The world system has made certain promises to you, that at some subconscious level you may be starting to believe, I'm here to remind you that it's but a fleeting happiness, a passing conquest; a lie!
My excitement died down quite swiftly when I perceived this article will end up unmasking my vulnerabilities; it's definitely more personal than I would like...
Have you ever cleaned out your garage or a closet and been shocked by what you found? An old leather jacket or class ring, a favorite toy from when you were a kid, or a piece of clothing that you saved up your own money to buy?
Things that were once your most treasured possessions have been reduced to something in a box that you probably never use or even think of. The promises of the world are like these things – they seem so awesome and life-giving when you first believe them and they may even make you happy for a little while, but eventually, they get worn out, irrelevant and you have no use for them!
Instead, God’s Word points us to put our hope in something much longer lasting – promises that come directly from the Lord and are eternal.
2 Cor. 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Think and talk about a time when you have been or may be tempted to believe the world’s promises instead of God’s. I could name a few; money or more toys will make you happy, being on the winning team is what matters most, attend a particular school for self worth, bleach a little, a little filter for that comment "You are so beautiful", instagram followers and likes for elite validation, lying will keep you out of trouble, follow five steps and become successful, oh and the common among the youth; I want that dream house, car and ultimately get married by age twenty-five. Did that strike a nerve? Well it did for me.
We are all accustomed to promises. We are also accustomed to seeing them made and broken. Anyone who has lived for a number of years would certainly never lay claim to having kept every promise made. There are many reasons why this is true. Sometimes we forget, sometimes we are negligent, and sometimes it may be due to circumstances beyond our control.
A brokenhearted young lady will often ask, "But you promised to marry me?!!". And the answer comes back: "Yes, but I changed my mind". People do change their mind, and do break their promises.
What about the promises of God? How certain are they?
Heb. 6:17 & 18 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us
The Apostle Paul, in writing about the promises of God to Abraham, addressed the church at Rome with these words:
"For the promise that he should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham or his seed through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith . . . therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed" (Romans 4:13, 16). God's promise to Abraham was first spelled out in Genesis Chapter 12. It was repeated in Chapter 22. Verse 18 reads: "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice".
Now a promise is of no more value than is the ability of the one who makes it to carry through. It also includes willingness to do so. I'd know this for a fact based on the trajectory of my life. The unexpected loss of my dad truly opened up a portal for the world's promises — Compromise a little Elinam; Take this short cut and still have the life and the existence your dad promised. The world is always there to pitch a promise!
Then there were corporate dreams? Choosing to be Joe Mettle's Personal assistant over other juicy career options and offers, all in the bid to attain the excellency of thr promises of God assure — Purpose. There is purpose in each and every one of God's promises, and by extension peace! The world pitches to us a form of temporal pleasure and false fulfilment that has no bearing to the reason God put us here in the first place! It satisfies for a moment - then leaves us emptier than before and hooked on to it's opioids!
The contour of Jesus' life, while living on earth, was shaped by his trust in the power of the promises of God. When Jesus said: "I am that bread of life", John 6:48, "I am the light of the world", John 8:12, "I am the resurrection and the life." John 11:25, He did so fully realizing that He had been empowered with this right by the Father who had promised to raise Him from the grave. There were more than 500 brethren at one time who bore witness to the fulfillment of this promise according to I Corinthians 15:1-6.
You and I are not the Savior of the world, but we are meant to live and thrive in His service. Understanding our own scriptural "promises" is key to fully embodying our God given potential.
While we live in a sinful world that is fraught with conditional promises and relationships. Sometimes even those closest to us let us down. Despite this reality, our greatest need is to be loved unconditionally. We want to be loved with a perfect, sacrificial, forever kind of love in spite of our faults by someone who knows us intimately. Further, we want to be supported and inspired by that love to not only become better people, but to also leave lasting impressions on this earth.
God provides us with that as no one else can. That's what theologians have meant over the years by saying that we have a God-shaped hole in our heart; there's a space we were created with that only God can fill. And the love we were made to need is strong and unshakable. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). That love claims you by faith. Wherever you are feeling unloved today, drink it in.
Our world knows brokenness and sin, but God knows hope and restoration. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" God's plan for your life includes hope and a prosperous future, or one in which you thrive. Psalm 103 lists many ways that God wants to bless you. The psalmist exclaims, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." God is invested in your well-being and working toward your renewal, wholeness, and healing daily.
In addition to blessing us, God has big dreams for our lives and beckons us to follow. Obedience often requires faith and risk, but God will delight in your dependence on him and always be there to support you.
You have special strength available to you through faith. The best resource that’s available to you is the power of Christ. If you are facing an uphill battle, repeat this verse to yourself frequently: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God will never call you to a place and leave you unattended. Be assured that the God who has numbered the hairs on your head is fighting for you. His favor will surround you like a shield (Psalm 5:12).
You have an insurmountable ally in our God — for if God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? When you boldly claim this truth with expectation, you give God the space and invitation to show his glory.
So Just like an oak tree doesn't start like a tree, it start as an acorn, you should see an acorn it looks nothing like the tree, your partner may not be where he/she is supposed to be, maybe your career is not where it is supposed to be, maybe your finances(salary) is not where it is supposed to be — but just because all that hasn't reached the peak of success, does not mean you shouldn't earnestly contend to reach the expected end as Jeremiah calls it (Jeremiah 29:11). Trusting God that it is going to end right.
"It takes time to be excellent" You can't be a winner overnight...there's a process.
So God is saying I am with you, I will not leave you nor forsake you; it does not mean He is excusing you from the process. So you just lost that job and God is saying "I am with you as I was with Moses" you failed that exam He says "I am with you" His presence is in the normal days we think are irrelevant. His presence is with you yet He still has to train you to get rid of all the irrelevant things that doesn't conform to the purpose(plan) He has for you, He still has to prune your heart and sensibilities "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands" (Deutronomy 8:2) . Hence the wilderness is supposed to toughen you up for the coming Glory.
Where am I getting with this? Excellence is not always harder, it just sometimes takes longer. Excellence is a way of thinking, being and doing life that is mindful of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done and even why it needs to be done.
Whatever is worth doing is worth doing right and through a process. "Right doesn't go to wrong, wrong comes to Right"
And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."(Exodus 33:14)
His Presence is in the Process.
Could you imagine better "promises" for your life? This is who the Bible says you are. My prayer is that our lives are a continual celebration of these promises.
Play “Spot the Lie” as you drive around this week, focusing specifically on the world’s promises vs. God’s promises. Whether it’s billboards, talking about movies or shows you’ve watched, or thinking about each of your destinations, where do you see the world trying to convince you that you should put your hope in temporary promises? What truth from God can you use to combat those lies?
Believe that excellence takes time while you wait on the fruition of God's promises concerning your life.