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Is Your Security at Risk

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Is Your Security at Risk?

Preached at:

Friendship Baptist Church, Ontario, CA

May 18, 2003

 

Psalm 16:8, 9, 11          Acknowledge

Psalm 18:2                 

Hebrews 6: 17- 20             Read

Needless to say, every since 9/11, security has been a major issue for this nation, its citizenry both collectively and individually.

All of us at some time since that gray day have listened intently for news of the current alert status of our nation and our cities in particular.  Some of us have planned our lives, our vacations and other outings around the alert status. 

We have learned to add time to travel arrangements just to stand in line longer, to be searched and to have our personal things examined, all for security sakes, you understand.

Then, we all have our own ideas about the recent war in Iraq.  It was not so much of a war with Iraq, but it was in Iraq.  Even though most Americans do not want to be engaged in war at this time, when we think about the surprise of 9/11 and the future of our country and our very lives and manner of living, suddenly, security takes on a whole new meaning.

Isn’t it funny how we can so easily become engaged in doing our best to help ensure our national security?  Why is it, do you suppose that we, I mean we Christians, take our spiritual security for granted so easily?

Even with all of our star wars like ingenuity, our massive defensives on land, in the sea or in the air, even with our strategic armed forces and the capable men and women that man them, there is only one thing that we can bank on for sure:  it’s still not perfect.  We are not 100% secure.  Our nation is still vulnerable to a fault.  No matter how experienced, how educated, or how knowledgeable our military personnel, they are still human just like you and I.  The best laid plans fail.

Our Scripture today is posing a different scenario, a different type of security that is risk-proof.  Our spiritual security does not need to be at risk today.  I know that we pride ourselves at being Christians and doing the work of a Christian, but we need to give some major attention to our spiritual lives.  We often talk a good game, but just how secure is your court?  How tight is your might?  Are you on high alert status, or just coasting from day to day?  Occupying the land or sight seeing?

The major threat to our spiritual security, that which would rob us of our peace of mind body and soul; that which would steal our joy and tarnish our testimonies; that which would keep us wondering if everything is alright; how am I going to make it; that which would cause us to doubt what we know to be true; that which would kill our defenses; steal our purposes; destroy our best intensions; the major threat to our spiritual security is sin.

I’ve just come by to tell you today that there is a way of escape.  It’s yours now, if you want it.  There is a way to make sure that your spiritual security is not at risk of decay, defeat or destruction.

This security for our souls is possible because of three actions.  They are right here in our Scripture: 

·        The Performance of the believer

·        The Priesthood of Christ, and

·        The Promise of the Father

There is a commercial on T.V. advertising the new Nissan Xterra SUV.  These guys drive up on a mountain and stop at a large gorge.  The SUV is backed up just to the rim of the hole, they place a mid-sized rock behind one of the rear wheels; attach a long rope to the bumper and dangle the rope down the hole.  One guy takes the rope in hands and proceeds down into the hole.  His only way back up, his whole survival strategy is based upon that mid-sized rock holding the SUV in place and to provide the anchor that he needs to hold him and support his return from the hole.

The problem is, at least from my perspective, is a shift in the earth, a sudden flat tire, or deterioration of the rope, or a loose knot; any one of these or other unnamed situations would cost him everything that his hope is built on.  His anchor is faulty.  Are you with me?

Throughout the times the Church has used several symbols to express Christian tradition.  The Cross, the Fish, the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of Sacrifice are among them, as is the Anchor.  The anchor has been used to express Christian Hope.  Dr. Lynch says that it was used a great deal during the time when Christianity was persecuted in the first century church, a time when the Christians needed secret symbols in order to communicate their faith to each other safely.

The traditional shape of the anchor contains the shape of a cross.  At the base of the cross there is a curved piece which cradles the bottom of the cross; this is the part that would dig into the bottom of the sea to hold fast the boat in the water. 

So our scripture paints the picture of our hope and spiritual security.  They should be trusted to Christ, the Anchor of our souls. 

Well, I told you that there were three things that condition your security.  The first condition or action is the performance of the believer.  You can’t run this race on a level running field.  It’s time that we take to the hills.  It’s time for those who call themselves Christians to move into maturity.  It’s time to leave the foundations and move to the walls.  Leave the ABC’s for the PH.D.  I don’t mean literally necessarily, but in spirit. 

