Monday, August 19, 2013

Promises, promises

“Lord, where is your unfailing love? You promised it to David with a faithful pledge.” (Psalms 89:49)

“They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”” (2 Peter 3:4)

When I first started following Christ, I read the stories about Dawson Trotman (founder of The Navigators) going to the hills of California early in the morning to pray and seek the Lord for his city, his nation, and the nations. He and his small group of prayer partners began to "claim promises". I believe that my life and ministry flow from those promises that God kept to Daws through the decades. Looking for promises from God became a part of my times in the word and fueled my own prayer life and it has to this day. My Bible and more importantly, my life is marked with those promises.

Yet there are many promises that I have not seen fulfilled. What does this mean? Did I really hear from God? Did the promises fail? I especially had doubts about promises God gave in leading us to move to Latvia  (one such promise is in the picture below). When we were forced to leave Latvia, I had very little evidence that these promises were being fulfilled. As the years went by, I lost contact with many of the people there. Then one day, I listened to a message from Mike Treneer (International President of The Navigators) in which he stated that God gives promises not because he will do something right away, but because he will do something after a period of time. He is after our heart. It was then that I realized that I don't claim promises, promises claim me.

God's promises do not fail, but human understanding of God’s timescale often does.The promises never fail, though seeming delay may cause us to l doubt. "“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

After Mike's message, I returned to my room, telling God (and Iris) that I was going to continue to believe God for Latvia whether I ever heard something from there or not. That very evening, I turned on my laptop to find a Facebook friend request from someone in Latvia. That has led to more requests and more connections. Today, the Navs again have a full time missionary in that country and several from our time there have reproduced to the third generation. God didn't have to show me this, but He did. God's promises are meant to get me through the tough times, when hope seems lost. At that time, I must grip His promises and let them grip me.

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