"An Inside Perspective"

January 2007

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ! In my last few letters, I shared with you how I earned my living as a steeple-jack. In them, I drew spiritual truths from my experiences to challenge and encourage your faith.

First, I demonstrated how wonderfully God, in His sovereignty, had allowed me to work on church buildings in my unsaved vocation. Now as a saved man, I am privileged to work on His true church building, His body, for His kingdom purposes.

Secondly, I showed how working on the inside of a water tank illustrates that man is indeed, "dead in trespasses and sins." He is unable to lift himself from that condition, nor does he desire to be lifted. In man's fallen state, though wicked and desperately in need of redemption, he yet spits upon the crucified hand that reaches to raise him up. He is completely at God's mercy to receive undeserved and unearnable grace.

It is written, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" Certainly not, because for a change to occur, God must intervene. Theologians say, " The Lord is prevenient in all things." He is the first to act. It is written, "No man can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him."

Two of the things that I was extremely conscientious about while working on the outside of water tanks were my anchor and my knots. My anchor had to be rock solid and dependable. I also did not allow anybody to tie my knots for me. Everything that I did as a steeple-jack, was dependent upon the anchor to which my rope was attached, and the knots that secured it.

The designer of a tank, in his original blue print, always includes an anchor for future work crews to attach on to. I also wore a safety belt that had a built in bungee-cord pack. If I were to fall, the pack would automatically release a six-foot bungee-cord, designed for me to bounce up and down on, safely, until I came to a slow stop. Without the bungee-cord, the quick stop would cause my back to snap and I would die.

My life was dependent upon a rock solid anchor and perfect knots. I was neurotic about double-checking everything. It seemed when my life depended on it, I simply couldn't trust my own work. Once I went over the side, that was it. There was no second chance.

Normally, when we think of an anchor, we think of something on the bottom of the sea, tied to a boat, to secure it. Well, in my work as a steeple-jack, my anchor was always secured above me. I had to be sure my anchor was rock solid. I had to know, that even if I jumped, I could not fall. That knowledge fostered an assurance in me which allowed me to do the work that needed to be done without the fear of falling. Yes, I could fall, but never all the way, because the bungee-cord was part of my anchor system. I trusted my life to that anchor.

Likewise, it is written, "That by two immutable things by which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation (assurance), who have fled for refuge to lay a hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast . . ."

As followers of the Way, our Anchor is Rock solid in Heaven. The Designer, in His blue print, before the foundation of the world, secured us there in Christ. We daily wear our safety belt, with the built in bungee-cord, the Blood, so we will not fall all the way. We can trust our life daily to the Rock solid Anchor. It is written, "We are kept, by the power of God through faith," and "If any man sin, we have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous!"

The vitality of our spiritual walk is tied directly to our knowledge that our Anchor is sure. Without that assurance, our focus is on our own work and not His finished work. When our life depends on it, we simply can't trust our own works. Once we are in judgement, that's it. There is no second chance. Thankfully, we do not need to double-check the work of the cross - - - it is finished! By the Spirit, that knowledge fosters our assurance and slays our fear of falling. It frees us, in holiness, to do our work in Christ.

Beloved, do not fear, just like the steeple-jack, our Anchor is above, secure in the Holy of Holies. It is tied by the Spirit, in the precious Blood of the Son, unto our Father's heart. Yes, it is a perfect knot, three cords, that shall never be broken!

Be encouraged! What a great hope you have! An Anchor for your soul! A Rock solid hope, well pleasing to the Father! It is written, "As an anchor for the soul . . . where the forerunner is 'FOR US' entered." Fight the good fight soldier because your Anchor in Heaven is . . .


Joyfully in Jesus,
Fisherman Philip