Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT)
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
Hebrews 6:18-19 is absolutely one of my favorite promises in the Word of God. I have tried it. It is true. That doesn’t always mean I understand it or why storms still must come to those who love the Lord. I see the outcome in growth and endurance but it is not pleasant to be battered in the midst of strong winds and high waves of testing. The ship is on top of the ocean while the anchor rests on the ocean floor. It is not moved. The tremendous weight of it still may not be as massive as the vessel it holds but in quiet confidence it does the job effectively. I know in my life that I would have never totally relied and depended on the Promise of God for my life until there was nothing left to hold on to. Sad, but true. We think we have faith by turning over bits and pieces of our life to God. Though it seems like a sacrifice, it’s not. We can survive and get by on the amount of control remaining so our flesh is satisfied even in its lessened state. We want more of God. The desire to live deeper in His Presence because of the goodness of His Love so we venture out a little farther crying out for more. Then it happens, all hell breaks loose in our life. Where is the Lord? Where is the One who called me out on the water? Oh friend, He is right where He has always been. Holding our life in His Nail-Scarred Hands, never moving, not concerned but working to make our life into that thing the Lord has promised.
I am not sure why the Lord led me to this verse again today. Are there clouds gathering in the distance? Should I be concerned? Or is it just to remind me of His Permanence in my life. The fact that when things seem chaotic and hectic that He has a firm grasp and strong hold. God has given us a His “Promise” and His “Oath”. For the first time, I realized that this seemed redundant. God gives us His Promises. I understand that. I have survived on them for last four years. But why would He have to give us His Oath, too? As if His Promise is not enough, why does the God of the Universe feel the need to give us an oath on top of that? A promise is a declaration of something that will or will not be done. It is an express assurance on which expectation can be based. Has anyone every promised you something and not followed through? Yeah, me too. Now an oath is a little bit different, it is a promise made with an appeal to a deity that it is valid and true. So when the Lord proclaims that He is giving us a promise with His Oath – it means that this assurance is based on His Character as the Great I Am. “I AM” is the one who Moses was told by God to tell the people had sent Him. Freedom would be found and secured by the Great I AM. I AM existed before anything else or anyone else. He is God. He cannot lie or change His Mind because His Name alone is Truth. Immovable, unshakeable, unwavering and solid are the Promises that God makes us because He intends to make them possible in our impossible life.
Hebrews 10:19-23 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
We have been given the privilege of “boldly” entering the Presence of God because of the Blood of Jesus. God intends to make His Promises a reality in our life if for no other reason than to honor the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Think about that. God so desired us to live in His Presence that He was willing to sacrifice His Son to have us close to Him. Jesus was willing to come to this earth forsaking His Throne to become a human being and endure hardship and fight sin just like us so He would be able to understand us. He then surrendered His Life to the Cross to fully pay for every indiscretion, trespass and sin whether intentional or not, for each one of us. We are important to God. It is also important to honor Jesus, His Son. Jesus opened a new and life-giving way for us to enter into the Presence of God in right standing. Otherwise the sin in us would cause immediate death. Now we can come boldly, but do we?
The enemy takes pot shots at our promises day in and day out. He lies to us that we cannot have God’s Best. He reminds us of our past. He compares the Great I AM to other people. The enemy wants us to be afraid to trust God. It works. We settle for less than God’s Best and compromise all the time. Ignorantly, refusing God’s Best for substitutions because we believe a lie rather than digging into the Truth. The Truth of God’s Word means nothing unless we have been washed in the Blood. For those who are saved, it is the Truth on which life can now be based as we live boldly before the Throne of God. But this is a two-fold effort, we must first be saved but then we must desire the Lord and His Kingdom more than the things of the earth. Believe it or not, there are people who want Jesus to make this life better never looking past tomorrow to see forever. I guess we are all guilty of that sometimes.
Our hearts must sincerely desire Jesus above all other things and long to be in His Presence to have all of His Promises. To hold tightly without wavering requires both hands – we cannot keep a firm grip on this life and have all that is in forever waiting for us. Am I holding the anchor of hope I have been given? Or am I floating adrift in the sea today? God is keeping every promise that He made to you. Are you keeping your promise to the Lord?
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith in the Lord and dependence on Him are the foundation of a solid, immovable and unshakeable life. We must build our house on the Truth found in the Word of God by faith which means that we are confident enough that God will do what He says that we live there. It is too late to build your house in the middle of the storm. The structure must be in place before the winds and rain start beating on the roof. Faith is not a rescue remedy to bail us out when hard times hit. It must be the foundation of our life. When we go through tough times, we dig in the Word of God like rummaging through the kitchen drawer for a flashlight when the power goes out. We can’t find anything but all the junk crammed in there for months since the last time we needed something. How can we be upset when it is our lack of preparation that kept us from what we needed? We do it all the time. Loosely committed to God in the off-season, yet expecting to be fully engaged in crisis. We must check our anchors today. Testing the links and replacing the weak ones before the tugging and pulling begins again. Our spiritual life is important every single day. God is not a crisis deity. His Promises are true every single day of our life. Mercy is given daily – not weekly, monthly, yearly or when crises come. No one knows what tomorrow brings…except for the One who wrote out every moment of our life.
Hebrews 12:12-13 (NLT)
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
My daughter was excited to tell me that she and her husband bought heavy jackets and snow boots. They are preparing for their first full winter in the great white north. It is not really cold right now except for occasional evening temperatures. Those who have lived there are preparing them with all the basics for life in the frigid winter that is coming. These Florida kids are excited about the prospect of blankets of white snow while those who have lived through several seasons know what they are in for so they are helping them get ready. God invites us to do the same each day as He waits for us to come and talk with Him. He wants us to walk with Him through life not just run to Him in the crisis. He wants us to live in His Presence where we can see things as He does. The Lord wants us to know His Promises and live in them. His Spirit is His Guarantee that they belong to us. Do we even know the Spirit of God living in us? Take a new grip today. Strengthen your weak knees but falling on them. Mark out a straight path as revealed in the Word of God. We have been given the undeserved privilege of living in the Presence of the Great I AM who does not just make empty promises but backs them will all the power and authority of His Sovereignty. Nothing can stop God from acting in our life but us. I intend to move everything out of the way, release all the useless garbage I have accumulated, and grab hold of the anchor of hope that Jesus offers. It’s up to me if I will hold on to hope. It is up to me if I will live in His Promises, and I intend to.
Psalm 107:28-31 (NLT)
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.