At the foot of Mt Sinai the Israelites boasted
We will do everything the Lord commands. (Ex 19:8)
Perhaps you have said something similar, but this is a fatal boast, and a recipe for disaster. Make an impossible promise and you will invariably break it.
What the Lord demands you cannot provide.
This is the lesson of the old covenant, yet many have not learned it. They’re stuck on the vicious cycle of making and breaking promises, repenting, then promising to do better next time. Oh, how we need a revelation of the new covenant that is based on his unbreakable promises to us.
I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. (Jer 32:40)
The difference between the old and the new is we will versus he will.
In the old, we broke our word again and again, but in the new he keeps his word forever. It’s a huge difference. We no longer wobble on the shaky ground of our resolve, but stand secure on the Rock of Ages.
List all the promises you have ever made to the Lord and you will find it is a worthless list. Every promise is either a launch pad to disappointment (“Sorry I let you down”) or pride (“Look how good I am”). Your carnal promises ain’t worth spit.
How much better to list the promises the Lord has made to us. Every promise is pure gold. Whether you stand or fall, his promises remain as reliable as ever.
So let us quit making promises we can’t keep and trust in the eternal promises of our Father. Let us give up the futile practice of saying “I will” and put our faith in the “I wills” of God. Here they are:
I will make an everlasting covenant with them (Jer 32:40)
I will never stop doing good to you (Jer 32:40)
I will bless you (Gen 22:17)
I will be your God, and you will be my people (Jer 31:33, Eze 36:28, Heb 8:10)
I will have compassion on you (Is 54:8)
I will forgive your wickedness (Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12)
I will remember your sins no more (Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12)
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean (Eze 36:25)
I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols (Eze 36:25)
I will give you a new heart (Eze 36:26)
I will put my Spirit in you (Eze 36:25)
I will save you (Eze 36:29)
I will not forget you (Is 49:15)
I will strengthen you (Isa 41:10)
I will help you (Isa 41:10)
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isa 41:10)
I will be with you when you pass through the waters and flame (Is 43:2)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go (Psa 32:8)
I will counsel you with my eye upon you (Psa 32:8)
I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field (Eze 36:30)
I will rescue you from every attack and will bring you safely to my heavenly kingdom (2 Tim 4:18)
I will never cast you out (John 6:37)
I will never leave you or forsake you (Heb 13:5)
I will never blot out your name from the book of life (Rev 3:5)
I will raise you up on the last day (John 6:39-40)
What the Lord requires, he provides. This is the lesson of the new covenant and we need to learn it.
Everything you need – salvation, holiness, righteousness – he freely supplies according to the riches of his grace in Christ Jesus.
Stop boasting about what you will do for God. Find your rest in his good word and be set free from the endless cycle of making and breaking promises.
There are no ifs in God’s promises to us, no conditions for you to fulfill. All he asks is that you take him at his word. All he requires is that you believe in his eternal goodness as revealed in Jesus.
Image: Mt Sinai, by Edward Lear
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