God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill (Numbers 23:19)
When promises come slow or are delayed in their fulfilment, those who are the intended beneficiaries of such promises may sometimes shrink in their faith. What keeps holding us up in faith even in the face of what looks like obvious delay is the integrity of the one who has promised. We are more likely to hold on to the promise if we are able to bring ourselves to the point of believing that the one who has promised is worthy of our trust. So, hho much faith we have in the words of anyone is a measure of how much faith we have in that individual. When we stop believing and holding on to God’s word, we do so only because we have stopped believing in God.
God’s promises are eternal and timeless. They transcend generations and dispensations. They are not altered by times and seasons because the one who promised is not bound by any of these. God is not a man that He should lie. He is not a son of man that He should be unstable. This sums it all up. He doesn’t promise what He can’t or would not do. This month, God is drawing us into a higher realm of faith and believing. Never has there been any month in the course of the year that God did not give us a definite word of promise. Those were not just mere words. They were entirely prophetic; words meant to direct and guide our expectations and to shape our destinies. But how well we value and treasure His good promises will determine how well we hold on to them. We cannot claim to value His promises when we do not even as much remember them. This is the eleventh month of the year and it may pay to take the following mental test: Try take your mind back on an excursion into the past; to recall the themes of the past ten months and the promises that came with them. It probably would be a good way for you to assess how much you believed those promises. This is so because how many of them you still remember may very well reflect how many of them you believed. Perhaps you may have to go back to all of these promises just in case you no longer remember them, because they are timeless promises waiting to happen if they haven’t yet found fulfilment in your own life.
The certainty of God’s promises is unquestionable. God has bound himself with an oath, so that those who received His promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change his mind. God didn’t just promise, He did under an oath. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. This is the surest anchor for our faith – the knowing that God cannot lie (Hebrew 16:17-18). The emphasis this month is not just to archive God’s Word but to actively believe and expect them to come true for us. What is so much needed is not a library full of God’s word but a heart full of faith to give life to those words. We may have volumes of promises, but only those which we fiercely believe and eagerly anticipate works for us. Paul is clear that only those words mixed with faith profits the hearer (Hebrews 4:2). So then, faith is imperative for without it, it is impossible to gain God’s approval (Hebrews 11:6). Elizabeth understands the place of believing when she said to her much younger cousin, Mary, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45). In her earlier discourse with the Angel Gabriel, Mary herself had used these words of faith cast in marble, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Faith drives promises and what we expect to happen we hold on tightly to.
This is a wake up call to reactivate our faith even in matters of promises that may appear past and long gone. God wants us to dust up the book of promises and dare to believe again. For twenty five years, Abraham waited for the arrival of Isaac, the promised seed. Not even his occasional slipping into doubt as recorded in Genesis 15 or his seeking alternative in Hagar could change the promise made by God under oath. Sometimes, our faith may grow so weak that we almost lose the ability to believe, but then God brings us again to the path of faith as He did with Abraham. God’s promise of an heir was first made to Abraham in Genesis 12. In Chapter 15:3, Abraham was already showing signs of weariness arising from delay. ‘And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” …..‘Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.’ Clearly we see that Abraham was at this at the junction of faith and doubt. We see a similar scenario is Genesis 17: ‘Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him (Genesis 17:15-19). This is exactly what God does to us each and every time we slip into moments of doubts and unbelief. He lovingly, yet firmly brings us back to the path of faith and believing. And this is what He is doing for us this month. He is calling our attention to His faithfulness not to our unbelief. He is asking us to dust up those promises and rise up in faith to believe again. Like Abraham, we may have hidden somewhere in the crevices of our hearts, elements of doubts mixed with fear that seem to hold us back from manifesting His glory.
The knowing that God’s promises are unchangeable gives us great confidence even in the midst of our fears. The truth remains that God’s promise for us cannot be revoked even in our unbelief state. His promises are forever valid. One scripture that drives this home so well is Romans 11:29, and for the purpose of clarity, I will reproduce it here in two different translations. We will begin with the Contemporary English version, and it says; “God doesn’t take back the gifts he has given or disown the people he has chosen.” The next is the Good News Translation, and it reads; “For God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses.” So what happens when we fail to believe? The promise lies dormant waiting to be activated whenever our faith wakes up from its slumber.
So much time may have passed since God made you a promise. But today, there is still hope for as many who would activate those promises through faith. It all begins with being truly thirsty and desirous of the manifestation of the promise. It is a new month and God is desirous of reminding us of His unfailing faithfulness and to assure us that His promise of rest to us is still as valid today as it was when it was first made (Hebrews 4:9).