Holding Fast: An Attitude of Desperation


Each time I read the book of Deuteronomy, I am struck by the clearness of the commands given to the Israelites by Moses as to how they should live in light of their faith in God. One aspect of the life of faith in the Lord that Moses emphasizes toward the end of his last address to nation is that of “holding fast” to the Lord.  

You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.  Deut 13:4

The other commands, usually given in the same sentence, to fear the Lord and to obey His commands, are more familiar to us.  “Holding fast,” however, is a very clear, vivid picture of what our faith looks like when we view the Lord as our strength and our shield, but it’s much less understood or discussed than the others.  Perhaps because we all understand it and feel no need to delve into it further.  Or, perhaps we think it’s not a very deep concept and therefore not worth exploring more thoroughly.  Whatever explanation one gives, though, it doesn’t do justice to this command.

The act of “holding fast” to someone is an act of desperation.  We do it when we are in danger or afraid, and we instinctively know that it’s in our best interests to hold fast to the one who can protect us, save us, from all harm.  Moses knew that the Israelites would need to feel desperate in order to “hold fast” to the Lord as they entered into the Promised Land.  If they didn’t, they would inevitably fall away from the Lord and follow the practices of the pagan cultures instead.  Doing so was deadly for them.  It is for us as well.  That’s why the command to hold fast to the Lord is so important for each of us.  It’s our act of desperation to cling to the one who will keep us safely in his powerful, protective, and loving arms.

May the Lord grant you and me this attitude of desperation and that we would all learn to obey the command to “hold fast” to the Lord—our great, powerful, loving Father!


Tim Tomlinson


Bethlehem College & Seminary

Prayer Requests:

  1. Please pray for our students and faculty as they begin the last half of Spring semester.  This is the time for making graduation plans, summer plans, and for our graduates, discerning future directions.  Pray for the Lord’s leading for all of them.
  2. Please continue to be in prayer for our college admissions processes.  We are still assembling the fall Freshman class at the college, and we need wisdom from the Lord to bring in just the right class for this coming Fall.  We want the students that the Lord wants to be here.
  3. Please pray for our special advancement event taking place this coming Monday in Indianapolis.  It’s a significant gathering of current and prospective supporters of our school.  Please pray that the Lord would use this event to raise up new supporters to help us fulfill our mission in the remarkable ways.
  4. Please be in prayer for our Executive Team as we go away Friday for a day of prayer and planning for the coming year.  Pray that the Lord would meet us powerfully!