Being Claimed by God’s Promises

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Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves…

from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Cor. 7:1

     Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Pet. 1:4

Patient Father, the “further up and further in” I go into the gospel, the more you challenge and change the way I think about everything. Thank you and keep on doing so.

For example, you’ve completely reordered the way I think about your promises, so generously and copiously given in the Bible. Early in my walk with Jesus, it felt like I was being taught to be a computer programmer, and you were the computer and your promises were the data.

Through some pretty man-centered teaching, I got the notion you were passively waiting for me to give you permission to act. What a burden to bear. Your hands were bound by the limitations of my faith and confession. All I had to do was “claim the promises,” without negative thoughts or a wavering will, and you would spring to action.

Thankfully, I now understand that your promises are primarily about changing us, not us programming you. Hallelujah, we don’t claim your promises, they claim us. Thankfully, you don’t need our permission to do anything.

As the Scriptures of the day clearly state, through your promises, we increasingly share in your divine nature—that is, we become more and more like Jesus. By your promises, we can “escape the corruption in the world,” not seek to accumulate more of its treasures.

Father, every one of your promises direct our gaze away from ourselves to Jesus, who is the ultimate “Yes!” to every promise you’ve made (2 Cor. 1:20). If we’re going to “name and claim” anything, may it be to have greater passion for your glory, surrender to your sovereignty, and love for our neighbors.

May our “standing on your promises” lead to living under your authority and serving in our communities, until Jesus returns. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ triumphant and transforming name.

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