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Understanding God’s Promises and Principles of Fulfilment
The Cries of The Disappointed
In recent years I’ve met people bitter with God for non-fulfilling of Promises. I met a young lady who was bitter and fume at God for her inability to secure a husband. According to her, she has been serving God for a long time, and yet God can’t give her a husband even though He promised to meet all her needs according to His riches in Glory. In her words, “I serve the Lord. I serve Him with all my heart without hiding anything neither didn’t I reserve nor hold back anything from him. Why can’t He give me a husband? Didn’t He said, “The hearts of Kings and Princes are in His hand” why can't He turn men's hearts toward me?" Proverbs 21:1
The second person I met was a close friend, man I call my back-to-back friend, and we both graduated from the university together. We became friends while in the university because of our interest in politics. Four-five years after graduation neither of us had a job that’s a little hard to handle for one who loves and serves the Lord.
"Why can’t the Lord who controls the world and everything help us to find a job?" my friend and I had to ask severally. My friend and I though in the same situation have different personality type. I took life as it comes and worries less knowing my loyalty to the Lord shouldn't be because I want His blessings in return.
My friend, on the other hand, worries a lot. He worries about things that are not important. The last time we met he complained about how God is not keeping his end of the deal. In his words, “I go to church. I pay my tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-10). I struggle daily to lead a Holy life. I know I am not perfect but I’m doing my best. Besides, I am better than 'this' and 'that' and 'those'" he said, as he mentions names of our classmates who had job. Some cheated to graduate and others womanized yet they got favoured by the Lord. Somehow, I could identify with his pain. We’re on the show together though we adopted different approaches while being tossed by life’s turbulence.
The third person was a poor neighbour whose son had been sick for years. Although, a devout Christian, God hasn’t spare His son from getting sick or at least heard his prayers, cries, and calls for healing. God in Chronicles 7:14, however says, “If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land (Household—wife, children and oxen)”. This man and his household repented and re-repented, yet God had not brought to fulfilment His promise in the verse above.
On these list goes—to a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and a thousandth. The questions have also growing lengthened: Is God not the promise keeper he said he is? Didn’t He say, “I am not a man that I should lie?” Numbers 23:19. These are among the many questions that arose from our daily ordeals.
Faith in God Can be Difficult atimes
Reasons Why God's Promises are not Fulfilled
There are more than a thousand reasons why God’s promises are not fulfilled, and most of these reasons point toward man’s inadequacies and inabilities to understanding God's working order. We shall consider a few of things that block our ways in an attempt to obtain God’s promises for us here.
God’s Promises and Principles
First off, I wish to say there is a principle, and every one of God’s promises requires that this principle is met before they can be fulfilled. Most time we fix our eyes on the promises without giving a thought to the principles upon which the fulfilment of this promise is dependent.
For instance, if God promises us wealth, we've to learn the principles of wealth creation if this promise will be fulfilled to us; and if we don't chances are this promise might not be fulfilled to us. In this case, we might blame God for not fulfilling His promise, but the fault is ours for not able to acquire financial intelligence and skill needed to create the wealth. The reason, therefore, this promise is not fulfilled is either because we had refused to learn the principles of wealth creation or because we failed to apply the principles adequately.
God’s Promises and Conditions
God always promise with conditions which must be met before the promises are fulfilled. We cannot get the fulfilment of God’s promises if we don't meet the conditions attached to them. When therefore we blame God for not fulfilling a promise when we hadn't met the attached conditions, we're somehow being myopic and self-centred, and such won't possibly get the promise fulfilled. That we want God to fulfil promises without making effort to meet His conditions is another barrier on our way to obtaining God's promises to us.
God’s Promises and Commands
God’s promises rarely get fulfilled when God's commands are not upheld and obeyed. Take for instance, when one decided to confront someone who is more powerful than himself, on account that God had promised protection; and with hope, God gives one victory as He gave David. This scenario can be equated to tempting one's Lord and God, and God is not under any obligation to prove Himself. At such times in most cases, God’s command is “Run for safety”. But one decided to fight because God promised protection in the Bible one might be beaten, and God won't share in the blame.
Do you know why God won't share in the blame? Because He had also warned us to stay out of trouble as a way to enjoy His protections from people who are stronger than us. If you don’t know this, you've to borrow sense from other animals that understand God's concept of protection. God fulfils His promises to us only when we obey His commands. God wants His promises to be fulfilled to us through our activeness, obedience, and alertness to His voice.
God’s Promises, Long and Immediate Commands
God promised victory to His children in a long-standing, but sometimes God gave us an immediate command because the long-standing command might not be favourable. This immediate command is important to salvage the present situation. Each of the commands is important and play a role in bringing God's promises to fulfilment. If we neglect the immediate command for the sake of the long-standing command, we endanger the present.
Take for instance, if God said 'you'll be victorious' in a war but while on the war front, He asks you to retreat for safety. Then, immediate command overrides the long-standing command because God understands retreating will gives you room to re-strategize for a more offensive attack. If the last command is not obeyed, God may not fulfil His promise of victory.
