What do Godâ€™s promises mean to you? Or rather, what effects on your spiritual life, your prayer life, and your everyday workaday life do Godâ€™s promises have? Maybe youâ€™ve never thought about that or it has been some time since you last meditated on Godâ€™s promises. Many a book has been written on Godâ€™s promises, but our Lord Jesus Christ literally wrote the book on them:
â€œSo I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!â€ (Luke 11:9-13)
Now this is one of the favorite Bible passages of the Joy Boys encouraging you to seek your best life now or the peddlers of Christ telling you that all you have to do is name it and claim it (after you send a love offering to a particular address). And boy do they love to make a point of it being Jee-Suhs teaching this. Of course theyâ€™ve taken it all out of context and Jesusâ€™ brother James expose these charlatans for who they really are…
â€œYou ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.â€ (James 4:3)
Another favorite Bible passage of false teachers is from the Gospel of John:
â€œIf you ask anything in My name, I will do it.â€ (John 14:14)
The problem here is weâ€™ve made a refrigerator magnet out of this verse by taking it completely out of context. Try this:
â€œMost assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.â€ (John 14:12-14)
If Godâ€™s promises are going to have a holy effect in your life, then it is important that we understand them in context. My thoughts turned to this topic from this morningâ€™s Oswald Chambers devotional from â€œMy Utmost For His Highest.â€ Chambers writes:
â€œIf you ask for things from life instead of from God, you ask amiss, i.e., you ask from a desire for self-realization. The more you realize yourself the less will you seek God. â€œSeek, and you will find.â€ Get to work, narrow your interests to this one. Have you ever sought God with you whole heart, or have you only given a languid cry to Him after a twinge of moral neuralgia? Seek, concentrate, and you will find.â€
Solomon explains in the simplest terms how we are to find God. By encouraging us to find wisdom, we learn how to find God:
â€œI love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.â€ (Proverbs 8:17)
If you approach your quiet time reading your Bible and this devotional as something to accomplish or I write this devotional out of a sense of responsibility to you, then weâ€™ve both missed the point. We are seeking self-realization and not God. Upon what do we dwell in these all important moments in the morning? Is it truly Godâ€™s desire for us, or is it our desire for us?
Time we stop looking around and start looking up…
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers