3:12).
Have you ever dreamed you were falling? It's one of the most common nightmares people experience. You wake up safe in your bed but can't seem to shake that uneasy feeling. It's no surprise that God uses the language of falling to tap into our deepest fears. There's nothing good about it! But it is possible for us to fall, which is why there are so many warnings against it in God's Word. So why do Christians slip away from God, and what can we do about it?
Unbelief and Stubbornness
Maybe the most significant falling hazard comes when we feel safe and stubbornly follow our sinful desires. It's not a new problem! Moses warned Israel in Deut. 29:18-19 about this same thing. Simply saying we believe isn't enough — we've got to take action! We might convince ourselves that things are okay, but remember what Paul said, "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).
In Jesus's parable about the soils, he explained how some would fall because of tribulation and persecutions that come because of the Word (Matt. 13:20-21). Those moments when trouble tests your faith, will you stand firmly rooted or fall away? We're not promised lives of comfort and ease as disciples, but daily suffering alongside our Master (Phil. 1:29). Can you endure the challenge?
It seems like our society is always searching for more. Never content, we're looking for something new, something better, something else. This lack of contentment and pursuit of materialism can cause us to fall to temptation (1 Tim. 6:9). We look toward the satisfaction God gives us in this life and turn our heads away like a parent trying to feed their toddler broccoli. Jesus had a lot to say about money, more than almost any other social issue. At the heart of his message was this warning — don't fall in love with it!
Fortunately, God offers us a safety harness to keep us from falling! As Peter lists virtuous qualities like faith, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, and love, he says if we practice these things we'll never fall (2 Peter 1:10). Is a life of godliness protecting you from tumbling to your destruction?