Building a house of worship

Growing up, I used to go fishing with my Dad and my brothers. I didn’t much like fishing back then, it was way too slow for my liking – I’d much rather put a ski on the back of the boat and open up the throttle of the outboard to see how fast we could go. Not very fast by the way – it was only a small outboard. Because in Dad’s mind, that’s all we needed to get ourselves up the rivers, to the sandbanks or the mangroves where we might get a bite or two.

So off we went – slowly – until we found a spot where Dad would tell me to throw out the anchor and we’d grab our lines – and I’d begin to yawn. My sleepiness and boredom became way too evident on occasions as Dad would look at me and say; “Brad – how well have you secured that anchor? We seem to be drifting.”

It was just as well we were in a river with lots of reference points – and also just as well that Dad was paying attention or we may have drifted into danger.

The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were in grave danger. They were headed for a catastrophe – they were drifting. Listen to the warning given in chapter 2:

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? (Hebrews 2:1 – 3)

How do we drift? A crowded and busy life will contribute, familiarity and failing to pay attention will do it, a propensity to move to what is comfortable rather than holding to what is right and true will also do it. The problem is, when everything is calm – if we are not keeping an eye on our anchor – if we don’t have landmarks in sight as a reference to keep us on course – it often takes a storm, or a grave threat before we realise, we are in danger – that our anchor has come loose. This was the warning to the Hebrews – it is a command that should be read with an exclamation.

He is telling us that there is absolutely no alternative to a strong firm anchor on the Lord Jesus. It is not that Jesus is our anchor – that would mean there is no work for us to pay attention to other than ensure that our end of the chain is secured. We need to ensure we are anchored firmly on the truth of Jesus. What does being anchored on Jesus look like? Let me make a couple of quick suggestions:

  • We are in danger of a loose anchor if we no longer marvel at the atonement – of how Jesus bore our sin on the Cross.
  • We are in danger of a loose anchor if we no longer pray in our spirit with a great sense of expectation. I know there are times of doubt, where we feel like God isn’t hearing our prayer – but if we know the Word – and believe it is true – then this anchors us.
  • This highlights that we are in danger of a loose anchor if we are not regularly in the Word.
  • We are in danger of a loose anchor if we no longer worship with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
  • And lastly, we are in danger of a loose anchor if we are disconnected to the Body.

The inspirational author and theologian C.S. Lewis once asked a challenging question. He said: “If you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith, I wonder how many would turn out to be reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”

We must make sure that our anchor is firmly grounded on the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only. And maybe at this time when many of us see loved ones, let’s keep a prayerful eye out for an opportunity to encourage others to make sure they are firmly anchored on Jesus too.