This is the third of three application posts following Sunday's Sermon from our Laugh Series.
WE MUST BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD - PART ONE.
WE MUST APPLY THE PROMISES OF GOD - PART TWO.
WE MUST PRAY THE PROMISES OF GOD - PART THREE.
There is one thing about the relationship between God and people that has always made me queasy: Presumption of what God can, ought to, or might be able or willing to do...for us. The sickness of “I’m not sure that’s altogether right and so I’m going to puke now” is an appropriate reaction against what Tozer has taught us, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” And too many people treat God more like Santa, or Pre-modern Oprah, than as God Himself.
But the promises of God, I even need to remind myself, aren’t presumption, they’re promises. God has already said that He would, will, and even wants to do. The most important application of the promises of God, then, is to ‘remind’ God of what He has promised.
We must pray the promises of God:
“A Christian that believes the promises can take the promise in his hand and present it unto God, and say, ‘Fulfill this promise, since thou wilt not deny thy name, but art faithful.’”
Puritan Edward Leigh wrote that praying the promises of God means two things: “using them as the ground for what we ask and as the rule for how we ask it.”
“The ground for what we ask” means praying for what God has promised. It’s the ‘what’ of the promise. Consider one of Pastor Paul’s best applications of praying, Daniel’s use of God’s promise in Daniel 9.2-3: in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Lord God. Daniel basically says, “Hey God, You said that this would happen at this time...it’s that time, so I’m going to ask you for it.”
“The rule for how we ask it” means “praying for things as they are promised.” Leigh says, “Things absolutely promised should be absolutely asked for... But when the Lord has placed conditions and expectations on a promise, our prayers must be conditional.”
Look back to those ‘stones’ in your pocket right now. Do you see the grounds and the rules for those promises? “Jesus, you said (Matthew 5.3-12) the poor in spirit, the mourning, the meek, etc. would be blessed. So would you bless us.” “Jesus you said (Luke 24.49) that you would send us the Holy Spirit who would not only comfort us but help us, and not only comfort and help us but bring some of the people we talk to to faith in You. Would you use my words so bring people to faith today?”
Isn’t that something! What a pleasing way to pray!
Enjoying God’s promises means believing them, applying them, and praying them. I would be very interested to hear how you experience God and His promises as you work through these three points of application from the first sermon in our Laugh series. How are you LOLing after God reminds you that He keeps His word?