There has been an idea that has come up in conversation a couple of times this week… which, in my experience, mean that I should probably pay attention… and perhaps pass it on because someone else needs to hear it.
It is the idea that we all do things because of the promise that the thing we are doing is going to result in a desired outcome at the end.
I’ll let you take a moment and re-read that one. (No seriously, go ahead and re-read it.)
It sounds pretty obvious. When I want to have an outcome, I do things that I think will make that outcome happen. I put food in the oven when I want to heat it up and eat it. I
force, no rather, encourage my daughter strongly to practice piano because she loves to be able to play the songs once she has mastered them. I don’t follow the commands of God (sin) because I think that by sinning I will have some desired outcome. I follow God and believe that Jesus is the Christ because I think that the outcome that of doing so will be the best for me.
We see this in Adam and Eve’s story when the snake tells them that the outcome of eating the fruit will be good for them, and that they should not listen to the outcome that God told them would come to pass if they disobeyed His command to not eat it. “Ignore God’s promised outcome, trust mine…”
This pattern often becomes a reality in our own lives. We ignore and forget the promises of God and trust the promises of the world, our own sinful desires, and the lies from Satan and end up disobeying God.
Knowing why we sin helps us to know what we can do to fight against that sin. Trusting in and standing on the promises of God that tell us the end results of our actions allow us to follow Him, not out of compulsion, but because we know it will be the best for our lives.
I offer two sources that have said the same thing (but ore prettier).
First GCC’s Elder Statement of Faith:
11.2 We believe that the promises of God recorded in the Scriptures are suitable to save us from the deception of sin by showing us superior pleasures in the protection, provision, and presence of God. Therefore, hearing, reading, understanding, studying, pondering, memorizing, and savoring the promises of all that God will be for us in Christ are the primary means of the Holy Spirit to break the power of sin’s deceitful promises in our lives. (Jeremiah 15:16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3-4, Hebrews 11:24-26, Romans 10:17, Ephesians 3:4, Ephesians 5:17, 2 Timothy 2:7, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 1:2)
And second, the old Hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God”:
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.
How are you pursuing the promises of God in your life? If the answer is, “I am not,” may I suggest starting with 5 minutes a day and simply reading one chapter of the Bible ever day. (The Proverbs are a great place to start, there are 31 chapters and a maximum of 31 days in a month, just pick the chapter that corresponds with the day!)
What are you going to do?