The Phrase, “Promises made, promises kept,” has been floated around the political arena as a “red badge” of courage. It is hard to take that phrase seriously, for it borders on an oxymoron. To have politicians and “promises kept” in the same sentence is like making a snow angel in the Amazon Rain Forest. Politicians tend to be the “genie” which promises voters the desires of their heart, when, in reality, they are marching to the beat of self-promotion. I wonder how this popular phrase would fit into the Christians’ vocabulary. How many remember that moment in their life when they promised to serve Him with complete abandonment? With their hearts filled with unspeakable joy, they vowed to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. It was like when the Apostle Paul expressed, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV) Remember in those early years that wherever we looked we saw the Lord’s presence? Remember the excitement we had knowing the Holy Spirit was working in and through our lives? By keeping our promises, we experience His promises.
I remember years ago, a Believer approached me with a challenging attitude about why he was not experiencing some of the Biblical promises. After listening to him list a number of unfilled promises, I asked him if he had kept all the promises he had made to God. He claimed that was not relevant. I tried to explain to him that the road to God’s Throne is a two-way street. It is not what someone can get from God, but what one can give to God. I explained to him that God does not take lightly broken promises. The Believer must realize that many of the promises of God are experienced through obedience. To claim a Biblical promise without faithful actions will delay the experience of that promise. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying, for not all promises are contingent on our obedience; rather, the Grace of God is evident for all to experience, no matter what the individual does.
It is hard for me to understand how Christians can claim the promises of God without honoring their own promises to Him. It is hard for me to understand how Believers could have a powerful worship service when during the past week, they left behind broken promises. It is hard for me to understand how Christians claim God’s forgiveness when they have failed to forgive others. Jesus made it very clear, “But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15) It is hard for me to understand how people claim to stand on the Word, while at the same time, neglecting to obey the Word.
Jesus shared a parable about a man who asked his sons to go and work in the vineyards. The first son refused to obey his father’s request, but later regretted his decision and decided to go. The second son said he would, but he never did go. Jesus then asked a simple question, “Which of the two did the will of his father?” (Matthew 21:28-31) If every Believer would stand by his word and serve the Lord with all of his being, this nation would never be in the mess it is now. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit we have broken a lot of promises. The important thing is that it is not too late to fix those broken promises. Let us take one day at a time as we follow through with our “Promises made, Promises Kept.”