Author’s note: A message I heard in the late 1990s was the “seed” for a message of my own. Thus I cannot take full credit for this one. This article is taken from my notes of that message.
“And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 22:23-25).
My boyhood home was 10 Prospect, Alexandria, Louisiana. Others live there now, but it will always be a special spot to me because that is where, as a ten-year-old boy, God called me to preach. In a utility room behind the house, my dad knocked around on one of the sheet rock walls and found a stud, the spot behind the wall where there was a strong two-by-four. He drove a sixteen-penny nail into the center of the stud. We could hang anything on that nail and the nail would hold it. Even today that nail still holds. Things of great value hang on a nail, and when it falls, everything hanging on it will fall as well.
If you are New Testament born-again saint, pastor, youth leader, evangelist, teacher, father, mother, confidante, friend, your one solitary life is that “nail.” Valuable things are hanging on to you. Isaiah said “the offspring” (your children) and the glory of your family are hanging on your life. All the lesser vessels, from the bowls to the jars, are hanging on you. You are the nail!
We are living in days when everything that can be shaken will be shaken “that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:27). You must make sure that you are a nail in a sure place because valuable things are hanging on you. Satan knows his time is short. He is launching his most deadly weapons in his last ditch efforts against us. He is attacking God’s two most powerful institutions on the planet—the home and the church. It seems everything that can be torn is being ripped apart.
More than half of all marriages end in divorce court. Children, in the aftermath of divorce, are left bruised, confused, often deeply wounded. Our relationships with our spouses and children are being challenged, as every imaginable and unimaginable foe comes against us. Jesus said the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan is out to destroy our homes.
Satan is also coming against the church as never before. We know of Christians worldwide who are living with daily persecution. There are martyrs among us. The church is also being tested by apostasy and divisiveness. It seems that “every wind of doctrine” is blowing is taking those who have not been driven as nail into the sure place of His Word and His Spirit. The possibility of “the very elect” being deceived seems preposterous. Yet we hear this “word” and that “word” and I am reminded that the Word says, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5). Jesus told His disciples that these things were just the beginning. There is more to come. It is going to get worse. However, He encouraged them to not be troubled, shaken, disillusioned, and disappointed. Drive your nail into this Apostolic, Jesus Name, Acts 2:38 message and never pull it out.
Pastors have a double responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our own family—our wife and children. Our households are hanging on us. Then, the churches we pastor—every saint, every staff member, every home, every family, everyone to whom we minister—are hanging on our leadership. I have a wife, children, grandchildren, as well as godly parents who would be destroyed if I were to be so foolish to bring a reproach on my family, this truth I love, and the great church I pastor. I must make sure that I am a nail in a sure place. Valuable things are hanging on me.
If you are a parent, let me remind you that your entire household hangs on you. Those precious children who call you Mom and Dad are hanging on you. If you are a youth pastor, young people are following you, imitating you, looking up to you. Be their nail in a sure place. If you are a minister of music, the choir and praise team are looking to you for music. They are also looking to your for spiritual direction and anointed worship. They are watching your lifestyle. Be a nail in a sure place. Sunday School teachers, every Sunday morning children are hanging on you. Some of them will only know the Jesus you teach them about and the Jesus you show them in how you treat them. Be a nail in a sure place.
When the prophet Eli fell, so did his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. When Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and pulled away from Abraham’s tent and Abraham’s altar, the nail began to loosen and finally fell. When it did, his household fell with him. He lost his family, and in an act of incest, two races were started (the Moabites and Ammonites). They became the fiercest enemies of the people of God. Lot was wishy-washy—a “fence-straddler.” He did not drive his nail into a solid, sure place as Abraham had done.
Manasseh was the king of Judah. The whole nation, including his family—all those hanging on his leadership—followed him into idolatry. The Assyrians came against them, wiped out his armies, put him in a Babylonian prison. Years passed and eventually he repented. God delivered him and allowed him to reign as king again. Manasseh made it back, but the nation did not, nor did his family.
Before you turn your back on biblical truth and walk away to pursue your own path, take a long, hard look at the consequences. You may be able to make it back, but your church may not make it back with you. Your family may not be able to make the trip. Be a nail in a sure place
A nail by itself cannot hold up anything. It does not matter if it is a big nail or a small nail. In and of itself it is incapable of holding anything until it is driven into wood that is solid and strong. Drive your nail into a strong and solid support, because valuable things—the eternal salvation of your entire household—are hanging on that nail. It is not the nail but what is nailed into and how far it is driven into it that matters. Drive your nail into the Word of God. The Word of God will last.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
Nothing is truly settled unless it is settled in the Word of God. The Bible is our blueprint; it is also the yardstick by which everything—including church and family—is measured.
The Word of God opens the door to heaven and closes the gates of hell. Jesus Christ and His eternal purpose is its theme. The glory of God is its end. The Word of God is supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, divine in authorship, inexhaustible in meaning, perfect in precepts, powerful in effect. The Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. No blade can equal it. It will survive every attack. It will take on all challengers and always win. Drive your nail into the Word of God. Preach it. Teach it. Memorize it. Read it. Love it. Live in its pages. Then when everything is shaken that can be shaken your nail will still be holding as firmly as it was the day you nailed it in place.
Drive your life into an Apostolic, one-God, Jesus Name, Holy Ghost, soul-winning, praying, revival-minded church. Get involved in it. Belong to it. Support it with your tithes and offerings and faithful attendance. Be loyal to your pastor and his family. Put a prayer shield around them every day. There is nothing that can replace the church in your spiritual life. God has committed Himself to bless the church. Drive the nail of your life into the church.
Your pastor must give an account for you at the judgment seat of Christ. He preaches and teaches the truth to you and your children. He stands by you when no one else will. He also needs your prayers. Support him publicly. Allow him some private time. Remember him on special days. Love him and protect him. Do not expect his children to be perfect and do not put unnecessary pressure on his wife. It is not easy living in their glass house. Uphold the hands of your pastor. Drive your nail into your church and don’t pull it out. Every time you pull the nail out it becomes less and less secure. Be a nail in a sure place!
When Shebna the scribe fell valuable things fell with him. His father’s house—the name of the family and the honor of his family—fell. He was not a nail driven into a sure place. (See Isaiah 22.) Pastor, teacher, leader, parent, if you fall it crushes everything beneath you. When Shebna fell, the issue fell (the “details of the daily operation of the house”). There are some valuable “issues” hanging on us today.
Much hangs on the nail in a sure place for our younger generation of ministers. Many are at crossroads, trying to decide which road to take. Let me humbly beg you: before you walk away from our fundamental issues, remember the past examples. Manasseh made it back but his family and the nation did not. Young minister, be a nail in a sure place!
The revelation of the mighty God in Christ is an issue. The message of Acts 2:38 is an issue. Repentance is an issue. Water baptism by immersion for the remission of sin in the name of Jesus Christ is an issue. The absolute necessity of being filled with the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in other tongues is an issue. A consecrated and holy lifestyle is an issue. These issues are hanging on us. Be a nail in a sure place!