A NEW YEAR’S PROMISE FROM A FAITHFUL GOD – Part 3
by Pastor Mark Banyard
There are promises that God has made to you and to me that He has already fulfilled, are being fulfilled and are yet to be fulfilled. We have dwelt upon the first two promises and we will now explore the third.
What if the promise is unfulfilled or is yet to be fulfilled? What if it is something that you are still waiting for? If that’s the case, then you need hope. You need a sustaining hope that only faith can provide because without that hope, you will not be able to continue to believe that God is going to fulfill His promise in your life. And what will eventually take place is hopelessness. A lack of faith leads to hopelessness. Lack of faith leads to unbelief, unbelief is the opposite of believing. When you believe in God, you are in agreement with His Word and with the Spirit. But when you move in unbelief, then whether we realize it or not, intentionally or unintentionally, when we move in unbelief, then we are actually warring against what the Spirit wants to do in our lives. It is like we stand in the middle of the road all the time and we are just saying no, not today. Unbelief becomes a negative influence in our lives, in our minds and in our hearts so that over time, we begin to accuse God of not being faithful to us. And therefore, our voices join the accuser of the brethren. And we are more in agreement with his voice than the voice of the Lord.
A lack of faith leads to hopelessness. It leads to unbelief. And it finally leads to carnal discernment. You see, when we don’t have faith, then we can’t be sure, we can’t have a hope that makes us sure and certain of things unseen. And when we don’t have that kind of hope, then we can’t see things, we can’t be sure of things unseen. Therefore, we are left to our human senses to be able to understand the Kingdom of God. We are left to our human senses to discern what the Lord is saying. And once we start to move in that carnal discernment, then we live as carnal Christians. We still get to go to heaven when we die. We still have that ticket to salvation at our back pocket when we get to the heavenly gates. It’s not that God removes His hands off of our lives but we can no longer discern things that are unseen. Do you know what Jesus said, of the many things He said? He said this: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29). And so, in order for us to be sure and certain of things that are unseen with no evidence in the natural, we need spiritual discernment and it comes through Hope that is filled with the substance of Faith. Amen!
You see, the key question is this: is it really about faith or is it about His faithfulness? Let me say that again. It’s really important. Is it about our faith or is it about His faithfulness? If He who promises is faithful, if the one who has given you a promise, is faithful, then you can begin to celebrate the fulfillment of the promise even though you wait for it to be fulfilled! You are waiting for God to prove Himself in giving you something, rather than believing in His faithfulness that He will absolutely fulfill the promise. God is looking for a people that is going to so believe in His faithfulness that the celebration of His presence in the house will be now as if the promise has already been fulfilled! And so, even though our faith is important, I think believing in His faithfulness is so much more!
I found that over the years if you really want joy you don’t go for it. You don’t go for joy. You go for His presence. Because when you live your life in His presence you have the fullness of joy. You see, faith is like that too. So often we are trying to dig deep to find faith when He said all we need is a mustard seed. And so, even though our faith is important, I think believing in His faithfulness is so much more.
One last thought I want to leave with you. More than we ever realize, the promise of God to us is the promise He is making to Himself. He is promising to Himself that His glory will fill the whole earth through His church. We think the promise is being made to us. But you know God’s promise for revival to come to Malaysia is a promise that He has made to Himself through His Son, by His Spirit in His church, and we get to be part of the fulfillment of this promise!
God has promised that the whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas. That is a promise to Himself. We get to enjoy it. We get to experience it. We get to be part of it. But don’t you think if God has made a promise to Himself that He is not going to fulfill it? Yes, He will fulfill it! And He is faithful. And that means there is something coming to your nation that is far greater than you could ever imagine, think or ask for. And you’ve got to believe that what God is going to do is the realm of the impossible and the miraculous. But you got to enter in today with celebration and thanksgiving because you know He who promised is faithful. And it will be fulfilled for His glory in this nation and throughout the whole earth. Amen!