The Anchor of the Soul - 2017
September 11, 2017 • By Ed Wrather
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. - Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV.
In the United States we have now experienced Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma along with many wildfires in the west. Irma also left devastation in the Caribbean. To the south in Mexico there has been a large earthquake. There is also the threat of nuclear war with North Korea. There are potentially many disastrous things that could happen in our lives. For some of us, we may already be caught up in very difficult situations, and wonder whether we will be able to survive. What we need is an “anchor of the soul.”
Think for a moment of a ship and the ship's anchor. The ship is tied by cable or chain to a heavy anchor made of metal or other material that rests on the floor of the sea. For the believer, we are not tied to the earth; no, our anchor is as the writer of Hebrews says, our anchor has entered the “Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus... (Hebrews 6:19).” As the High Priest in the Old Testament entered the Holy of Holies behind the veil, our High Priest forever, Jesus, is in Heaven; where He, as He says in John 14, has prepared a place for us. Our soul is tied, not to an anchor at the bottom of the sea, but it is tied to Jesus in Heaven above.
Again think of ships and of their anchors. Think of the chains that tie that tether the ship to the anchor. When I was a boy, my Dad made an anchor for our boat. It consisted of a can filled with concrete and a nylon rope that tied the boat to the can. Probably not the most secure anchorage for a boat. Think of a chain that links a battleship to its anchor. One such chain describes each link in the chain as weighing 120 lbs and being about three feet in length. Now that is a chain!
The question I think for all of us as we face disasters or the potential for disaster in our lives is this: What is the condition of the tie between us and our anchor of the soul? Is the chain to our anchor a puny little rope that will break whenever a good wind comes along? Or, is it more like the chain of a battleship that connects to its anchor? How strong is the link between you and your anchor of the soul, Jesus Christ? I think you can see that here is where some work needs to be done in each of our lives. We need to have the strongest spiritual chain possible connecting us to the anchor of our soul. How do we do that? What are the nuts and bolts of having that stronger spiritual chain to connect our soul to our anchor?
First, we need the Bible. The Bible is not just a book. It contains the Words of God. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus is the Word which became flesh, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” Take a moment to comprehend that. You could say that Jesus consists of the words on the pages of the Bible. If you want to know Jesus, if you want to be more like Jesus, then you need more of those words. But you need to understand that when you read the Bible you are not just gaining information. When you read the Bible you are communing with God. When you read the Bible you are connecting with God. When you read the Bible you are feeding your soul, as Jesus says in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” When you read the Bible you are connecting your soul to a spiritual IV that infuses LIFE into your soul. Jesus says in John 6:63, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
Second, if you are going to keep from being swept away by the challenges of life, you are going to need a prayer life. Prayer, communication with God, talking with God is an awesome privilege. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).”
Third, you need to be assembling, meeting with other believers every time you possibly can. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).”
It is depressing to think of all the bad things that could happen to our world, to our country, and to ourselves personally. Is that what God would have us to think about all the time? No! Our focus, our thoughts, and our hopes, should be upon the Anchor of our soul. Hebrews 12:3, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Instead of worrying about and thinking about all of the bad things that could happen, or might happen; instead think about Jesus. Read Jesus, the Word of God. Talk to Jesus, pray, pray, and pray some more. And, instead of thinking that you don't need church, go and be where Jesus promises to be in the midst every time believers meet.
You don't have to be swept away by the challenges of life, because you have an anchor for your soul, and His name is Jesus.