Keys for receiving the Promises of God

Introduction

This morning I want to give us some keys in order for us to possess the Promises of God in our lives.  One of my favourite games growing up as a kid was “hide-n-seek.”  My friends would spend hours playing this cat and mouse game.  We would come up with variations that we keep us going into the night.  The art of hiding well was something to be admired.  It was always so exciting to find the missing friend.  Sometimes I think God likes “hide-n-seek” too.  The Scriptures often tell us to seek the Lord.  In both the Old and New Testaments we are exhorted to seek after God in various ways; to seek his face, his strength, seek the Lord while he may be found, seek and you will find, seek me with all your heart, seek him and live, seek his kingdom and so on.  The fact is simple, God is looking for those whose hearts seek after him.  The seeking, in and of itself, is not the goal any more than religious activities are to replace of relationship with God.  The joy of seeking is in the finding.  And God can’t wait to be found.  It is the Father’s heart to welcome us into his family and presence on a moment by moment basis.   The Parable of the Lost Son is remarkable and teaches us many lessons.  One of the main points is this – the father is looking and waiting for his son to return home. 

·      But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him (Luke 15:20)

·      But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.  (Luke 15:32)

Possess Your Promises

            There a are times in one’s life when it is time to arise and shine.  Abraham, Moses to Joshua, King David down to the person of Jesus Christ – each individual has those defining moments of life.  I believe it is time for us to possess the Promises of God for our lives!  If you need direction or wisdom God has a promise for you.  If you need healing God has a promise for you.  If you are in need of financial breakthrough the Promises of God are found in the Scriptures and are there waiting for us to discover them.  The opportunity is always before us to acquire the Promises of God.  There are times that we simply need a strong exhortation to engage in the process of taking hold of God at his Word.  God is not trying to keep his promises from you and I, in fact, it is quite the opposite.  God is ready and waiting to be found by those hungry God chasers.  There are many keys that we could take note of in this study.  I have given us some of my personal favourites both spiritually and practically.

Study and Obey the Scriptures

            We are told in Proverbs 2:1-5 - My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.   

The Bible is unique compared to any other piece of literature ever written.  “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” (2 Tim 3:16 – The Message).  If we truly want to possess the Promises of God, we must be students of God Word.  We must become followers of Jesus who learn to accept and store the words of God in our hearts.  This is a call for obedience according to God’s Word. 

Seek and Find

            My first sermon in this series was about discovering the Promises of God.  God’ Word is full of promises.  It is our job to find as many Scriptures as possible and begin to study and meditate and pray over them with regards to our circumstances.  We are told that God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and powerful when applied to our life and circumstances.  There are times when I have people ask me to pray for them about this or that situation.  I usually ask them what Scripture they are standing on.  Sometimes the response is positive and thoughtful.  Other times they look at me wondering what I am talking about.  It is important to study and obey God’s Word, as well as, to seek out the promises of God for our individual circumstances.  Then and only then can we begin to gain the promises we hope for.

Learn to Speak the Word

We must not only learn to obey God at this Word, but also to speak out the truth of God’s Word so that our lives and circumstances come into agreement with God.      A key verse is Romans 4:17b“God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”    Abraham was promised an heir but both he and Sarah were well beyond their prime in regard to conceiving and bearing children.  This Scripture simply means that we speak the truth of God’s Word before we speak about our circumstances.  This is a challenge to our minds, because we often focus on our difficult circumstances first.  Abraham fell short in this area as well and had Ishmael through Sarah’s servant Hagar.  Even when we blow it, God remains true to his promise. 

·      If you are believing God’s promise for wisdom in the midst of confusing circumstances, speak out and apply James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

·      If you are believing for God’s promise of healing according to 1 Peter 2:24, “by whose stripes you were healed,” then let your confession first be that “I am healed in Jesus,” even in the midst of the sickness. 

 

In other words, we have to learn how to NOT speak the situation but learn to speak the truth of God’s Word.  This is just like Abraham speaking and believing and calling things that be are not as though they were.  However, we don’t want to deny the fact that we are in a place of confusion or not feeling well by saying, “I am not sick.”  We don’t deny the reality of our situation; we need to renew our thinking and begin speaking the truth of God’s Word first.

Overcome double-mindedness

            One of my challenges, and I am sure many others, is this – double-mindedness.  This word is found also in the book of James, 1:8 and 4:8.  It means to have two minds or souls.  In other words, there is a tossing too and fro, like a ship in the waves.  Struggling between the truth and a lie, or faith and unbelief.  There is a restlessness and unsettledness which produces and inability to possess God’s promises. 

            I have had to learn how to take captive my thoughts (2 Cor 10:5).  Several years ago, my mind was a mess.  I was two-minded in my ways.  I took the time to evaluate how I was thinking.  I attended a conference by Dr. Caroline Leaf and bought her book and put into practice her five points of renewing your mind.

1.     Gather

2.     Focused Reflection

3.     Journal

4.     Revisit

5.     Active Reach

 

As I put into practice this simple plan, I found my thoughts changing and I was becoming more and more focused on the Promises of God’s Word.  I took about ten minutes a day to intentionally engage in the process, and then to apply it throughout the day when negative thoughts came against me. 

In conclusion

            I have mentioned a few positive ways to make sure we can attain God’s promises in our lives.  Get into the Bible and get the Bible into you…  The more we read and study the Scriptures, the more enlightened we become, “your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).  The Scriptures help us to discern between good and evil and to put righteous obedience into practice.  I am so blessed that all the promises of God are yes and amen in Jesus (2 Cor 1:20).  The high-n-seek message of today is this, the Scriptures are full of promises, hiding so to speak, and waiting for you to find them.  And then when we find the great and precious promises, we learn to speak them over our circumstances rather than simply speaking of our circumstances, which oftentimes can be negative.  This kind of negativity can be dangerous and lead to doubleminded stinking thinking.  I am grateful that God remains faithful and true to fulfilling his promises in our lives even when we struggle. 

            It is our responsibility as followers of Jesus to obtain them personally in our lives. Maybe this is the day that you step into your Promised Land so to speak.  Don’t give up.  Don’t grow weary in doing good.  Don’t be afraid of giants in the land.  Don’t doubt God. 

            God has filled his Scriptures with all the promises we need in order to live in this broken world.  God is Good and Faithful and more than able to move us forward in life…

 

Let’s pray together as we put God’s promises into action…