Unlocking God’s Promises

July 15, 2018

We all know that the Bible is full of God’s promises and, unlike our promises, they are fully tested and proven. In fact, Joshua, the man who led Israel as they entered the Promised Land, testified towards the end of his life saying, “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. But just as every good promise of the Lord your God has come true, so the Lord will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you” (Joshua 23:14-15). Joshua heard everything that God promised through his servant Moses and he lived to see their fulfilment. These same promises are still true today for the Word of God endures forever.

In Joshua’s testimony, he emphasized that not only the good promises of God were fulfilled but also the threats or warnings for disobedience. After listing all the good promises, the Lord warned, “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut. 28:15). The list of curses is three times longer than that of the blessings. This is to highlight the fact that the consequence of their disobedience is not to be taken lightly.

While there are many promises of the Lord scattered in the pages of the Bible, many people are not being blessed because they do not know how to unlock God’s promises. The first key to unlocking God’s promises is to believe in the Lord. We have to believe in his promises for us to benefit from them. It is in believing that we are moved to act on it. The Book of Hebrews says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6). But what can cause us not to believe? Needless to say, sin is the culprit. We are warned, “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Heb. 3:12-13).
The other key to unlocking God’s promises is to delight in the Lord. To delight in the Lord is to take pleasure in him. It is when we develop close relationships with the Lord that we come to know of his will and his plans. We take pleasure in reading his words where all the promises are imbedded. Therefore, the Psalmist says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). This is the very reason why the Lord commanded us not only to read the Word but to delight in it as we meditate, and obey it so that we may prosper. He said, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8). As we delight in the Lord, we will not want to stay far from him but be close to him. And as we draw close to him, the Lord will draw close to us.

The third key to unlocking God’s promises is to seek the Lord. When Jesus was highlighting the fact that believers can be blessed, he told them how they can receive such blessings. He said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). It is good for us to know that God has promised many blessings but unless we take that step of actually securing and appropriating these for our enjoyment, these promises will remain as promises and we will not benefit from them. There is a need to prioritize our lives if we want to receive these blessings. We have to seek the Lord first - the keeper of these blessings. The Lord, through the Prophet Jeremiah said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

But the ultimate key to unlocking God’s promises is Jesus Christ himself. It is our believing and delighting in him and seeking him with all our heart that we receive the fullness of God’s promises. The apostle Paul presented this truth beautifully, saying, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 1:20). Therefore, let us appropriate for ourselves all of God’s promises through our Lord Jesus Christ because not one of God’s promises will fail. Hallelujah!