I have recently met a man who practices exactly what he preaches. A man who takes God at His word and who expects blessings to reign on his life because God said they would.
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field”. Deuteronomy 28:1-3
This verse applies to each and every person who proclaims Jesus Christ as their Lord. Why then do so few of us not actively claim this verse and apply it to our own lives? Why can we not be more like Abraham who “against all hope believed” and because he believed God it was “credited to him as righteousness”. When told by God he was going to be the father of many nations he did not weaken in his faith, “he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4)
Just imagine what our lives would be like, what miracles we would be performing, how many lives we would be touching, how much love we would have for others if we were only “persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised”.
Well, the man I met recently is one of those few individuals who is persuaded that God has power to do what He has promised. His name is William D. Carter III and he is doing an internship at our church for a few weeks. He is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary in the United States. In my blog Meeting Archbishop (Emeritus) Desmond Tutu I wrote about how William had always longed to meet the Bishop and how God had arranged for William and the Bishop to meet. William has even been given the opportunity to do the Bible reading at two services led by Archbishop Tutu.
Well, the follow on to that, was that William was asked to preach one Sunday night at the Bishop’s church – St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town – blessing upon blessing!
His sermon title was “Be Faithful” and was based on the passage in Matthew 25:14-30 about a man going on a journey who entrusts his property to his servants, and I quote from William’s sermon:
“To one he gave 5 talents, to another he gave 2 talents and to another he gave 1 talent. Each one he gave to them according to what they could handle. He entrusted his slaves with his wealth, with his money. He did not look for the person who was voted most likely to succeed in Matric or Senior Prefect. He didn’t even give the money to his family members to invest or hold. He entrusted his property to “the least of these.”
Isn’t that like Jesus? We are so unworthy and undeserving; yet, God blesses us in spite of ourselves. He does not give us more than we can handle, but he gives us more than we deserve.
When God has gifted and blessed you in abundance, you must use the talents that have been given to you.”
Men and women like Oswald Chambers, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr, Louie Giglio, Rick Warren, Rosalind Rinker, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer et al were able and are still able to achieve so much in their lives because they were and are “persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised”.
That, and the fact that their lives were spent and are being spent copiously reading God’s word and spending constant time in prayer with Him.
We have all received God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ. It is up to us to develop these gifts.
I am going to end with William’s words:
“God gives us blessings, opportunities, and moments in our lives that we didn’t even pray for… Unexpected blessings that make us say, “Oh me? Ok”. And, those opportunities come to affirm our destiny and our faithfulness. It is God’s way of saying, “You’re Right On Track!”