The gospel is full of amazing promises of God. We are told that it is impossible for God to lie. Impossible. So... what the heck is the deal?
What we have failed to realize is that it is our believing the promises for us that actually triggers the transformation that is the core of our Christian walk. Listen to what Peter tells us:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
2 Peter 1:4
Oh Lord, open our ears and eyes! Partakers of the divine nature! Is this not what we have all been missing? For 38 years as a follower of Christ, I longed to be filled with the fruits of the Spirit. I was angry, and longed for kindness. I battled depression, and real joy eluded me. I was tired of not being able to love the Lord with everything that was in me, for part of me loved me and the sins that entangled me. I truly wanted to love others like I loved myself, but it was impossible. I wanted to walk in victory, but defeat was where my pendulum always found its resting point. Where was the change He clearly promised?
Here are two of the main promises that we have gutted of all meaning.
1) God tells us that He has equipped us with shields of faith that are guaranteed to quench ALL the fiery arrows of the enemy.... every single one.
2) The Lord also promises us that He will not allow us to be tempted above our ability to resist it, but will with the temptation make a way of escape that we might be able to stand through it and not fall to its power.
Whoa. But wait..... have any of us actually experience these promises to be sure and true? I had almost four decades of testifying that God did not mean what He clearly stated. How goes it in your walk? Is it not pretty much the exact same thing?
I have heard men say “Well, we have fallen natures. No one is perfect. We are only human.” But then think about it. What good is a way of escape if we do not take it? It is like a chain of immense iron links that would seem to be strong enough to hold back the most reprobate old nature but with but one link made out of foam rubber. If this be the case, the promises of God are pointless and powerless, almost a cruel trick by our God to lead us on with the promises being a carrot on a stick that we follow after but never get to actually eat.
Can God save us and forgive us, but that is the limit of His ability and now it falls back on our shoulders to obey? If so, the new covenant is really not much different from the old one. The only real difference is under the old, forgiveness lasted a year at a time, whereas under the new, we do not have to get cleansed over and over again. Is this the best God can do? Or..... could we be missing a key element to our salvation and the promised subsequent transformation?
Do we not read the above promises? Until we were saved, sin ruled over us and we had no power to resist. Like Paul in Romans 7, we may want to stop sinning, we may want to do godly and righteous things, but the opposite occurs instead. Did not Jesus promise to set us free indeed? Not just to forgive us but to actually cleanse us from all unrighteousness? Before anyone tries to say that we are free, Jesus clarified what HE meant by ‘free indeed’.
He said, “He that commits sin is a servant to sin, and the servant abides not in the house always.”
Something is wrong, brothers and sisters. And God has the answer for us. But until we tire of not loving as He has promised us, until we hate our sins that rule over us, until we cry out like Paul did as a wretched man, seeking the blessed relief that God has clearly promised us, we will wander in the wilderness of Sunday after Sunday failure, and the world will continued e to view us simply religious hypocrites.
Has God planted the church in the beginning as a noble vine, only to have to come rescue us in the end as a lukewarm, powerless and degenerate plant, unable or unwilling to walk as true over-comers? Not on your life!
To all who find a part of them nodding their heads here, tired and exhausted by a one sided relationship that has no power to keep our heads above water, take heart. God is even now beginning to open our eyes to the promises of God anew, and although things may seem dry and waithered, the latter rain of the realness of His amazing promises is about to shower down upon us.
Hold tight, weary one, our God comes with healing and victory for every one of us who cries out for Him.
If this post strangely warms you and gives you hope, I simply ask that you share it with a friend. A grass roots fire is about to be lit, and we will never be the same. Glory to God!
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