Do you know God has placed many promises for us throughout his Word? Do you know the Holy Spirit will draw you deeper? Do you know why he does that? There is so much to the Bible because there is so much to God. But no matter how much you study, you will never know all there is to know about the Bible or God. There are layers and depths to be revealed just as there are layers and depths to our lives.
My Prayer For You
That isn’t meant to discourage you. I actually want to encourage you to dig deeper than just reading a few verses every now and then. I want you to train yourself to stop running to a person to tell you what the Bible says. If you are a child of God, you have the ability to do this for yourself because you have the Holy Spirit in you and he WANTS to teach YOU what his Word says.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t use the Bible to encourage and teach each other. We should. I’m talking about when we turn to others so often for answers (instead of turning to God) that before we know it we have developed this as our go-to habit.
Jesus wants his gospel and our relationship with him to be personal. That means you have to personally seek him for your answers — and promises. How? By teaching yourself to compare verses you read in the Bible so that you can see for yourself how the Bible explains the Bible. Not turning to or using people we assume to be anointed or really smart to explain God’s Word but using God’s Word to explain God’s Word.
In The Beginning
In the beginning, you might need others to help you learn to seek out God’s answers in his Bible. There is no shame in that. There are many “how to study the Bible” type of posts out there. Or you can find physical books, ebooks, or a group in your church. The best option could be a trusted friend or mentor can show you how to study scriptures for answers. The options are limitless.
As you learn to use the Bible to explain other passages in the Bible, you will develop much-needed head knowledge. It will help you to know where things are to be found in scripture, the history around events that happened, etc. Head knowledge allows you to see things that are concrete. For example, your head knowledge might be that the ten commandments are real and as relevant today as they were when God gave them to Moses, which can be found in the Old Testament book of Exodus.
Unfortunately, some people stop at head knowledge. They might still question:
What are the ten commandments?
How do they apply to my life today?
Does God really consider breaking a commandment sin?
What is a sin?
I’ve heard “a sin to me is not necessarily a sin to someone else”. Is this true?
Does God really think all sin is equal?
But they shrug their shoulders and move on. Or they seek answers by looking around social media, listening to a song, or grabbing the latest bestseller.
They don’t turn to the Holy Spirit and allow him to grow that knowledge into heart (or spirit) knowledge. Heart/spirit knowledge must be taken in faith. What is faith? According to Romans 11:1, it is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. So head knowledge and heart knowledge are NOT the same. We all know people who can recite verse after verse but who have chosen not to walk with the Lord.
We have to get beyond seeking only head knowledge or going to someone else for our answers. That is why God gave us his Bible. Did he say seek me and you will find me if you have a theology degree or attend Church twice a week or listen to this preacher and not that preacher? No! God makes it so simple for us. He said for you to seek HIM and follow HIM and YOU WILL find HIM.
Isn’t that beautiful? It is a personal promise from God to each one of us. God’s promises have nothing to do with head knowledge and absolutely everything to do with heart/spirit knowledge (which is FAITH!).
God’s promises are throughout the Bible. I highly encourage you to seek them for yourself. I could tell you the Bible says this, this, and this (head knowledge) but you need to seek him yourself. The Bible doesn’t say let others seek him for you then you will know about him. God wants you to know him the way he knows you. And when you genuinely seek him, he will begin to reveal to you his promises.
Not to be lame but do you realize what a promise is? It is a declaration that a particular thing will happen. The promises you search out like treasure are God’s declaration to you that he WILL do what he says. God isn’t one to say things he doesn’t mean. He even warns us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. He doesn’t want us to make rash promises. God will hold you to what you say.
Think on that a minute. If God wants us to be so careful in what we say we will do, how much more careful is he? We screw up and make lots of mistakes. He never does.
When God declares “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved”, he is making a promise that it will happen every. single. time. No exceptions. Our God is an awesome God! God cannot lie (head knowledge) so we know if he says it, it is true (faith or heart/spirit knowledge). When you are reading your Bible and come across one of God’s promises (and there are many!), you can know that God is speaking that promise to YOU.
If you are still unsure of what I mean, think about this: I can tell you a thousand times a day that God has a purpose and a plan for your life. You can read it in Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 58:11 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. You can read books about your purpose and his plan for you. You can take quizzes to find it. You can tell others God has a purpose and a plan for their life.
But until you allow that truth to go down deep and flood your spirit, you won’t really believe it to be true about you. You will think it applies to everyone BUT you. You will think that promise obviously means something different than what you’re being told or the promise was for yesterday and not today. You will think others are simply wrong.
But when you turn to God and allow his promise to go down deep into your soul, you will know that you know that you know that God has a purpose and a plan just for YOU. It won’t matter what your eyes see or your ears hear. Nothing and nobody will be able to shake that truth from you. Because you know….because you believe.
How Do You Stand On God’s Promises?
Everything should start with talking it over with Jesus. Confess that you haven’t really been believing him in this area. Ask him to soften your heart, renew your mind and strengthen your faith. Thank him and praise him.
