Today I want to talk a little about God’s promises, both in a general sense, and in a specific sense – that is, how they apply to you.
The Old Testament promises of the advent of the Messiah/Christ are well-known: the Daniel 7:13 prophecy and the Isaiah 7:14 verse, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel“; and Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace“, being good examples.
The promise of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2:28 – “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” and in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and … to the ends of the earth”
These promises happened. And once they had happened, nothing would ever be the same again. Once Jesus the Christ had come, it was historical fact – and nothing could undo it. Once the Spirit had been given at Pentecost, that was it. The Spirit had come, and nothing would ever be the same again. Once something which has been prophesied has actually happened, it becomes an historical fact – and it is now part of history.
I’m saying this to encourage you, because if God has spoken a promise to you, either from the Bible, through another believer, or even simply directly into your spirit, then it will happen. But it will happen in God’s time. In Daniel 8:26, it says, “The vision…that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” You see what I mean? God’s promise to you is true, and even though it hasn’t happened yet it is still true even though it’s in the future. For Daniel, the promise would not be fulfilled in anything like his lifetime. Some of it hasn’t happened even now. But for you (since it’s quite likely that your promise is not related to distant, end-time apocalyptic events, as Daniel’s was!), the promise will be fulfilled in your life – in God’s good timing. And in the way He wants to do it; all you need do is be patient!
But, of course, until the promise actually happens, it will appear as if nothing has changed. Because, of course, from our point of view nothing has changed – except that you have the promise. But as I keep saying, once the promise happens, nothing will ever be the same again.
The promise could come true for you in a split second, or it could take time to get to you. Nobody knows the time or the minute – but yet suddenly everything changes, and nothing will ever be the same again, once that promise happens. For example, some years ago I had my gallbladder out. Until that offending bit of kit had been removed, I would be prone to gallbladder attacks. But once the operation had been performed, nothing would ever be the same again – the bladder was gone and that was it. Fait accompli. And now that is an historical fact, and I never need to think about it hurting me ever again.
And in June last year, I received a totally unexpected healing. I’d was in the middle of processing some music tracks and all of a sudden, God started doing something in my spirit. I got Fiona to pray with me and I was in floods of tears, followed by the usual uncontrollable Holy Spirit giggles that usually follow when I’ve received a deep healing from God. And, although I can’t really tell you what the healing was about (because it’s too personal), I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am healed from that particular affliction – the fruit of it has been seen regularly in my life and my son even said, “What’s happened to Dad??” and took photos proving what had happened. Those of you who know me well will know what I’m talking about…but the thing is that I did not expect that to happen; it came completely out of the blue – but now nothing will ever be the same again in that area of my life. Once a healing – whether supernatural or medical – happens, nothing will ever be the same again, because it’s now an historical fact. It actually happened. And it’s like that with God’s promises; once fulfilled, they are real, but also because He has promised, somehow they’re already real because it’s God Who said it.
Now I’m not suggesting you simply read a random Bible verse and claim it as a promise; I believe that usually God has to speak something to you in order that you can own it for yourself. But there are exceptions, as we have seen in that example of my healing described above, and the thing is that the Bible is full of good promises of God that I believe all we have to do is simply to get hold of, in order for them to apply to us. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish through lack of knowledge“, and I believe it is vital to get hold of an important key to accessing God’s promises – the knowledge that we need in order to avoid missing out on what God has for us.
As you might already have guessed, that key is found in Jesus. The promises of God, especially those in the Old Testament, are often ‘conditional’, in that it looks as if we have to fulfil certain ‘criteria’ before we can access the benefits of the promises. For example, Exodus 15:26 says, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any … diseases … for I am the Lord, who heals you”. So the condition for this healing is that we obey everything God has commanded us. Everything! But whom do you know who can claim to obey the Law in all cases? Nobody! Nobody is that perfect! So, the promise appears inaccessible to us.
But it says in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea [yes], and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” [King James Version]. All God’s promises to us are Yes – in Jesus! Jesus has already done the perfect obeying of the Law, on our behalf. So all the promises of God in all of Scripture are YES in Him. This means that you can claim all the good things that God has for you, all the great promises of Scripture, because in Jesus ALL of God’s promises to you are ‘Yes’, and ‘Amen’!
Now isn’t that good news? All God’s promises to you are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’, His promises always come true, and once it’s happened, nothing will ever be the same again.