we have all heard many of GOD’s promises.
And yet, we sometimes doubt them, don’t we?
Or we murmur against the conditions they come with… as for instance that we have to carry our cross daily.
Nobody likes hardships.
It is what GOD expects and demands of us though.
To go through them, to keep trusting, loving and worshipping HIM whilst going through trials and tribulations.
HE has said it and what HE has said, what HE has left us with, HIS word, is a complete book, a work of art if you will, a full movie, an entire story!
We cannot do cherry-picking, are not supposed to only believe and apply the positive scriptures, we can’t just look at one piece of the puzzle.
Sometimes, we need to “gird our loins” as the bible calls it and go through what GOD wants us to go through.
And if we complain or doubt HIM or murmur, it won’t go well with us.
That’s as true as the promise that HE is faithful, the same GOD who is faithful to hear us, to forgive us, to deliver us and to set us free from bondage – just as HE has done for so long with all Christians, the “Israelites” all over the world, HIS people – from the ancient times of Moses until this day…
If we don’t obey or if we decide to murmur against HIM, if we forget HIS blessings and HIS gifts and become ungrateful, impatient and too demanding, HE will punish us and perhaps even let us perish.
And while HE can be angry and bestow punishments over us, HE will also always leave a door open for us to repent and return back to HIM, for HE is also a merciful GOD.
I find that these principles are very well demonstrated in the story of the Brass Serpent in Numbers 21
Numbers 21: 5 – 9
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
So they had been ungrateful and had acted as if they had forgotten all the miracles GOD had done for them, how HE had brought them out – and they were even doubting HIS promise to take them to a land which they would be given as their new home- it took too long, they didn’t appreciate the circumstances and then, HE got angry!
I find myself murmuring sometimes – or very tempted to do so, usually, I can stop myself when I go there, because I fear the consequences!
But I do get weary sometimes, because in my opinion, it is taking too long, sometimes I even find myself doubting if GOD will truly, really, seriously fulfill HIS promise to me.
I try to justify this by claiming that I may have mistaken something I really want for a promise and that I had made an error… The problem I personally have sometimes with a promise of HIS is that I am not entirely sure if HE really gave the promise to me individually, since HE is not speaking to me in the same way HE spoke to Moses, face to face…
In my personal experience it is not always 100% clear if something has actually been promised to ME by HIM or not…
I don’t know if you can relate to this?
I will give you an example:
if you have been following my blog, you will know that I got a job in a field where I believe GOD has called me to work in, something which I believe is my ministry, something I had been praying for for many years.
I am talking about the job offer I received a few months ago for the position of a Through The Gates worker in prison, helping inmates to change their lives and make a fresh start when they are released – which is the exact thing I believe GOD wants me to do, all my past experiences, yes, even my own horrible ones, plus my skills, talents and educational background are a perfect match for this job.
And as you may know (if not, you can read the old post about what happened here), the joy only lasted a few weeks, because my manager (or the devil in her!) hated me (or JESUS in me!)… it even lasted much shorter than this, because after a few days in the job, it was clear that this wasn’t going to last…
When it was over, I wasn’t really doubting GOD or murmuring… it wasn’t pleasant at all though and I was really hurt… and I had moments when I was wondering if I had understood GOD correctly and if this was really what HE wanted me to do and if HE had promised this to me truly…
To tell you the rest of the story, it was quite hard to get invitations for interviews this time, the response was much worse than the times I had applied before – as you can imagine, many potential employers may have thought something is wrong with me when they saw that I had only kept my last job for not even 2 months…
But I kept believing GOD that this was what HE wanted me to do, since I felt so much peace during this time and even though I didn’t have a job, I was calm and knew I would have one soon…
I even used the time to do other things HE had asked me to do…
And not long after I had started to send out applications, I received an invite for an interview for a very similar job inside another prison with a different employer.
I was very glad and I told MY FATHER that this is the job I want and that I want to do this work for HIM and to HIS glory and that I believe this is what HE wants me to do.
The interview was a success and they offered me the job!
I even went there to spend sort of “trial day” and meet the team and get a first impression of the prison and this, too, went very well.
And I thought I still had prison clearance from my last job, it is usually granted for 5 years.
