More of God in Your Life (Part 1)
Would you like to have a closer walk with God? Would you like to have the peace that God is with you and will see you through whatever difficulty comes your way?
One of the ways is to claim His promises.
If you’re like me, it’s all too easy to wait until I am facing trouble in my life to claim those promises. Then I exercise faith. Then I desperately cling to them.
But God wants us to walk by faith all the time, doesn’t He?
The Bible is filled with His promises. Great Bible treachers have told us to take those promises and write our name in them. Because we can claim them–all the way through the Bible. The Bible was written for us and to us.
Bible teacher Kay Arthur in her book on prayer advises us to “pray the promises.”
There’s a lovely story in the New Testament…
it can dramatize for us some important points about God’s promises and about believing His Word.
During her pregnancy, Mary the mother of Jesus, visited her relative Elilzabeth (the wife of Zachariah and the mother of John the Baptist).
Here it is (Luke, chapater 1):
39 Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.
45“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
We are blessed when we believe God’s promises.
When the angel announced God’s Word to her, Mary believed and humbly submitted to God’s will. Elizabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit tells Mary that she is blessed because she believed God’s Word to her, the promise that the angel told her.
And that says so much about prayer. Praying with faith. That says so much about living our lives right here, right now, on this earth. Living by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Galatians 2:20).
We too will be blessed when we live by God’s promises and His Word.
The story continues with Mary’s beautiful hymn of faith:
46 And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. 50 “AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. 51“He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. 53 “HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed. 54“He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his offspring forever.” (NASB) Luke 1:39-55
Listen to the faith expressed in those words. To me, one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture. Mary is clinging to the promises of God–with joy. That in spite of the potentially embarassing circumstance of being pregnant before her marriage to Joseph. She just flows with promises.
We do not see Mary struggling.
She doesn’t sound desperate, does she? She’s not fighting to believe, struggling with doubts. She is resting in God’s promises, including the one made directly to her personally. She simply, humbly accepted His Word. She chose it obediently. She chose to believe. Faith, the gift of the ability to believe, is closely tied to obedience. Being willing to trust God and to act on that belief. And at this point in her life, Mary is continuing to believe.
We can strengthen our faith by speaking God’s promises. Yes, out loud.
And when God promises something…
He is placing His holy reputation on the line. His reputation before His holy angels and the vast throng of believers in heaven with Him. He’s saying you can trust Me, You can trust My Word, you can trust Me to do the right thing, just like I promise.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. ISAIAH 55:11
His Word, His promises, God fulfills them. We can trust Him: This is the basis of faith: God’s trustfulness, His truthfulness, His love.
Here’s a promise you and I can claim every time we pick up our Bibles to read:
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)
Have you had an experience when you held onto one of God’s promises and He came through for you?