Faith to Claim Promises
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Greetings and the Lord bless you and make you a blessing.
Now to a few verses of Scripture, and this is in the book of Colossians, the fourth chapter, and Paul is speaking. He is a prisoner here, and in the jail with him is a man by the name of Epaphras, who is a pastor, and Paul is writing to the church of which Epaphras had been pastor.
Paul says, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayer, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12) Now let’s remember that the writer of these words was a prisoner, and yet he’s thinking about this church.
Paul turns to him and asks him if he’d like to send some word to the church at Colosse, and Epaphras of course sends his love. Then Paul continues telling them that he agonizes in love over the church, and that he prays for them. He is so burdened for them in prayer.
What was the main thing that this pastor prayed for that church?—That they “might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” You know, to me that is one of the most wonderful passages in the Bible on the will of God.
God’s will is what God desires, what He plans, His choice for us. Our will is what we prefer, what we choose and plan.
When our will is in perfect harmony with God’s will, there is perfect peace and heavenly rest. But when our wills clash with God’s will, there’s disharmony and constant unrest and dissatisfaction. This subject is vital, because all of God’s dealings with us are determined by the attitude of our will towards God’s will.
Someone said to me not long ago, “When you want something from God, Mrs. Berg, do you command Him to give it?” I was shocked, but before I could answer, this man said, “You know, the scripture says (God speaking), Command thou me.” (Isaiah 45:11)
“No,” I answered, “I don’t command God. I feel too unworthy to have such an attitude in calling on the almighty God, the Creator of the universe, a high and holy God, though He has stooped to save, bless, and answer prayer for me. I want above all things to have God’s will done, and only He knows what is best for us.”
Then this party contended and said, “But you wrote a book in which you said by different steps and chapters that we must take a stand of faith for what we want and be very definite about it, importunate, reach out with appropriating faith and expect the answer, holding on until the answer comes.”
That’s all true, but there are some passages he must have skipped when he read that book, for the whole chapter in closing is just about yielding to God’s will, and a number of times in that book there’s repeated this passage from 1 John 5:14 and 15, “And this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to is will, he heareth us.”
“According to His will.” When you go to God for the desire of your heart, the attitude of your heart must be, “Thy will, Lord, Thy will be done above all else.” If your heart’s right with God and you’re seeking above all else to be pleasing to Him, this is the attitude of your entire life.
He knows the attitude of your heart. But you’ve got a right to claim His promises, to accept them at their face value, because they are His will for you or they wouldn’t be in the Word of God. He says, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)
He also says, “Delight thyself in the Lord, and he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Now what are you going to do about such promises as this? They’re right there in the Word of God, and He says He will give thee the desire of thy heart.
Why are all those promises there? A child of God that is truly surrendered to God and knows His Word will rightly divide the word of truth, and you’ll know God’s will. Here’s another verse for you in Romans 12:1.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Remember, a delayed answer to prayer doesn’t prove that it is not God’s will for you. I’ve been praying five years for something, and I’m assured by His Spirit it’s His will, and I’ll hold on for the answer that is for His glory, until He tells me Himself that it’s not to be. I’ll hold on until God tells me Himself, “No.” But I believe God’s going to answer that prayer.
You know, there is a weak sort of faith that always wants to leave God a little loophole, and themselves an excuse for their weakness of faith. They always repeat over and over, “Well, it may not be God’s will,” or, “I don’t like to ask for it. I’m afraid to ask for it because it might not be God’s will.”
But did you ever stop to realize how many times He tells you to ask? To ask and receive, to call upon Him and He’ll answer? What are you going to do with all those promises? What are you going to do about them? God’s Word says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the heavenly nature.” (2 Peter 1:4)
No, I wouldn’t command God, or demand, but claim the promise for my heart’s desire, put it in His hands by importunate, wholehearted petition, and leave it with Him, knowing He’ll do that which is best for me.
God grant you the will of God in your life. Not just submission to His will, but a step higher: acquiescence and delighting in the will of God. As Jesus said, “I delight to do Thy will, O God.” (Psalm 40:8)
Ill that He blesses is my good,
And unblessed good is ill;
And all is right that seems most wrong,
If it be His sweet will.
From “I Worship Thee, Sweet Will of God,” by Frederick W. Faber (1814–1863)
There’s no greater comfort than to remember that nothing can ever happen to you when you’re living in the center of God’s will, without God’s permission.
God bless you. Keep on praying and looking to Him. He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.