·        Paul says that it’s time to leave the basic things and move into maturity in our understanding.

o       Move into the inner court - the Holy of Holies

o       Stop snubbing the saints and start to minister to the saints

o       Be diligent, not lazy

o       Imitate the promise takers, not the promise makers

I just came to tell you that it’s time to become confident men and women of God.  Not confident in your own self-assurance; but confident in your persuasion and committal about your calling; secure, locked in and unyielding in your mind.  Get in the loop; come past the inner circle, into the Holy of Holies.

No matter what life brings, no matter how fierce the storms, you don’t have to try and hold on alone.  You can go into the inner circle.  You are part of the clique.  In God’s family, there is a clique and it meets in the Holy of Holies. 

When you are in the Holy of Holies the storm waters may still be fierce, but you’ll find peace; the waves may rise but you’ll know joy, not happiness - that’s of the flesh, but joy of the Spirit; you’ll experience long suffering, gentleness, goodness and faith that is past the hoping stage.  It’s in the Holy of Holies.  There’s no dangling rope, you can be totally secure in the Throne room of God.

The second action that determines your security is the Promise of The Father (vs.6). 

·        The fact of the promise is that it was available to Abraham and it is available to us.

·        The nature of the promise - it provides strong encouragement

·        The security of the promise - it is based on two unchangeable (immutable) things: God’s oath and His promise that reveal:

o       God’s eternal character - what God is

§        He is from everlasting to everlasting, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

§        He is the treasure of those who diligently seek Him

§        He is faithful and sure

§        He is Creator and holder of the universe, and everything in it

§        He’s God Almighty! The Great I Am - The one who said “I am the Lord, I change not”

o       God’s written Word - what God has said.

§        His Word is true for He is Truth

§        He cannot lie

§        He never changes

You can bank on every promise God has made to you.  Lay hold of it, trust in it; feel secure in it; be satisfied with it and long for it.  It’s yours, if you trust Him. 

David believed this, although most of his contemporaries did not.  Many others in David’s time worshipped Yahweh.  It’s just that they also worshipped other things.  They used Yahweh when convenient, but wanted to keep their options open.

It seems like the right thing to do until one looks at the results.  David put it like this:  they multiply their sorrows.  You see, many gods means many bosses, telling us what to do.  If your god is “How you look” then you must obey and worship fashion designers, shoe manufacturers, hair stylists, etc.  If your god is “money” then you enter the Temple of Wall Street, and the list goes on.  In fact it multiplies and your obligations abound.  Not so with one God.

David knew that God would deliver just what He promised.  David said that no matter what life bought, how boisterous the sea of life; how deep the ocean; or how strong the winds - he would not worry, he would not faint or relent - God was on his right side.

David said it’s no wonder his heart was so joyous, and his mouth shouts praises - his body rests in safety because God would never leave him, but he would show him the way or the path of life.  Whether living or dead, David was assured that he would spend eternity with God.

No wonder he loved the Lord - he knew him and trusted him as his rock, his fortress, his savor;  The God in whom he found protection;  His shield, the strength of his salvation, his stronghold.  The promises of The Father are sure.

You do not need to hedge your bets and have back up gods or securities, for the Lord never fails.  If we learn to be content with our lot in life we will want the things we have rather than striving to have the things we want.

David recognized that just because people believe in God it does not prevent them from believing in other gods, even gods of their own making.  He saw the religious people of his day giving lip service to God but actually worshipping other things like money, sex, power, prestige.

They did not bow down ostensibly, yet their behavior made it clear that they were attached, nailed to, much lesser gods, much m ore demanding gods, multiplying sorrows, than the one and only true God. 

Today, we call these other gods addictions, obsessions, compulsions.  They force obedience to themselves.  Once you are in their clutches, there is no choice left but to comply with the demands of these demanding gods.

We never go began serving these gods with our eyes wide open, we just ease in.  It’s like a revolving charge card without limit; until we can’t make the payments -

·        Strangers call your home and tell you how to spend your money

·        Foods that have arrested our taste buds demand our bodies to submit to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity

·        Cars and SUV’s demand big payments and leave little money to afford anything else.

Stop trying to be something that you’re not.  It you are a blood bought, born again child of God, you are already in the best possible position.  God, who clothes the lilies & feeds the birds thinks much more of you.  If God is for you, who can be against you?

