You couldn’t always trust me. The emotions of a young girl were raw and changing. I didn’t always get my chores done when I said I would. I didn’t always “have the back of my friend” in elementary school like they thought I should. And I don’t always pray for the friend I say I will at the very moment I should. Why? Because humans can be fickle. And boy am I human.
So why do we make grandiose promises that we will do something, and then not always follow through? We want the other person to believe we are good. We want our friends and family to count on us. We want them to have the assurance that we are credible and can be counted on. In short, we want them to have expectations of us that are honourable.
According to the dictionary, a promise is “an express assurance on which expectation is based”. When I say I will do something, there is expectation of fulfillment. Naturally.
This morning as I read in Galatians and Paul’s letter to the church there, it resounded how much this Galatian church was trying to achieve the promises of God through works. I suppose they wanted God to believe they were honourable by their achievements and efforts.
Over and over Paul said such things like “After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Gal 3:3). Paul was frustrated that the church was so obviously set free yet so bound by human perception of what a promise really is. Or should I say, what a promise from GOD really is!
But stop. Don’t we all try to achieve perfection by our own human effort at some point? Don’t we all think that “if I just do this, then God will do this…” Guilty as charged. But when God laid out His promise of salvation, the Holy Spirit to guide us and the freedom of life only Christ can bring, that is a solid foundation for us to set our assurance on which expectation is to be based!
Paul goes on to say in 3: 18 “For if the inheritance could be received only by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God gave it to Abraham as a promise.”
Your inheritance in Christ is a PROMISE! God is a God of promise not law. I think He gets excited when He can hold out His hand to us and watch us take a hold of something He offers, knowing that it will only do us good. Knowing that we haven’t worked, earned or achieved that gift, but it is a complete promise based on God’s nature.
The thousands of promises He has given us in His Word are received through faith and we are to live our lives assured that what God said He can and wants to do, HE WILL DO. I must know in my very core that God’s character is always good, always rewards a seeking heart, and always fulfills His promise.
It may not always be in my nature to 100% accurately fulfill a promise, though I try. I am human therefore I will make mistakes. But God’s very character is to fulfill a promise. He wants you to expect it. He wants you to base your assurance on every single word He gave us in the Bible. Because I’m most certain that He really does delight in bringing it to fulfillment in each of our lives —- whatever that looks like!