Our Hope Anchored In Jesus!

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtains, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become the high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:17-20 NIV)

In order to understand much of what is said in the book of Hebrews, one must understand the directives given to the priests in the Old Testament, and the procedure used for entering the temple. Moving from the outer court, into the inner court, into the holy of holies was ritualistic and solemn. The priests who entered, had a rope tied around them with bells on it in case they were slain for not honoring God in the way God prescribed and they could be dragged out, since not all could enter.. If obedience and honor was a precursor now for anyone entering into “the temple” or church buildings today, not many would have leaders who could pass the test of living a holy life.

Jesus is now our high priest and all who have their hope anchored in Him, will never be disappointed nor need to fear when entering into His presence. While many attend church buildings to be in His presence, they have overlooked the fact that our bodies are the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells and He is always with us. Therefore, our conduct should always be pleasing to Him at all times and when we miss it–we confess and repent and we are still–never left alone.

Far too many people–Christians–place their hope in people or things. They develop relationships with others hoping the networking will make a difference in their lives. Sometimes, the networking may make a difference, but if the hope of having a difference made is in the people and not in Jesus, the hope is misdirected and misdirected hope usually leads to disappointment.

Our hope should not be in the pastor, the deacons, the choir, the ushers or anyone else in the building; our hope should be in Jesus alone and His righteousness in order to see our desires fulfilled on this side of heaven. People disappoint and things disappoint, but when our hope is grounded–anchored–knowing nothing shall move us from our stance in Him, we can weather any storm and the winds die down, and water recedes, we are still standing–praising His name.

Chairing the upcoming event for our high school band has helped me to realize that it is not about me, but about Jesus, who can and will do great things on my behalf to make this event successful. He has been speaking to hearts and those to whom He has spoken, have yielded to Him and they are making things happen so disappointment will not be known by any who participate in the 21st Annual Band-O-Rama! I am declaring it done–to His Glory–in Jesus’ name.

And when it is over–I will praise His name and give thanks for all He has done–recognizing all He used in making it happen. This is what we do when our hope is anchored in Jesus!

Don’t Look Back!

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26 NIV).

Looking backwards—at the things we did in our past can have dire consequences. Even though we should always remember past mistakes so we won’t repeat them, we have to also remember that dwelling in the past can cause us to “drop anchor” and we never move from the past.

Remember the circumstances of Lot’s wife when the angel told them not to look backwards (Genesis 19:17)—she disobeyed and turned into a pillar of salt. Now, many scholars have theorized why she looked back. Some say she was reluctant to give up her status, some say she didn’t want to give up what she had, some say it was simply a matter of sadness. The bottom line is—she looked back and never got a chance to move forward—to see what God had in store for her.

That is exactly what we do when we become mired in the past. When we remember those who got in our way or the things we did that stunted our growth and maturity or the way we treated others and we cannot move from it—we get tangled in it and cannot move forward. In order to move forward, we must lift anchor and allow our relationship with God to steer us in the right direction—in position to receive all He has for us.

But it is not just us as individuals who drop anchor and refuse to budge. Collectively, we as an organized body of society find it difficult to release those we have traditionally done, year after year. We do some things without even know why we do it. The way we do education is out of tradition more than necessity. If we understood the necessity to change the way we do education, our children would not be illiterate as are so many adults. If the way we did parenting would include common sense and wisdom from God, we would not have the issues we have with children disrespecting adults and their parents. If the churches would learn to move forward and not just hold onto belief systems that hinder more than promote understanding, churches would be filled.

How much good does it do anyone to look back on failed relationships and wonder—“if I had to do it all over again, would anything change?”

How much good does it do for anyone to dwell on mistakes that cost promotion or opportunity?

How much good does it do for anyone to beat themselves up over decisions made when there was simply not sufficient information at-hand when the decision was made?

How much good does it do for anyone to keep doing the same thing, in the same way, expecting different result?

We have to learn to look at “our now” and deal with the present with the information we have and the ability to seek more. There is no excuse for anyone to be anchored to their past, unless that is where they want to be. When we become wise enough to understand that we cannot change the past and must exist in the present, we will more likely achieve those things that once appeared to elude us.