2. Get in the Bible.
Start reading. As you come across one of God’s promises, make note of it somehow. If the promise really seems to stick in your spirit, write it down, underline it, say it. When you make note of this particular verse, study it. What does it mean? Who is it for (everyone or was it a verse spoken to someone for a particular time or is it a verse God is laying heavy on your heart for you to stand on?) What was happening (the history) when God spoke that verse in the Bible? Is the verse for now or for a future time (the lion laying down with the lamb in peace is a promise that is not for now but for a time that only God the Father knows).
But wait, you’re not done yet. Stay in the Bible and search out other verses that support your promise (like my example above of God having a purpose and a plan for your life). Use a concordance and see what God has to say about it all throughout his Word.
3. Memorize “Your” Scripture Promise.
This is an important step too. When the devil comes after you (and he will), you need to have this scripture down deep in your heart so that it will overflow into your mouth allowing you to speak what the Word says. Speaking God’s Word is a very, very powerful weapon. How did Jesus defeat Satan on the mount? With scripture. He didn’t argue, run to the disciples for prayer and laying on of hands, or even head to the synagog.
When Satan hits you with wicked, destructive thoughts, you might not be in a place that you can whip out your Bible and read your promise over the problem. What if you are at work, swimming in the middle of a lake, driving your car…you get the picture. Satan doesn’t care where you are or what you are doing when he attacks. If he can distract you and twist God’s words, he won’t hesitate. God says Satan roams around like a hungry lion to see whom he may devour. Proverbs says a lion won’t turn aside for anything (Proverbs 30:30). You need your armor on and your arsenal full with God’s Word.
Do you need to know the promise word-for-word and site the book, chapter, and verse? Nope. Knowing where to find a verse is for your knowledge (so you can find it again) and for when you share the verse with someone else so they can find it. It’s not like Satan or his minions will be grabbing a Bible to look it up. They already know what it says. They use to serve God in heaven before they fell. They KNOW God and his Word to be true (James 2:19, Matthew 8:29). So don’t get caught up in the “I can quote more than you can” game. I’m pretty sure Satan can quote more than any of us and it isn’t helping him (he has head knowledge without faith). So let others focus on how much they can quote. You just believe.
4. Determine In Your Heart To Believe.
You’ve heard me say it before. You have a choice. You won’t believe until you determine to do so. It seems so much easier not to believe God over the world but it’s like eating half a dozen donuts. They might look good, taste great, and you might really enjoy every bite. But by the time you get to the 6th donut you are feeling ill, regretting what you’ve done, and wondering what you were thinking. You can’t undo what you’ve just done and you will have consequences because of it. Just because it might seem easy and without consequence to follow the world’s ways doesn’t mean it really is. You have to make a choice.
If you struggle with your belief, go to God in prayer and get deeper into the Bible. God will show you a way that is right, good, and true. He won’t trick you or deceive you to believe. Make the choice and don’t worry about what is to the left or the right of you.
5. Make It Personal.
Turn your promise into a prayer. It doesn’t have to be flowery or long. It doesn’t have to be full of fancy words like thee and ye. Be real and honest. Below I am using Isaiah 41:10 as an example of a promise turned into a prayer:
“God, I thank you and praise your holy name. Thank you that I don’t have to ever let fear rule my life again. Thank you for always being with me. Lord, when things happen to me, help me to have your discernment to understand what is going on so that I am not dismayed or deceived. Lord, YOU are my God. You give me strength in times of trouble. You never fail me, Father. You always help me when I cry out to you. I praise you for holding me up with your right hand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
6. Do It By Faith.
When you find the promise God is speaking to you, act on it. Do it by faith. For example, God says he will never leave you nor forsake you…so act like it. Don’t cower in times of trouble. Stand up mighty and strong knowing that God has your back, he has not left you to fend for yourself, and he will never throw you under the bus to get a break from Satans constant accusations.
What Can Stop You From Applying God’s Promises To Your Life?
There are only two things that will ever stop you from finding, accepting, and applying God’s promises to your life.
You have free will and can be your own worst enemy when you aren’t sure what you believe or why. If you won’t get into God’s Word for yourself and find his promises, you will lean to the world for understanding. Your flesh will always fight you on spiritual matters. God’s ways don’t make sense to the world (non-Christians) but that’s okay. We are to be in this world but not of this world. You have to reach a point that you choose to believe God because he is God. Period.
2. The Devil, our enemy.
He knows how real God’s truths are. He knows how powerful and all-knowing God is. But if he can get you to believe otherwise, he has won that battle. He will whisper lies in your ears that will sound legit. They will sound right. They will make sense. But none of those things make them God’s truths. When you catch onto the Devil’s ways and rebuke him in Jesus’ name, he will go away but he will also send others (even other Christians) to speak his lies to you. It might not happen immediately but it will happen. The person stirring up trouble may not even have a clue that they are being a vehicle for Satans hate.
You can choose to believe the father of all lies or you can stand on God’s promises and believe in God’s truth.
Psalm 119 (God’s Truth)
This post was brought about as I read Psalm 119. It is long but oh, so good! This Psalm is full of God’s promises and how applying them to your life will bless you. I think my favorite verse is 73, “You made me, you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” 🙂
God’s promises are for every one of his children. Take the next step and go beyond simply having head knowledge. Dig deeper into Scripture and allow Holy Spirit to speak his promises to your heart!