Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Promises of the Lord

"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." 
2 Corinthians 1:20-22
I want to share this verse with you. It is from 2 Corinthians and Paul (from my meager understanding) is using it to explain that the only constant and true thing we can rely on is the Lord. He had wanted to go to visit the Corinthian church but couldn't and because of that, they were upset and thought he was unreliable. Paul exhorts them to understand that, had it been up to him, he would have come, but God, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, allowed for other circumstances and didn't allow him to travel to Corinth.

Paul was affected by a God who's promises are fulfilled in His Son, Jesus Christ. He was human and his "yes" and "no" mean nothing more than "maybe" and "maybe not". But God, through Christ, can say "yes!" and "no!" and we must truly know and submit to that. He wanted the Corinthians to grasp this, too.

And still, today, He is asking me to understand this wisdom as well.

The first time the Lord brought the above verse to my attention was about 3 years ago in church on a Sunday. I still remember where I was sitting and what was going on in my head. The Lord had just opened a door for me to go to Scotland and I still hadn't shared it with more than a handful of people.

I was still in shock that the Lord's goodness would trickle down to me - that, after all I had gone through that year, I could still hear His clear, perfect, and true voice. I was still also very unsure about the fact He was finally sending me over to Scotland. And then we read the above verse.

All of His promises are YES. 

I was so overwhelmed by His clear voice, yet again. "Erika, I promised you Scotland. That means YES. That means AMEN. That means that, even though you may not see the fruition at that moment, it is already done. Yes. Amen. And, yet, I still hadn't completely understood the meaning of the verse.

And then, three years later, the same thing.

You see, even though I am overjoyed at the Lord's calling me to Scotland, I am also incredibly scared. I go to sleep sometimes and think "whoa, am I really doing this? Is this happening?" Or, I take one more administrative step towards leaving and wonder "is this right? Lord, is this what you want me to do?"

I don't feel as equipped as I did even 1 year ago. I don't feel as energetic as I did 3 years ago. I don't feel as confident as I did 5 years ago.

But God, in His infinite wisdom, Has turned merciful eyes on me and said "Erika, YES." And, more than that, He showed me another part of this verse...

" the glory of God through us." This is HIS timing, HIS promise, HIS time to shine. With me in the way, He wouldn't get the glory. But because I know that nothing in me is good-that all goodness comes from above-He can now shine.

YES and AMEN. Ten years of waiting, seeking, and hoping. YES. Ten years of doubting, wondering, and dreaming. AMEN.

This promise of being sent as a missionary to Scotland was one made to me by a heavenly Father who seeks to bestow upon us every good and perfect gift. (James 1:17). Know that His gifts to you will be so different-and so perfect for you. And they will all stem from the same truths found in the bible. 

And, I want to encourage you, we can know nothing of the Lord unless we seek to find Him. Read the bible, spend time listening to Him and praying to Him. Without that, how will you know what He desires of you? If what you think you are hearing from God does not line up with Scripture, then it isn't from Him. Let the desires of your heart be His desires. All these things will be added to you.

God's promises are all throughout scripture. Unless we open it up and look, we will never know them and see them come to fruition in our lives.

""But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble." - Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV (said to the multitudes. When we seek first His kingdom and righteousness, He promises to provide for us all our earthly needs: specifically food, drink, and clothing.) 
""Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age." Amen." - Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV (given to the disciples. When we obey His call to share salvation with others, He will be with us always.) 
""No man shall [be able to] stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. ... "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go."" - Joshua 1:5-6, 9 NKJV (given to Joshua. God promised to be with him no matter what.) 
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV (When we trust in Him and lean on His understandings, acknowledging Him in our ways, He will direct our paths.)

These are just some of my favorite promises of the Lord. What are some promises of the Lord that speak to you? Open up scriptures for yourself and see what else you may find. I would love to hear some in the comments!