I recently read an interesting report. In 1994, a 67-year-old carpenter named Russell Herman died in Illinois. In his last will and testament, Mr. Herman left $2.4 billion to the town of Cave-In-Rock, $2.4 billion to the community of East St. Louis and $1.5 billion for projects in southeastern Illinois. That’s pretty amazing–but there’s more! In his last act of generosity, Mr. Herman also left $6 trillion to the Federal Reserve to pay off the national debt. There was only one problem: Mr. Herman only owned a 1983 Oldsmobile Toronado. Russell Herman may not have left anything of monetary value, but he did leave us all with a good reminder:
We can’t give what we don’t possess.
Mr. Herman’s promises sounded great, but he did not have the resources to make them a reality.¹
The Enemy works in much the same way. Satan whispers promises of comfort, satisfaction and fulfillment. He baits us with pleasure and strokes to our ego. Ultimately, however, the Enemy doesn’t have the resources to make any of it a reality.
The Enemy isn’t the only one who breaks his promises. We live in a world of broken promises. In fact, most of us have intentionally or unintentionally broken promises.
Only God is the real keeper of promises. God never lies, never over-promises and always keeps His Word. Do you believe God keeps His promises? A better question might be–do you believe God’s promises are for you? Have you questioned whether you deserve the promises of God? Maybe the promises of Scripture are for those better at keeping God’s laws–the faithful.
In case you think God’s promises are not for you, or that His promises are only for “perfect” people, consider an OT character named Jacob. He and his mom were deceivers, thieves and just all around no-good. When Jacob stole the birthright from his brother, Esau, he was afraid for his life. (Esau was pretty ticked) He ran away to the desert and found a place to sleep. The Bible says that he grabbed a rock and used it as a pillow. As Jacob slept, God spoke to him in a dream.
Genesis 28:15 says,
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Some of us feel as if we don’t deserve God’s promises. Likely, we would be right. However, God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness. (2 Timothy 2:13) God always (every single time) keeps His promises.
Question: What promise from God are you holding onto today? Has the Enemy caused you to question if God really made that particular promise for you? Check out Genesis 3…How did Satan deceive Eve?
Don’t be deceived or forget the character and promise-keeping of God.
“The promises of God are certain, but they do not all mature in ninety days.”–A.J. Gordon
¹Illustration from Overwhelmed by God and not Your Troubles by Steve Mays, p. 199.