There are hundreds—if not thousands—of promises in the Bible for believers. Here are just a few well-known promises:
God said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4)
And 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” When God’s promises are fulfilled in our lives, it brings God glory!
But have you ever wondered why your life doesn’t always reflect these promises? How do believers activate God’s promises in their lives? Is there some secret or formula involved? Well, yes, there is, sort of…
#1 – Maintain a Soft Heart
In Hebrews chapter 3, the writer reminds us about the children of Israel after He brought them out of Egypt. He explains how their hearts were hard and rebellious, they tested God, their hearts always wandered from Him, and they didn’t know His ways (Hebrews 3:7-11).
These were supposed to be the people of God! But because of their choices and hearts, God said, “They shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:11b). This meant that they would never enter the Promised Land.
The Promised Land was the huge promise that God gave the Israelites—a land of their own—their inheritance—because they were God’s special, chosen people. But they forfeited this promise of God because of their hardened hearts.
Even Jesus’s disciples dealt with hard hearts: Mark 6:52 says, “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
When we have hard hearts, we cannot understand God’s ways—it blinds us to what God is doing and saying.
Hebrews 3:7 urges us, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” We too must keep a soft heart that is willing and open to hearing God’s voice if we want to inherit the promises of God.
If we want the promises of God to manifest in our lives, we must guard ourselves from rebellious attitudes and be sure to maintain a submissive heart toward God.
#2 – Reject Unbelief
Hebrews 3:12-13 continues, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God … lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Sin deceives us so that truth seems like a lie, and lies seem like the truth.
Don’t let sin derail you. Unbelief and doubt set in leading to hardness of heart. That’s what happened to the Israelites: even though they saw God’s mighty works and wonders, they still allowed their hearts to doubt God and to grow calloused toward Him and His ways.
If we are living in unbelief, we cannot expect to see the promises of God in our lives. God’s promises are available to believers, not doubters! Hebrews 3:18-19 says, “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Believing and obeying God are keys to unlocking His promises! Remember, God rewards FAITH, not unbelief!
Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
And this brings us to our final point.
#3 – Combine the Word (Promises) of God with Faith!
Hebrews 4:2 explains about the people of Israel, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
The children of God heard His word and promises, but they didn’t receive anything from God because they didn’t combine what they heard with faith. They never obtained what God promised them because they walked in unbelief instead of faith.
So what exactly is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is believing that you already have what you’re hoping for; it’s pulling God’s promises from the spirit realm into the physical realm.
God puts His promises out there for anyone. Who will receive His promises?
Those who believe in faith that God is Who He says He is and that He’ll do what He’s said He’ll do – no matter what the circumstances around them look like – they believe and obey anyway.
Finally, unbelief and hardness of heart often go hand-in-hand. Jesus rebuked the disciples in Mark 16:14: “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” The hardness of their hearts was directly connected to their unbelief.
We too must be careful not to allow our hearts to harden or to let unbelief creep in. God’s promises are available to us if we’ll just believe in faith, obey and keep our hearts soft toward Him.
~ By Jennell Houts
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