New Entry Resolutions 2015
A promise is an assurance that one will do something or something will happen in future. Promises can be statements, actions or signs; in the form of dreams and visions that shape our expectations and preparations ahead of time. Human promises cannot match that of God. Such promises could either fail or succeed.
Where it succeeds, it last for a moment. Howsoever, the promises of God for those who love Him and do His volition though it may slow in coming, it surely happens and last forever. God attaches command to His promises. Though promises are meant to happen, not all are fulfilled due to our attitudinal changes prior to and after the fulfillment of the covenant concerning you and me.
Using the above scripture in Joshua 6:2 which says “And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor". God promised the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua a victory over the fall of the wall of Jericho. In the actualization of that promise, God commanded them to act on specific lines in order to make the covenant real. “You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days; seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” Joshua 6:3-5. Joshua carried out the order. “So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests' bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the LORD.”
And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD following them. The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout.
Then you shall shout.” So he caused the ark of the LORD to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets blew continually. And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days” Joshua 6: 6-14
Eventually, on that seventh day after following God's instruction to the latter, the promise came to light. “So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city” Joshua 6:20. Now, the Joshuas' and the likes are no more. We are now the recipients of promises spoken for the future. The fulfillment of His promises depends on a kind of relationship we have with God. What are we doing to embrace the promises of God now, then and forever? As we wait for those promises, let us consider some preparations needed for a fulfillment of promise.
1. Be obedient to God's will. We are created to obey God's will and have reverence for Him only. Joshua and his comrades obeyed and respected God's command without vilifying, and that paved way for the fulfillment of the promise in the first paragraph of this piece. Obeying demands getting closer to God through fellowship, devotion to church activities and practicing the word with faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. "In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:5-6. In short the fulfillment of promises by God largely requires obedience, devotion to church events, constant fellowship and reverence to God. "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandment, for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13. In this year and beyond, I will constantly obey, respect and fellowship with God.
2. Always be thankful to God. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies" 1 Thessalonians 5:18-20. In relation to the fulfillment of God's promises, we should have a heart of thanksgiving regardless of circumstances or positions. While people die from challenges, others regain consciousness after been indisposed. All these category of persons are important but it is God who grants life through his son Christ Jesus to anyone. It may seem that your situation is worse, but trust me yours is better that someone else. Anytime we are alive, let us thank God for life before asking for any other want or need. There is hope for the living than the dead.
In 2014, the emergence of the deadly disease, Ebola, claimed 8,000 lives and still counting with the majority of death recorded from West Africa countries- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Are we better than those who died? Whatever the situation is, will be, so far as not dead, thank God. Be grateful to God for bringing you this far. Let us be honest; 'are situations the same as now'? "So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity." Ecclesiastes 11:8.If you are thankful by downplaying even pressing issues and believing God's promises, your vat will be full and overflow. My heart will continually thank the Lord in all situations.
3. One must have an unshakable faith. From the bible, when Daniel refused to comply with the worship of idols, an order from king Darius, he was thrown into the den of lions without any offence. "Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel" Daniel 6:16-17. Imagine you being in that same instance or any otherwise, what could you have done? Later, at the break of day, king Darius went to find out whether Daniel has been devoured the lions.
He called him and Daniel answered "Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Daniel 6:21-22. Daniel's unstable faith even at the inch of destruction made God humbled and shut the mouth of lions in the den. Difficulties are embodiment of life. Promises bring change of direction and hope. Owing to the assurances from God, dark moments should not sway us to disbelief the promise. We ought to hope for it. Hope makes all things work. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1. I will continue to exercise faith till the second coming of Christ.
4. In the fulfillment of God's promises, continual prayer is required to remind Him. God has given everything to us. ”Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” Mark 11:34. He wants us to ask from a pure heart with an effective and fervent prayer. "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working" James 5:16b. Never will I let go prayers.
5. Apparently, the actualization of God's promises demand patience. "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand" James 5:7-8. Although there may be delay, yet He will act according to his time. “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! “ Psalm 37:7. God does what he promises. He changes his plans when we also change our faith in Him. Every promise of God happens beautifully in his time not ours. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end" Ecclesiastes 3:11. Since impatience aborts God's plans, I will rather wait upon the Lord to act in His time.
6. When the promise has been fulfilled, honor your part of the covenant with God. God promised a woman a child. That woman in the bible was called Hannah. She had a concubine called Peninnah, both married to Elkanah. Peninnah had children but Hannah did not. She was treated badly, mocked, humiliated by even her own family. Hannah rather promised to rededicate the child to God if He hears her prayer. A year later, her request was answered. "And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD" 1 Samuel 1:20. It did not end there. She fulfilled her promise in verse 27-28 of the same chapter; "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD". Hannah was blessed with other children. Every promise made to God when honored ensures smooth candidacy for future blessings even onto generations unborn. I will honor my promises to God as planned.
7. Learn and continue to forgive people. In the wake and aftermath of God's promises been fulfilled, we must practice the golden rule of forgiveness in that; do to others what you want to be done to you and never do to others what you do not want to be done to you. "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" Matthew 7:12.
8. What we say could either pave way or block God's promises concerning us. Now that we know, we ought to be careful how we think and watch our tongue as well during interactions at any gathering. What we imagine and say is what we get. "The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him" Ecclesiastes 10:12. My mouth will speak out words of encouragement.
9. Be led by the sprit and show kindness to others. The basic pretext for showing goodness is love. As God does well to you, be generous to others especially the needy. There are more blessings in giving than blessing. If you love your neighbor as yourself will you harm such a person? Let us be led by the spirit and do well to others in need. "Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered" Proverbs 11:25. I will do well to people as expected.
10. Say no sin. Sin blocks the promises of God concerning us. Sin is an immoral thought or action considered as a transgression against divine law. Before and after the fulfillment of God's assurances, work hard not fall into sin. Later Christ disappeared into the crowd without the healed lame man seeing him. Within a couple of hours, Jesus met him in the temple and said in John 5:10 “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even more worse may happen to you''. God grants me the will to overcome temptations beyond my control. Happy new entry!
Quote: “Faith makes all things possible, hope makes all things work and love make all things beautiful” Dennis Agorkpa (Marvel).
Want To Be Born Again?
“Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ managed us from enemies to friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.” 2 Corinthians 5:12-18
Having read this message, want to be born again? Say this prayer with faith; Heavenly father, from today I surrender myself to you. Forgive and cleanse me from all my sins. I invite you to take absolute control of my life. Beloved if you have prayed this prayer, you are born again and welcome to God's family.
Developing Your Christian Life
1. Find a believing church to attend
2. Study the word of God daily
3. Enjoy the fellowship and workmanship of God
4. Practice the word of God
5. Have faith in the word
Whoa! Heavenly father, I am so touched by this piece. I know my waiting will never be in vain in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.
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Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ebenezer Zor and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.