Monday, January 17, 2011

But You Promised!

"But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'" -- Genesis 32:12

Two of the most dangerous theologies in the church today are prosperity theology and "name it and claim it" theology.  If one were to lift the above scripture out of context, it would be easy to see how one could use it for those very purposes.  God did, in fact, promise Jacob to multiply his descendants and give him the land on which he lay (Genesis 28:13-15).  But his promises were never meant to be taken out of context and made to fit our circumstances or selfish desires. 

God promises many things in his Word and he expects us to know his Word well enough to stand on his promises for provision (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:33), healing (James 5:16), peace (Isaiah 26:3), guidance (Psalm 73:24, 139:10; Isaiah 58:11), and wisdom (James 1:5).  But we must realize that even in fulfilling his promises, often God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and that sometimes he fulfills his promises in his own time frame, according to his own plan and purpose for us.

Like Jacob, we need to be in close communion with God daily through his Word and in prayer.  Only then will we be able to clearly understand God's will for our lives.  We are told that God's Word will not return to him empty, but will accomplish what he desires and the purpose for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:11).  As we grow in our knowledge of God and his Word, we can confidently rest in his promises knowing that "the LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made" (Psalm 145:13).

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