The Bible tells us that it is possible to drift away from what we had at first. This information comes to us in the form of a warning to a church who had lost the love she had when she first came to Christ in tears and pain, guilt and shame, fear and repentance (Rev. 2:4). In Hebrews 3:13 we hear a warning against allowing the deceitfulness of sin to cause our hearts to drift away from faith in Christ. I take it from the context that this drift is a subtle and simple thing. We take our eyes off Christ for a few “safe” moments and soon without even noticing it we are so far away we can’t remember what it was like to rest in his love. We start out by admiring a charismatic non-Christian friend, or by being drawn to something they own. We open ourselves up to a small bit of , envy, or covetousness. It’s hardly anything to take notice of. Surely God won’t mind if you indulge yourself this little thrill. It’s such a small thing.
But one day you realize that though you used to spend hours in the presence of God; reading his word, talking with the saints, singing songs, filled with joy, you are now not just a little bit unhappy, angry, filled with fear, and empty inside,. You’ve slid away from your first love. You’ve drifted from the faith you first received, you are in danger of being cut off for your unbelief. You may fear that you don’t know the way back.
The author of Hebrews goes on to tell us, however, that we have an advocate with the father who has been tempted in all the same ways we have. We can see from his experience that suffering temptations is God’s way of making us mature and suitable, holy and perfect. If he caused his son to be made perfect through suffering, how much more so will he use our sufferings to make us who we ought to be.
But more than this, this advocate is also the one who paid the penalty for our sins. And it is because he is a perfect sacrifice that he is able to intercede on our behalf. And since we have such a one, we are called to enter boldly into the throne room of God and ask for mercy and grace in our time of need.