With weapons of the Spirit

Chancel of Augustinerkloster zu Erfurt (St. Augustine’s Church and Monastery), which contains the grave of Johannes Zacharias.

“God’s Word forever shall abide,/ No thanks to foes, who fear it;/ For God Himself fights by our side/ With weapons of the Spirit./ Were they to take our house,/ Goods, honor, child, or spouse,/ Though life be wrenched away,/ They cannot win the day./ The Kingdom’s ours forever.”- A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, v. 4

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.”- Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)

As author Eric Metaxas notes in his biography of Martin Luther, Martin first completed a trial period as a supplicant at St. Augustine’s Monastery in Erfurt.  Finally, the great day came.  Monks ushered Luther into the chapter (large meeting) room.  With all the monks of the order present, Luther officially and irrevocably left the outside world behind him forever.  He became a novice monk,

During the ceremony, supplicant Luther abased himself before the prior and the altar.  Furthermore, he prostrated himself on the tile floor in the chancel, only feet from the grave of Johannes Zacharias (1384 – 26 July 1428), the most renowned of the monastery’s monks.  In fact, his remains held a principal place of honor.  Because one hundred years earlier, Zacharias vigorously attacked the theology of Jan Hus at the Council of Constance.  Soon after, Hus burned at the stake for heresy.  And in time, Martin followed in the footsteps of the famous martyr.

In the last chapter of Unshakable Hope, Max Lucado turns his focus to the words anchor and soul (Hebrews 6:19-20).  When adversity strikes, we rightly turn to the unbreakable promise and unshakable hope only God provides.  When bad weather blasts, Max observes, we need a strong and double-pointed anchor, akin to the one on Popeye’s forearm.  An anchor hooking securely to Jesus, who’s stronger than our storm.

Your valuable vessel, your fragile soul, unites you to God.  As Hebrews 6:19-20 tells us, on our behalf Jesus entered the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.  In other words, our anchor’s set in the very throne room of God!  Beyond the reach of the devil, under the care of Christ.  Therefore, no one can take your Christ – nor your hope.

Also, everyone’s anchored to something – perhaps a IRA, resume, another person, a career.  As a result, Max exhorts you to ask yourself this key question: Is what I’m hooked to stronger than what I’ll go through?  For surface objects function poorly as anchors.  Thus, we need abounding hope.  Not, Pastor Lucado asserts, occasional or sporadic or thermostatic (constant) hope.  But abounding hope, the hope Luther witnessed as he placed his faith in God’s Word and the weapons of the Spirit. As The Message paraphrases Hebrews 6:18, “Grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.”

In conclusion, Max offers these encouraging words about the weapons of the Spirit:

“Clutch [God’s promises] as the precious parts they are; hide them in your heart so they can pay dividends long into the future.  When the Enemy comes with his lies of doubt and fear, produce the pearl.  Satan will be quickly silenced.  He has no reply for truth. . . .  The promises of God work.  They can walk you through horrific tragedies. . . buoy you in the day-to-day difficulties.  They are, indeed, the great and precious promises of God.”

About the author

Dave Henning


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