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THE PROMISES OF GOD - by Paul M Hanssen



Every year about this time as we celebrate a new year, and hence a new beginning, the attention and focus of many is on promises; promises made to themselves, promises made to others, and the promises that God has given us, His people. In and of itself, there is certainly nothing wrong with such a practice. Making promises is important. Trusting God to fulfill His promises is also important. However, a key element is widely dismissed, ignored, or rejected when it comes to the promises of God.


I am writing this article because I have received text messages, WhatsApp messages, and emails from people I love and cherish. Many of the messages have either directly or indirectly mentioned 2024 as being a year of the fulfillment of God’s promises. I have, myself, sent messages to people during this season and stated the same. I believe in God’s promises. I stand upon the promises of God while boldly proclaiming them with unwavering confession. I am trusting God that 2024 will indeed become a year of the fulfillment of His prophetic promises in the lives of His people as well as in my personal life.

 A very dear brother (whom I know will not mind me using him as an example in this article) wrote to me and stated that he was going to go through the Word of God and highlight all the passages of scripture that state a promise of God. I love it! That’s a positive and powerful practice. However, while this is something we should all consider doing there is something else we should add to that. As we highlight God’s promises, we should also underline the condition placed by God for the fulfillment of the promise. Many of the promises of God are conditional.


Not all of God’s promises are conditional however, many are not. The promise that God gave Noah that He would never again destroy the earth by means of a flood is unconditional. The promise of Jesus’ second coming is unconditional. The promise of inheriting the Kingdom of God is, however, conditional.


Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)


Without love towards the King of the Kingdom, the promise to the heirs of the Kingdom cannot be fulfilled. Love is the key to the fulfillment of God’s promise concerning His Kingdom.


Many of God’s promises are what the Bible calls “covenant promises”. A covenant is like a deal that is made between two parties. It takes both sides to keep and fulfill their side of the deal for the covenant to remain binding. A covenant promise cannot be fulfilled when one party breaks the deal.


God made a promise to Abram. He promised him a land of inheritance. There, in the Land of Promise, God would make him a father of many nations. He promised that the whole earth would be blessed through his seed, the seed of the Messiah. Nonetheless, the promise would never have been fulfilled through Abraham had he not fulfilled his side of the deal.


Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-2).


So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him (Genesis 12:4).


The promise given to Abram, on this occasion, was remarkable and powerful. But God first required something. God required that Abram depart from his country, kindred, and father’s house. This carries a powerful spiritual significance. Many want, proclaim, and declare the blessings of inheritance, but few are willing to depart from that which they are familiar with. They are unwilling to leave behind their creature comforts and securities and head toward a destiny they only know by promise. The covenant promise could only be fulfilled after Abram got up and did as God had commanded him. How many of the promises of God do we boldly quote and stand upon without first getting up and fulfilling our end of the deal?


Many of the conditional promises of God are fulfilled in degrees and levels. In other words, there is more than one condition for the fulfillment to become a complete reality. Such was the case with Abram.


And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you (Genesis 17:7-11).


Abram had now arrived in the land promised to him. He had fulfilled his part of the deal. He had left his father’s house and traveled a treacherous, long, and difficult journey. He had arrived and yet the promise was not complete. God required more; a covenant of circumcision was demanded. God’s promise was that He would complete and never break the covenant promise if Abram fulfilled his end of the deal. He did and the rest is history!


So, when considering the promises of God consider also what He may be requiring of you. Have you “arrived” somewhere, as it were, or experienced some level of fulfillment, and yet something is missing? Maybe, just maybe, you are having an Abram experience. There is more, more to be seen, more to be fulfilled, more to be experienced, and more to enjoy of God’s great benefits. However, the more requires more! You have left something behind, but now God is requiring something of you that you cannot leave behind. We leave the pleasures, comforts, and securities of the world behind, but the “self” remains with us. So many of God’s promises are contingent on the cutting away of the carnal self. I am not referring to self-denial but rather the denial of self!


If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).


“If” – that is the question, if!

        -Paul M Hanssen

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