God’s word – His promisesBecause He loves us, God gave us promises. He declared what He would do or not do certain things, often with conditions attached. His Word or Promises are permanent because He is completely just. Isaiah 55:11 states, “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Numbers 23:19 states “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will he not do? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” This can give us comfort and reassurance if we are walking in His promises of a blessing. This can fill us with dread if we are walking in what He has promised to curse.
We interact with God through His promises. Ignorance of His promises can lead us to stumble along blindly into both positive and negative consequences. This leads to mixed results in our life that we probably can’t figure out. If we have both coming, what happens? That’s where God’s mercy can kick in. Or not. The outcome is in God’s hands, but He will listen if we confess our sins and ask for mercy. Just remember that ‘mercy” is postponed justice.
I have seen Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians get in trouble this way. They learn that God blesses the prayer of faith, but then they decide to do whatever Christian-sounding thing that crosses their minds. They aren’t walking in obedience, even though they call Jesus “Lord.” When mercy runs out on them, the problems they haven’t been able to dispel through faith overwhelm them.
Many years ago, I gave my wife six cards with a one-time promise on each of them. They were things like cleaning the bathroom, cooking a meal, cleaning her car, etc. I knew she would use those promise cards at the worst possible time for me, so I kept the number low. The last promise card was used a year later. My pastor heard about it and impulsively made up a dozen for his wife. Only after most of them were used did he realize the sacrifice those cards represented!
When we say we have faith in God, it is God’s promises and His faithfulness that we have faith in. That’s why “faith comes by hearing and hearing the word (or promises) of God.” (Romans 10:17) Our sources of promises are from preachers, from the Bible and from the biographies of strong Christians who have gone before us. “Now this is the confidence (faith) that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will (promises), He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know (have faith) that we have the petitions that we asked of Him.” (I John 5:14,15)
Now none of us have a complete understanding of God’s will and wisdom. God is Love. God is also Justice. Due to God’s justice, He won’t override the consequences of His promises for any of us, no matter how much He loves us. When we have setbacks, we need to seek the Lord all the more, to find out His will and ways all the more clearly.
God’s promises are valid for us as individuals and as groups on all collective levels. Consider poor righteous Jeremiah. He was blessed for his personal righteousness, but was persecuted by his fellow Israelites. When Assyria conquered Israel he was blessed, but he was taken into exile as an Israelite. Consider Israel at mount Sinai. The “holy” man, Reverend Aaron came up with a gold statue and had the people of Israel dancing before it as their savior. It took some fast talking by Moses before God to keep God from killing them all.
good prayer for this stage is, “God, you are the only show in
town. Please line me up with the promises I need for protection,
provision, guidance, a future and a life worth living. Amen.”
What’s the most powerful promise God offers us?