If you want to lose some weight, and you hear from friends about a nutritional supplement that aids in permanent weight loss, wouldn't you want to try it out? If you have trouble sleeping, and you hear from friends about a new kind of mattress that puts you out for the night, wouldn't you want to try it out? If you're usually ready to kill somebody by the time you get to work, and you hear from friends about a new recording artist whose latest CD brings on the calm, wouldn't you want to try it out?
And if these products work for you as well as they did for your friends, then you'll be spreading the word too. It's what we do when we find a product that helps solve a problem. Something that performs as advertised… what a concept!
God also performs as advertised. And He makes some pretty big claims:
- And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:4 NLT)
- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
- But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
- And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)
- Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (John 14:12 NKJV)
- And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 NKJV)
Just these few claims alone seem too good to be true. But it would take a book the size of the Bible to list all the claims God makes.
Why is it so easy for us to try out man‐made solutions to problems, when most of them don't perform as advertised? And why is it so difficult to try out God solutions to problems, when they always work? The simple answer is: We can figure out how to try man‐made solutions to see if they work. But we have such confusion in knowing how to implement God solutions that we don't even try.
At last Thursday night's class I asked if anyone had a testimony. Bobby was quick to speak up because after the Tuesday night class God had healed seven cracked vertebrae in his back. We didn't have medical verification yet for the miracle, but we did have pain verification. Bobby was able to bend over and move around without any pain whatsoever.
I was watching the class as Bobby was giving his testimony. A few of the men were totally engaged. But, sadly, many of the men were just looking down with a blank stare, as if to say, “Must be nice….”
Everyone in that room had some kind of an issue they were dealing with (Sherrel and I included). I was speaking to them as a friend telling friends: “We have found an amazing product that can fix any problem—addiction, anger, poverty… anything. This product healed Bobby, just a couple of days ago, from seven cracked vertebrae. And what it (He) did for Bobby, it (He) can do for you.”
If I was telling the group about a new plant that was hiring just about anybody—even ex‐felons with no high school diplomas—every ear would have been tuned to my voice and every hand would have been writing down the location. But God was a harder sell. The idea that God can fix “even me” seemed too good to be true.
The men in my class could certainly figure out how to get to the new plant and put in an application. But it's much more difficult to figure out how to take the power that healed Bobby's back and use it to heal addiction, anger, emotional turmoil, or whatever else might be tripping them up.
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God's ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.(2 Corinthians 1:17–22 NLT)
Every promise God has made to us is a resounding “Yes!” But we are so used to the half‐hearted “yes” of man that we can't see how His kind of “yes” is even possible.
To put the power of God's “yes” to work in our lives requires a kind of trust we are not used to having. Because we have all been hurt by another human being's failure to keep his or her “yes” we have become accustomed to holding back a part of ourselves—just in case.
While this approach may have kept us from being destroyed by other people, it does not work with God. It does not work at all.
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Every “yes” of God requires a nothing‐held‐back kind of faith for the promise to work.
- He can't take your cares, if you hold a few back (see 1 Peter 5:6–7).
- He can't give you His peace, if you hold back some of your thoughts for other things (see Isaiah 26:3).
- He can't give you rest, if you want to hang on to your own yoke (see Matthew 11:28–30).
- He can't prosper you and give you health, if you put your soul off limits (see 3 John 1:2).
- He can't teach you how to profit and lead you in the right direction, if you hang on to your own ideas (see Isaiah 48:17).
With God, it's all in or not at all. I taught my children that a good exit strategy, in making agreements with individuals and organizations in the work environment, was an important part of any good business plan, because people cannot always keep their word. But not so with God… He always keeps His “Yes!”
There is no need for an exit strategy with God because He is never the variable. We can go after every “Yes” He has for us with the full confidence that His “Yes” will never change.
Have a good weekend,