To See The Promises, We Must Meet The Conditions!

” I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:2,9, 10 NIV)

Before God can make a move to fulfill His part of the promise, we must fulfill our part of the promise. When we don’t, He won’t. And we see the truth of this in a number of places in scripture. Even though the qualifier to receive, the “if” is always there, we must see the “if” and then get mad at God because we refuse to obey.

Remember what was told to Joshua? “If you keep my commandments, then whatever you put your hands to shall prosper and you’ll have good success.” (Joshua 1)

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14)

In the NIV translation, the word “if” appears 1640 times–and much of it to do with God’s promises to us.

A covenant–an agreement between two people–is a promise to do something and if both sides keep their word, then both sides will enjoy the conclusion of the matter. Within the covenant of God’s Word, He promises to do certain things if we keep our part of the agreement to keep His commands. His commands, as summarized by Jesus are very simple–love Him and love others. If we love Him, we will do nothing to oppose Him; if we love others, we will do nothing to harm them.

Have we kept our part of the covenant? If not, why are we so surprised at the constantly unfolding consequences in our lives? Instead of blaming God, as the naysayers who claim they don’t even believe in God, we should look to ourselves–under a microscope–and see if we are truly keeping the covenant.  Are we obeying God in all that we do or say?

From the looks of things–on a daily basis–as they are reported in the media, I would venture to say we have a long way to go to get into agreement with God before we can start to think we can receive the promises. We are out of agreement with God when we promote or encourage others to live in opposition to His Word. We are out of agreement with God when we waste our time debating His Word with those who have no relationship with Him. He never tells us to “debate” with others what He means. God said what He meant and He meant what He said. That is the totality of the matter.

In fact, He tell us through Paul not to engage in strife over The Word, debating genealogy (the ancestry of our Lord) with those who are simply looking for opportunity to stir up strife. When we are promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the good news about repentance, the Work on the Cross, and salvation, we are told if people won’t receive it–to shake the dust off our feet and keep it moving. I find this to particularly true of instigators in online forums. The naysayers will randomly select a person talking about Jesus and interact with a seemingly innocuous question to engage our attention. DON’T ENGAGE! They hope to get people rattled and then sit back and laugh at the confusion they start and they garner assistance from others who think the way they think.

Hmmm! Confusion stirred in the minds of Believers–doesn’t that sound like the devil at work since we know that God is not the author of confusion? If we are truly in Christ, we have the mind of Christ, and we have the discernment of Him who guides us and we can know when the enemy is at work.

The bottom line for us is this–if we are not seeing God’s promises fulfilled in our lives, we need to do a thorough investigation of self–to see where we may be falling short and we may discover–we are in agreement in all things and it is simply a matter of being in God’s timing to receive. Hallelujah! Let’s choose to dwell with Him and say, “He is my refuge.”

People of God!

“This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD. “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:32,33 NLT)

Before He came down from heaven and walked among us, He promised us a new covenant–a covenant that made the one null and void. Before anyone ever saw Him in the flesh, He decreed that He would write His instructions and establish them within in our hearts. Before the captivity of a people He loved, He promised to increase humanity and for those people, He would be their God and we would be His people.

People of God–those who have a relationship with Him, those who understand not only the written Word, but the importance of having a relationship with Him in honoring all He has said, it is time for us to rise up in the power He has given through Holy Spirit and proclaim the Year of The Lord–in all of His glory!

We have become too comfortable with sin–too comfortable with ignoring those who attempt to change who God is–too comfortable in watching our society slide back into captivity and the enemy is rejoicing over our laxity. The enemy wants us to be quiet and say nothing because the more silent we become, the greater the victory for him. For those who know–how the enemy functions–tearing the foundational beliefs, bit by bit–like that small fox eating away at the grapes on the lower vine until those at the top are also destroyed–it is time for ACTION, FROM GOD’s PEOPLE!

Stop winking at sin and covering your ears! Open your mouths and speak what God speaks–written in His Word and upon your hearts! Live a life that compels others to want to emulate you in serving our God in obedience. Do good for all you can and pray for those who either you cannot help or refuse to be helped. Rise up–People of God–every morning with a praise on your lips and worship in your heart–determined to share the Good News with everyone you meet. Get out of the buildings–the brick and mortar–and change what happens on every street corner to the glory of God. After all, YOU ARE THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD and your life should not be confined to serving Him in a building.

The time is now! Time to let the world know that God has people and those people have a God who they are not ashamed to serve–in the public as well as in private. Let’s truly make this year–The Year of The Lord–the year under-cover Christians threw off the covers and walked proudly among those who do not know Him. This is the Year and we may never get another chance, if we who know Him, don’t get up and out and proclaim sin–sin! If we don’t remind people of Judgment Day, we will not be able to stand before our God and expect to hear, “Well Done!”

People of God–Rise up and Do all that you can to prove to a dying world that God is real, His love is real, and you are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–our Risen Savior!

Covenant and Commandments

“The Lord–our God–is God and keeps covenant with them who love Him and has mercy upon them who keep His commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9 paraphrased).

Keeping covenant–keeping His Word or His promises toward us.  The amazing thing about keeping covenant is a covenant is between two–not one.  So in order for God to keep covenant with us, we must be in agreement to the terms established.  There’s a lot to be said about keeping covenants, but this is not the place to dwell on the various contracts–covenants–that mere human beings often break.  There is one area that we flawed beings should be able to keep the terms–loving Him and keeping His commandment of love towards others.

Jesus said, the greatest commandments are these–Love the Lord with all your heart soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.  We need to keep these commandments to a thousand generations and if we do, we will have peace in the land. How do we know?

If we love God we can be assured of His hearing our prayers and answering them, providing for us and making ways out of no way to make sure all His promises towards us are kept.

If we love our neighbor (all those around us) as we love self, there would be no need for wars, domestic violence, crimes against one another or  humanity.

This is so simple–in fact–maybe it is the simplicity that keeps us from honoring these two commandments.  Maybe we complicate things to the point where we make it difficult to keep these two very simple commandments.

Stay in His Word and remember His covenant towards us.  Keep His commandments and watch the world around us change for the better!

Learn to love–self, God, and others!