REMEMBER that old hymn, “Standing on the Promises”? I will give the first verse in case you have forgotten the words or never heard of the hymn. It’s based on II Corinthians 1:20 “For all promises of God are “yes,” and in Him “Amen”
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring! Glory in the
highest I will shout and sing— Standing on the promises of God,
Standing on the promises of God!”
A few people have asked me how I get the ideas for The WORD Detective blog and my answers are various. After my quiet time in the morning, reading in God’s Word and praying with thanksgiving, Holy Spirit guides my thinking. I’ve kept six years of written notes from my spiritual mentor, Creflo Dollar and those notes can get me started doing the necessary detective work. Other times, from my reading Scripture; through God’s leading, conversation might go something like this;
“Mel, that verse you just read in II Peter, I want you to develop that idea in your writing the blog today.” And my response at times might be…? “BUT…I thought you wanted me to go over here and ….” ADD: If God wants you to do something, don’t argue, just “do it!”
So that’s the way the conversation went this morning and thus the title “Exercising in the Promises of God”; developed from 2 Peter 1:2-7.
Galatians 3 description of The Promises of God:
Verse 5— “Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you…because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard”
Verse 7— “Know and understand that it is [really] the people [who live] by faith who are [the true] sons of Abraham.”
Verse 8— “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous, put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Savior long beforehand] to Abraham IN THE PROMISE saying, In you shall all the nations (families), [that’s US] be blessed.”
Verse 9— “So then, those who are people of faith are blessed and made happy and favored by God [as partners in fellowship] with the believing and trusting Abraham.”
Verse 14— “To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the BLESSING [PROMISED] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles[that’s US again], so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the PROMISE of the [Holy] Spirit.”
1 John 2:24-25 “As for you, keep in your hearts what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the first dwells and remains in you, then you will dwell in the Son and in the Father [always]. And this is what He Himself has PROMISED us–the life, the eternal [life].”
EXERCISE CAUSES DEVELOPEMENT
The position of “Standing” on the promises of God might keep you breathing easier, it might improve your posture and it might even cause your blood to circulate in your body better because of salvation and grace. I don’t know about you, but after standing at the Rose Bowl Parade one particular New Years day for over three hours, I just wanted to sit somewhere; I was tired of standing still, being immobile. Could that experience be true in our spiritual lives? Can “prolonged immobility” cause tragic consequences in our spiritual being? Our testimony?
David Bloom–an NBC news correspondent–called his wife from a few miles outside of Bagdad, resting on the fender of a tank. It was April 2003, and Bloom had spent several weeks traveling in military vehicles across the deserts of Iraq.
He casually mentioned that he was having leg cramps, but neither he nor his wife thought much about it. “Cramps didn’t seem unusual since he was sleeping most nights in a tank with his knees up to his chin.” “Everyone was having aches and pains”. Besides, Bloom–who was 39–had always been in excellent health!
What they didn’t know is that Bloom had developed “deep vein thrombosis” (DVT)–a blood clot in the leg–partly the result of dehydration and traveling in cramped positions. A few days later, as troops prepared a final push across the Bagdad border, David Bloom collapsed and died.
Ever since I heard that story told, when traveling by airplane, I have always got up at least once during the flight to help prevent DVT. Doctors have said, “prolonged immobility” is one of the causes.
“For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love” (II Peter 1:5-7–AMPLIFIED).
In the Amplified version of the three verses above, the emphasis is placed on “exercising” and “developing”; no “prolonged immobility” here in our spiritual health. There is more than “standing” on God’s promises; there is action, mobility, exercise!
ADDING TO THE PROMISES— (II Peter 1:5)
The verb epichorego (“adding”) has a colorful and fascinating history. In greek drama the plays were put on by the combined effort of a poet (who wrote the script); the state (which provided the theater); and a wealthy individual called a choregos, who paid the expenses. This called for a generous but sometimes costly effort on his part.
In Peter’s view, God has written in the blood of Jesus the script for a Christian life; the world is the theater where it will be played out; but the believer must cooperate by “exercising” and “practicing” his efforts to make the script come alive.
INACTIVE WORDS USED IN OUR VOCABULARY
Diligence: Determined zeal which marks a daily goal[to the divine promises].
Virtue: The character of Christ; being examples (patterns and models of Christian living to the flock; the congregation ( 1 Peter 5:3); (excellence, resolution). We cannot produce VIRTUE or the Character of Christ from ourselves, but we add it only in the sense of chosing to act [exercising].
Steadfastness: Unwavering, intense, single minded in purpose.
EXERCISING IN THE 7 VIRTUES
When going to work-out at a fitness training facility, when you haven’t exercised your muscles in years, you wouldn’t attempt to press 500 pounds on your back. You would start out lifting five pounds, then ten pounds and so on until development of your physical stamina and strength became capable of handling more weight.
Exercising spiritually begins in the same way. We have God’s “precious and exceedingly great promises” and now it’s time to “add to” the promises; to start out by “exercising your faith”; to develop VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE, SELFCONTROL, STEADFASTNESS, GODLINESS, BROTHERLY AFFECTION, CHRISTIAN LOVE.
Remember God’s Word when you want to give up, cave in and quit exercising. “EXERCISE CAUSES DEVELOPMENT” in the physical body and in your spirit, mind and soul!