What promises have you left just sitting there?

I suppose that sounds like a strange question, but there is great value in pondering it.

Have you ever noticed that God often will not demonstrate His power without the recipient(s) displaying faith?

Take salvation for example.
The saving power of the gospel is not demonstrated until belief is chosen, then God demonstrates His power.

Peter, while believing, walked on water.
When his faith wavered, Jesus no longer demonstrated His power.

Consider the Israelites.
God promised victory to His people to claim the Promised Land, but they chose fear instead.
They forfeited God’s power and promises because they chose unbelief instead of trust in His spoken Word.

We want God’s power in our lives, but yet we often don’t believe His Word either!

We leave promises and power just sitting
there unused, like unopened presents.

But God will not force Himself on us. He has such restraint.
We have a responsibility in having a vibrant life full of God’s power.
That responsibility is to claim His Word to be true therefore expecting God to fulfill His promises.  This faith is crucial in seeing God work in our lives.

“…without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6

“…let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea
driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think
that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
James 1:6-7

In 2013, God took the opportunity to teach me the power of His Word when faith is applied.
I was suicidal, depressed, and newly diagnosed with Bipolar Type II.
It was the lowest I had ever been.
Although I had been a dedicated Christian for over 15 years, I had not yet understood the power
that God would demonstrate if I would take Him at His Word.
At that time God gave me a mentor who opened my eyes to the power of God’s Word as a tool
to get victory over fear, anxiety, depression, etc.

How does one get this victory?

By expecting and believing fully that God
can be trusted to do what He says He will do. 

When I stopped viewing verses like “fear thou not” as simply suggestions, but rather saw them as commands of God, it empowered me!
He is commanding me not to fear…
He is commanding me to have peace…
He is commanding me to live abundantly…
He is commanding me to be courageous…

  As with all commands, God is on our side
to equip us to obey Him
and get victory.

One day at a time I began learning to choose trust and belief.
One thought at a time I trusted the truth of scripture to replace the fear and lies that reigned in my mind.
I began believing His constant encouragement that I would be safe in His care.
When I understood the role that claiming God’s Word could have in my mental illness, my life was transformed.
Although depression and Bipolar symptoms will be lifelong visitors, I have the weapon of believing scripture to get me through the darkness.
I have God’s truth to use as a compass to navigate my way to victory.  (Psalm 119:92-93.)

Imagine the following scenario.
Jesus is on the right, holding promises of peace in His arms.
You are on the left, holding onto fear. But you won’t let go.
Jesus remains standing there, holding onto His promises because you won’t claim them.
He longs to demonstrate His power.
He longs to see you stop suffering.

Instead, He has not been invited to pour His peace
upon you because you won’t believe His promises.

 They remain beautiful gifts in His arms,
His power unable to be displayed in your life.

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments!
then had thy peace been as a river,
and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Isaiah 48:18

Why forfeit a life of God meeting our needs?
He offers all the answers.
He offers joy, courage, peace, satisfaction, answers to prayer and so much more.
But we leave these promises dormant if we will not believe them.

What does it mean to claim God’s promises?
Let’s use the obstacle of fear for an example.
Claiming His promises means when you are afraid, you believe scripture just as if God were speaking directly to you.
Claiming God’s promises means reading scripture not as flowery poetry or simply suggestions, but rather
as the voice of the Almighty God, who cannot lie.
One verse in particular that I have claimed hundreds of times to be bring me peace is Isaiah 41:10.
This verse may be quite familiar, but don’t let God’s Word become cliché to you.
If you meditate on this verse believing it is true and believing that God is talking to you, your fear will begin to fade.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed;
for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee;
yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with
the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10

Ponder this for a moment.  Comprehend what God is promising here. It is incredible that He wants such involvement in our lives!
While you read, realize God’s voice is speaking directly to you. Remember and believe that God is only capable of telling the truth.  Looking at scripture this way will change your life!!  It saved mine!

Going back to the example of salvation, we know God demonstrates His power when one claims the salvation promise as true and receives it.
We also know that God does not force this promise on anyone.
If a person chooses not to claim it, God will not demonstrate the power of salvation in that person’s life.

Why do we think the rest of
promises are any different?

Doubt and unbelief leave promises unclaimed and God’s power undemonstrated.
If we approach all of God’s Word with a believing, expectant mindset, our lives will be dramatically different.
God is thrilled to get the chance to be faithful to His Word and exceed our expectations!

I once heard a pastor apply II Timothy 3:5a to Christians who will not believe the power of God’s Word.

“Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:”

Let’s not deny the power of God’s Word!  The voice that created the world is the same voice that speaks to us through scripture!

Let’s invite God to demonstrate His power in our lives by believing His promises.

If we will just believe His Word,
we will experience His power every day.

Let God amaze you with the power He gets to show you and the peace you get to experience when you believe His Word!

***If you have a mental illness or are suffering with a serious depression like I was, you may need many support systems to keep you safe.  Get medication if needed, find a counselor, but on your road to a reclaimed life, make applying scripture priority in your journey.

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

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