The third action or condition found in the text that solidifies your security is the Priesthood of Christ.  You know why it is possible to go into the Holy of Holies?  Because Jesus if the forerunner.  Forerunner is a word that is associated with a small boat, also called a forerunner.  In the ancient world large ocean vessels often experienced difficulty when approaching the shallow Greek harbors.  To counteract this, a small forerunner boat would often be sent out to help secure the vessel’s anchor within the harbor itself.

Dr. Kenneth Wuest said:  The Anchor of the believer is therefore fastened within the veil of the Holy of Holies of heaven. 

This present life is the sea, the soul a ship…the soul of the believer, as a tempest-tossed ship, is held by the anchor within the veil, fastened by faith to the blessed reality within the veil. 

The image before us in the Priesthood of Christ is the “anchor.”  The question is begged - what is the anchor in the image?  The text says that we are to “have strong encouragement … by laying hold of the hope that is set before us.”  The hope is something “set before us.”  It continues to say that this hope is an anchor of the soul. 

In other words:  What anchors our soul is not our subjective confidence, no.  Just because you go around saying you are anchored doesn’t cut it - it’s not because of anything within you or me - but the sure objective reality that God has promised - It’s all about Him.  This is our anchor.  What we are hoping for, the anchor is absolutely sure. 

·        The anchor is sure, certain and safe

·        The anchor is steadfast, firm and reliable

·        The anchor is lodged within the veil, in the Holy of Holies

Remember the weak anchor of the Nissan SUV?  The mid-sized rock that was susceptible to many ills?  Well, our Rock is:

·        Impervious

·        Impermeable

·        Resistant

·        Solid - on Christ, the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus is our forerunner.  He has gone into the Holy of Holies ahead of us.  Not in the order of Aaron and Levi -- who had to offer sacrifices for themselves and for the people; who died and had to be replaced year by year -- who offered the blood of bulls and goats which could never take away sins -- No!

Jesus lived among men and became our example.  “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

Jesus - willingly went to Calvary.  The sin of the world was laid upon Him.  He bled and He gave up the Ghost and died.  The earth was dark as the sun refused to shine.  The veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom. 

He was buried in a borrowed tomb.  His enemies thought is was all over because the tomb was sealed with a large stone.  It stayed in place all day and night Friday, all day and night Saturday, but early on Sunday morning, it was rolled away so men and women could come in and see that Jesus Christ had gotten up from the grave.  That He was alive for ever more.

Our anchor -- our promised future is sure; it is steadfast; and it is the finished and purchased work of Jesus our High Priest.

Our anchor is not like a rope attached to an unsure bumper of an SUV, sustained with a mid-sized rock.  Our anchor is firmly attached in heaven -- He is in His Father’s Hand -- and He is firmly attached to the Christians soul -- so we are in His Hand.  He has said that no on can take us out of His hand and nothing could separate him from his father’s hand.

Is your security at risk today?  You can be sure of your future.  You can know that you are secure.  No matter what the days, the nights, the years, the times bring.  No matter how good you think you are, you aren’t good enough.  No matter how strong you feel, you can’t hold on by yourself. 

It’s time to worship within the Holy of Holies; Time to experience the fullness of the promises of God; Time to realize the secure ness of your anchor.  Are you really anchored today?  It easy to toss around a few words, but when the storms of life flood your house, how well do you really fare?  Are you sinking or floating?  Are you holding on to a dangling rope, or securely attached?

I don’t know about you today, but I am convinced and I can agree with the song writer:

Though the storms keep on raging in my life;

And sometimes it’s hard to tell the night from day;

Still that hope that lies within is reassured

As I keep my eyes upon the distant shore;

I know He’ll lead me safely to that blessed place He has prepared.

 

But if the storms don’t cease,

And if the winds keep on blowing in my life,

My soul has been anchored in the Lord.

 

Ohhhh, I realize that sometimes in this life

We’re gonna be tossed by waves and the currents that seem so fierce,

But in the word of God I’ve got an anchor

And it keeps me steadfast and unmovable

Despite the tide.

 

But if, if the storms don’t cease,

And just in case the winds -- they keep on blowing in my life, my soul my soul has been

Anchored in the Lord.

 

The billows may roll;

Breakers may dash;

I shall not sway because He holds me fast;

So dark the day, clouds in the sky;

I know it’s alright because Jesus is nigh;

Say my soul, my soul,

My soul has been anchored in the Lord.

                                

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