“Firmly Anchored: Hold Fast What Is Good”
by Zach Smith
The combination of the summer sunshine, a warm breeze and the tranquility of being out on the water alone makes it almost inevitable. You know you’ll be dozing off before you know it, especially the way the fish are avoiding your hook like the plague. So, you tip your hat over your eyes and give in to the maternal rocking motion of the waves.
As you open your eyes, refreshed, you realize you didn’t just drift off to sleep—you drifted so far out to sea that the shore is no longer in sight! That warm breeze has become a stirring wind, and the dark clouds above warn you of the storm you’ll experience if you don’t find your way back to shore soon.
How did this happen? You’re absolutely sure you lowered the anchor before you made your first cast. Indeed you did. But an anchor superficially gliding across the top of the sand was no match for the strong pull of the winds. Worse yet, you realize your knot-tying skills were apparently not worthy of a Boy Scout patch. When the anchor did eventually find a solid hold, the loose knot was not strong enough to keep the boat attached.
An anchor lowered but never firmly attached may slow down drift, but it won’t prevent it. Likewise, a firm anchor serves no purpose if it is not held fast—tightly connected to what it is supposed to secure.
The Bible warns: “We must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Hebrews 2:1). The potential for spiritual drift is ever increasing. We live in a world that encourages cutting the cord that attaches us to absolutes about truth, morals and unchanging definitions of what is good. For the Christian, such rock-solid absolutes can come from only one place—the Word of God. They are not shackles that bind us, but a safety line that keeps us from drifting away from God, His standards and the future He has planned for us.
God inspired the apostle Paul to tell the Church, including young Christians today, “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). To test is not to sample every way of life to see which we prefer, but rather “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not) … to recognize as genuine after examination” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). We’re to prove what is good—not according to our own opinions, but by comparing what we hear to God’s Word—and then cling to that which is good and never let go. In other words, we must secure the anchor and hold the line.
The 2020 theme for our CYC program is “Firmly Anchored: Holding Fast What Is Good.” As the youth of God’s Church face the winds of this world’s ever-shifting morality, it’s more important than ever to personally prove what God calls good and to hold fast to it. Young people have the blessing of setting their spiritual anchor early in life—but it must be set firmly in what is solid and dependable, with a determination to never abandon the line and give in to the spiritual drift around us.
What does it mean to be anchored? Is that different from being firmly anchored? What is good, anyway? How do you hold fast without getting weary? You won’t find the answers to these questions drifting at sea … but the answers will be awaiting those who attend one of our COGWA Youth Camps this year! Apply today!