Oct 1, 2013
The Promises Of God
Sunday I preached from Hebrews 13:5 —
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Here God calls us to be content with whatever money and possessions we have.
But this is not easy, and so to help us God gives us a promise — “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So, when we struggle to be content, God wants us to use this promise. But how does he want us to use it?
There are two very different ways.
God’s Promises As Prods
Let’s say you hear the command of Hebrews 13:5 — “be content with what you have.”
But as you search your heart, you can see that you are not content, because you believe you won’t be happy without new golf clubs.
But you want to obey God, and be content without the golf clubs. And you know that God’s promise to never leave or forsake you is supposed to help you be content.
But what you do is use the promise to prod you to be content —
Since God will never leave me or forsake me, I really should feel content. It’s wrong that I’m not content, because after all, God is with me.
And so because of that promise, you try hard to make yourself feel content, maybe by not thinking about the new golf clubs, or by telling yourself that your present golf clubs are OK.
You are using the promise to prod you– to push you — to guilt you into trying trying to feel content.
But there’s another way to use God’s promises — a way that I believe is how God intends them to be used.
God’s Promises As Pointers
In this case, you know God wants you to be content. You see that you are not content, because you think you won’t be happy without new golf clubs. And you know God’s promise will help you be content.
But instead of using that promise as a prod, to push you to try and feel content — you use it as a pointer, to point you to God.
God promises to always be with me. And God’s presence brings fulness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
So if I’m not content without golf clubs, that’s because I’m looking to golf clubs more than to God.
So I’m going to let this promise point me to God Himself — and pray over this promise until the Holy Spirit helps me see and feel that God’s all-satisfying presence is here with me now.
And so you turn your heart from the golf clubs to God. You confess that you have been looking to golf clubs more than to God, and you are assured of forgiveness through Christ.
You ask for more of the Spirit’s work to strengthen your faith so you can see God more than the golf clubs.
And you pray over the promise —
Thank you, Father, that because of Jesus you are always with me. You are always available to me.
And thank you that you will never forsake me. You will always fulfill all your promises to me, including your promise to satisfy me completely in yourself.
As you pray over that promise, God uses His Word to strengthen your faith (Romans 10:17). As you hear His Word with faith, God provides more of the Spirit’s work (Galatians 3:5).
And as the Spirit works, you once again start to see God as your all-satisfying Treasure — and feel God as your heart-satisfying Treasure.
And as your heart is filled with God, you are content. You no longer think you need new golf clubs to be satisfied, because you are overflowingly satisfied with God Himself.
With this approach, we use the promise to point us to God so that who He is transforms our hearts.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- What Are The Promises Of God?
- How God’s Promises Can Transform You
- 6 Reasons Heart-Satisfaction Is Crucial
- How To Fight The Fight Of Faith
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