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Promises Or Perjury

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
as a workman who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

Discussing theological interpretations is not one of my strong suites, but I’ll share my thoughts with you. As I very often say, “My box for God is way too small!” That statement is to suggest that your interpretation of a scripture may be different — but not wrong — or my interpretation may differ from yours — but that doesn’t make it wrong.

You wrote questioning the “credibility” of the words, A gentle answer turns away wrath (Pro. 15:1) in our culture today. I certainly understand your thinking. The gentle answer is less effective today than it was five years ago (and is on the fast downhill slopes) but are you going to stop using it? No. It is a precept given to us from God.

Let your yes be yes, and your no, no (Js. 5:12) is so “old fashioned” and certainly not PC — integrity is a lost art — adultery is fashionable — immorality socially acceptable — ad infinitum. I wish you could have been around years ago — integrity was a part of a man’s character and his word was unquestioned and a gentle answer was magic and the marriage bed was held in honor by most — there was always that one who was “the talk of the town” — whispered about at the filling station and at the Tuesday afternoon bridge club. But they really were the good old days!

When a promise deals with man and his free will, there’s always the chance that it won’t work the way God intended for it to work. Christ came that all men might be saved — but they aren’t. He is not willing that any should perish — but they do. He gave His life for the world — and much of the world rejects Him. But I cling to the hope those verses offer. I hold tenaciously to the words of Scripture as a promise of hope from God, penned by one of his chosen penmen. Now, you could immediately say, “You’ve agreed with me — you have just said it is merely a hope.” For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we [must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently] (Rom. 8:24 NAS, 25 TLB).

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it (Pro 22:6). To hold to the position that says, “Well, His promises may not work this time — generally they do, but not always.” This takes the strength and the security from the promise and to diminish the strength of that promise would cause deep concern. To accept 22:6 as a promise gives a mother and dad hope. Because it “did not work” for them and their son/daughter dies a humiliating death after a life of defeat and debauchery does not mean that it’s a nebulous promise — it means that the child in question bowed his neck and refused to submit to the wooing of the Holy Spirit.

If the promise does not “come through” it is not because the promise was faulty. God is omniscient. He knows what is best for each of us. His withholding may seem like a lack of understanding to us but Who has understood the Spirit of the Lord, or instructed Him as His counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way? Who was it that taught Him knowledge or showed Him the path of understanding (Is. 40:13-14)? “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My way,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 8-9). We trust in an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God who loves us unconditionally. Man’s reaction to the promise does not negate the promise.

So, I hold fast to those promises with confidence — without understanding perhaps — but with trust.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.