My Dad took me fishing in Canada when I turned thirteen. It was a great adventure. Me, my Dad, and six of my Dad’s buddies drove by car for sixteen hours (most of which I slept) to arrive at a train station in northern Ontario. We hopped a freight train for a three hour trek to the Canadian wilderness. The train stopped just long enough for us to throw off our gear at a crossing named North Star Lodge. We were met by a Canadian wilderness and fishing guide named Al. He had an ancient Dodge Power Wagon with a trailer attached to haul our gear. A thirty minute ride on some of the roughest roads I have ever seen found us parked in front of the famous North Star Lodge. It was a series of logs and plywood that looked as old as the forest in which it hid. It was surrounded by a series of lakes that boasted the best fishing in Canada.
Everyone was assigned a job for the week of fishing expeditions. My job was to carry the anchor. There were no roads to the lakes, some of which were over a mile from the lodge. Each morning before daybreak our entire crew would carry the gear, boats, motors, and yes the “anchor” to the lake for a long day of fishing.
I’ll never forget the first morning when Al our guide handed me the anchor and said, “listen kid, that’s the most import thing we take to the lake. Without it, we can’t do nothin’.” Once on the lake I quickly understood Al’s statement. The wind blew at a steady brisk pace all day long on the lakes. Without an anchor to hold you out in the best spots to fish, we would find ourselves floundering on the shore opposite the wind in seconds.
It was a great week! We caught hundreds of fish. All because I had an anchor!
This week’s text describes hope in the promises of God as an anchor of the soul. God desires that we are people of secure hope by means of strong encouragement. The image of our soul anchored to the Mercy Seat is profound. Yes we are commanded to hold fast. But we are, at the same time, given assurance that the anchor is secure at both ends.
Read Philippians 3:12 – 4:1
Does Paul feel secure because he is perfect? (Verse 12)
What is the motivation to press on and take hold? (hit …because…) (Verse 12)
Where does Paul place the emphasis for his efforts, his past or his future? (Verses 13-14)
Paul gives both encouragement and warning. What are we encouraged to do? (Verse 17)
What happens to those who don’t take Paul’s encouragement? (Verses 18-19)
Where’s our hometown and what is the best part of being a citizen? (Verses 20-21)