Receiving the Promises of God
By John David Hicks
When someone makes you a promise, its quality depends on the character and integrity of the person that made the promise. When God speaks into your life with a promise, the same principle applies. You know that He is righteous and He is truthful. He never lies, never flatters or deceives. He is holy, innocent, without sin and without guile. You can trust or have faith in His word. His promises are guaranteed by His character. His Word is His bond.
You know what God is like. So it is easy to believe in a promise made by Him—it is unshakable and guaranteed. However, the promise must be fully received before it can be entered into and fully realized.
To do this, you must ask, “What does the promise say specifically?” Are there any conditions that need to be fulfilled? All personal promises have conditions that are implied or stated. All God’s promises come out of relationship and are full of grace. Grace is the empowering presence of God that is necessary for the conditions to be met. Thus, the promise will enhance your fellowship with the Lord. The promise is given so that you can do something that is profound. A promise is a rich opportunity for advancement in the kingdom and a major boost to your faith.
It is easy, though, to run ahead of God and miss His timing. Without patience many people will fail to receive the promise. Hebrews 6:12 says, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Patience with faith causes you to inherit the promises. So if you have faith but no patience, you won’t inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 10:35).
As a believer you are in Christ. Thus, the promise carries the weight of the father’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. By putting you in Christ, the Father’s promise is made to Jesus as much as is to you. 2 Peter 1:3–4 tells us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through… His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” His promises exalt you to a place in Christ that guarantees God’s commitment to answer. His promises release all kinds of possibilities into your life.
God’s purpose behind the promise is to create life, hope, faith, love, direction and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Promise and He will bear witness to your spirit. You received every promise from God by faith. Once you receive the promise, you must believe it, speak it, meditate on it, and accept it as yours. Thus, a promise should lead you into a deeper relationship and fellowship as you experience what God has for you.
Praying God’s promises is life-changing because you live by faith in the confidence of His Word (1 John 5:14-15). Christ died for all that all of us might receive all the promises (2 Corinthians 5:14). Through Christ you have access to all the promises of God. Hebrews 4:1 exhorts you to not fall short of receiving them. The scripture reminds you that “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45).
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). God’s Word is the only true anchor for your soul when you are tossed by the waves of doubt, uncertainty, and bewilderment—God is faithful to keep His Word! He was faithful in the midst of the doubt of Abraham and Sarah. He was faithful in the affliction of Job. He was faithful to Joseph in prison. He was faithful to Paul in the storms at sea. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
Stop right hear and check out your promises. It’s your key to a life of blessing and the kingdom of God. Since Jesus Christ completely affirms all God’s promises to us as sure and positive, Paul tells us the appropriate response to God is to say Amen. “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).