When I re-registered, I found out that my previous manager had cancelled my prison clearance – as you can see, she really and truly wanted to destroy my career in the sector…
I prayed and sought HIS face and this is what HE told me:
Revelation 3: 8 – 9
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
The funny thing is that my ex manager was even a “fake Christian”!, aka a Jew which is truly of the Synagogue of Satan – it is as if this scripture is a perfect match for my exact case!
I was amazed.
I had never seen this scripture before, even though I had done some extensive research on warfare scripture.
So this is what MY FATHER says.
I believe HIM.
And it WILL happen.
Now I know that it is a personal promise from MY FATHER to me!
Since I have learned to listen to HIS voice, there was hardly anything I had heard from HIM before, which was more clearly FOR ME PERSONALLY than this.
Now I know for sure that my clearance will go through and I will work in this job and there is nothing anyone can do against it, because NO MAN can shut this door, GOD has opened it!
I WILL work in this field.
This is exactly what first came to mind when they told me they didn’t want to continue working with me, when I still sat in this meeting room with them… at least we agreed to end the contract mutually in exchange for me not appealing and for them to pay me for a bit longer than my notice period … and they will be asked about this in the new clearance process and also when my new employer is taking up a reference from them – and you never know what they are going to say, how they are going to put this – unless you know GOD!, and then you know that there is nothing they can possibly say or do to prevent the outcome HE has decided on.
And since HE is in control, and since HE decided that I will work in this field, I WILL.
What I understood from this is that we are not supposed to ever doubt HIM or murmur or even allow the thought that this may not come to pass into our minds.
Because what we do when we wonder if it is true or not, we don’t only doubt HIM, but we actually accuse HIM of lying!
And this is just not possible!
GOD cannot lie!
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
And when I do my best to understand what HE asks from us, from HIS people, from HIS children, I can understand HIS anger when we doubt or murmur.
I can even understand better now that when we are being uncertain (or GOD may call it when we are lacking faith!), like I was for a while in that situation, it is also very displeasing to HIM and I had to apologize to MY FATHER.
Because as far as I understand HIM and what HE wants for us now, after this reflection and revelation is that ALL HIS promises are for us and when we find a specific one and believe it is for us and understand it as a personal promise, then, we must stand on it and we can prayerfully inquire about every single one of HIS promises and once we hear a “yes!” from HIM, we can claim them, ALL of them…
IF we have faith and doubt not.
Doubting HIM includes doubting that any HIS promises are for us personally – at least this is what I came to see.
And we may lose our outcome, our promise, our blessing – just like the Israelites lost HIS favor and were bitten by the snakes HE had sent upon them.
HE is able!
HE wants to deliver us!
HE WILL give us what HE has promised!
YES, ALL of it to every single one of us!
There are promises for the Israelites, and these are for all of us.
And then there are promises for individuals and it takes prayer and personal confirmation that GOD is giving this specific thing to us personally, as HE has in the bible to a specific person – once we have heard that this is for us, we MUST believe it!
BUT if we doubt or murmur, we may lose it.
And what I also find, the good thing about it, the learning – because from my experience OUR FATHER, like a good and loving father, will never let us go through things without giving us the opportunity to learn from it – HE will always give us a way back as well.
Usually this has to do with repentance and with surrender and with trusting in HIM and giving up all control…
So what I was given by THE HOLY SPIRIT when I was pondering on promises and on outcomes and on results of what I had prayed for, an image dropped in my mind… an image of the cross, a replacement for the serpent of brass on the pole… and sometimes, when my troubles seem to return, when what I thought MY FATHER had promised to deliver me from seems to be back or when something HE promised to me is delayed… what I do is, I look up in my mind’s eye, I look not unto the serpent of brass, but I look up unto the CROSS…
I look up and I see MY SAVIOR.
See HIM hanging there as a token, as a metaphor for ALL the promises, for all of GOD’s word, for the entire picture… and it works!
Like a soothing balm, like a remedy – simple and yet priceless.
As soon as I remember to look up to the cross, I have peace… and what is plaguing me has to flee… when I behold the cross, I will LIVE.
Dear friends, I invite you to try this! When you get weary, when you wonder how much longer you will have to wait for THE LORD, for your promise to be fulfilled, for your miracle to come through… look up to the cross!
And live… experience HIS love, HIS peace and the fullness of a life with HIM.
Looking up and seeing the image of the cross will help you, dear friends, and I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried it and what happened…?
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you. And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.