Most of us think that God disappeared from the affairs man after the Bible was inspired. No! He is still available in our everyday lives and situations—saying something to us directly. This is the immediate command which we need to obey. We've to listen because we've to hear what God is saying now. We don't need to cling to what is written in the Bible so religiously.
The Bible says, “The word of God is alive and active.” Hebrews 4:12 What that means is that it’s dynamic and not stalk-static. Also, God sent His Holy Spirit so we can be taught what to do His will in any given instance. When we’re not listening to what the Spirit is saying because of what is written, we run a risk of living in the past; but the present is more important. We have to understand this principle hence the promise of God for us at the moment may not be fulfilled to us.
God’s Conditions and Men’s Conditions
Here is a big conflict—a conflict that exists between God’s conditions and standard of doing things and men’s conditions. Both conditions exist and have relationship and interplay one on another. Sometimes, we meet God’s conditions without meeting men's. Since the power is shared between the two, [God and Man} God might decide to let men will prevail, or he might simply over-rule. If God Over-rules as stated by Philip Yancey we have a miracle. That means there is a rule—perhaps, a line, and God rules another line over that existing one—then God had ruled by over-ruling. However, He doesn’t do this often. He allows man rule to prevail because that is why he gave us free-will.
God’s Promises, Faith and Fear
Faith and fear are the two sides of the same coin. They can be superimposed on each other but they both can't, however, show up at the same times.
My friend always said, "Everything I fear in my life always come to pass". This is the case with many of us. We allow fear to dominate us at the expense of faith. And since fear and faith are two sides of the same coin, whichever one we allow grow and show up. What we need, however, to obtain God's promise for us is faith; and not fear.
The Bible had admonished us on this issue several times. Do you know how many times God said do not be afraid? Bible researchers said that appears in the Bible 365 times. Yes, the phrase: “Do not be afraid” appears 365 times. That means each day we wake up God says to us, “Do not be afraid”. We, however, chose fear and expects God’s promise to be fulfilled in our lives. How will that possibly happen?
Our faith has to be superimposed on our fears such that we take advantage of every promise of God if we want to enjoy the promises of God. The theory, therefore, is that one with higher faith occupies a higher position in the faith realm.
Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes
God’s Promises, Knowledge of God and Self
One of the major point we should understand about God’s promises is the fact that they’re made to humans—what I here refer to the 'self'. We must comprehend why self-knowledge is important here. Also, we must understand God's promises from two perspectives—personal and general.
Personal promises are those God made specifically to individuals while the general is promises made to no one in specific but the general humanity—those who meet God's conditions and apply His principles by obeying His commands obtain these promises irrespective of race or location.
Why is ‘the knowledge of self’ important to the fulfilment of each category of these promises? It's important because ‘the self’ has a role to play in bringing about the fulfilment. If there is no knowledge of self, there could be abuse or under-utilization of potential. That is why it's said in Isaiah 5:13, “My people perish because they lack knowledge." And because we lack knowledge, we can’t operate on God's power.
Another very important thing is the knowledge of God. Knowing God, however, comes in stages. First, we know ourselves because we’re God's image. Then, we move on to study the society and nature because they’re God's expression of Himself. Once we do these the knowledge of God becomes practical to us. God is not just a theory, He is a being, real, and living through us.
God’s Promises and Knowledge of Time
The knowledge of time is one thing that set a pace for lots of dynamics. When we talk of time, three things come directly to mind—past, present and future.
There are God's promises met for the past—the historical. They no longer apply to present the generation because time has changed. If we don’t understand the concept of time in relation to God's promises, we might miss our seasons. Yes, we run the risk of losing out of God's promise.
In understanding God’s promises and principles, the knowledge of time is invaluable. If it’s met for the future and we’re demanding it today. Sorry, it can't come true. If it’s met for the present and we aren't pursuing, it can’t be fulfilled. God rarely change the timing because of human demands. So we need a good knowledge of the time. The sons of Issachar demonstrated this understanding of times in 1 Chronicles 12:32.
God’s Promises and Men's Operation of the World
The principles operating in the world is different from the ones God operates. We can't use one to judge the other. That will be like using a Jews to judge a Gentile; those two can't be knitted together, they must be treated separately.
The way we deal in the world is different from the way God deals in heaven. Here in the world, we bribe and take bribes. But, how can we bribe God? Isn’t through constantly going to church, singing in a choir, cleaning the altar or living holy lives? How? Our living holy lives or services in the church has no direct effect on God's nature. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). When, therefore, we chose to operate on God’s principles, don’t expect the same result as in when operates on human principles. There exists a marked difference. We can’t pull the two together neither should we compare them. For God’s to fulfil His promises to us, therefore, everything must coincide—adequate and proper commitment from both parties; timely response to God's command voice; and well-tailored energy to the right course. We must do our part of the deal.
Note: I wrote this article keeping in mind my friend and the frequencies of these problematic phenomena. I felt people should understand God’s promises are fulfil base on conditions and principles. We should stop beefing or be hypocritical about our Christian lives. God sees the heart; any hypocritical attempt to deceive God will rather discredit us.
This article is not entirely exhaustive. I wish to do a follow-up. That anyway, is not a promise. It’s a wish—and I pray God gives me the grace to make that wish comes true.
Do you believe in God's Promises
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