Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
There are two categories of people: Those who keep to-do lists, and those who don’t get much done. I joke, but this task-oriented mentality can leak into our relationship with God. We long for a list that tells us exactly how to please Him.
Instead, Jesus invites us to trust in His work. New covenant living ceases striving and starts resting. But for those of you who love lists, here are three essential promises available to you in Christ:
1. Internal Activity
When the law was given to the nation of Israel, they responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said” (Exodus 19:8). Their intentions were good; they meant what they said. But they were completely unable to keep their word.
Realizing the people’s inability to perform, the Lord made a new promise: “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts” (Hebrews 8:10).
This promise was fulfilled with the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit transforms our nature. He liberates us from sin. He empowers us to know God and to love Him with an enduring love. It’s through the Spirit’s internal activity that we are set free from an external performance mind-set.
2. Intimate Relationship
Very few people in the Old Testament had a personal relationship with God. Certain kings and prophets were given the Holy Spirit for specific functions, but everyone else worshiped God from a distance using priests as mediators.
The new covenant is so much better: “I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:10-11).
You no longer have to “be someone” to know God. The Holy Spirit is available to all.
3. Indisputable Forgiveness
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). This means exactly what it says. The sins you can’t seem to forget are the same sins God doesn’t remember. They’re gone. Completely.
These promises invite you to release the need to do more and rest in what He’s already done.
Father, I am overwhelmed knowing You have a plan to take up residence in me – not leave me alone in this lifetime. Thank You for calling me “home.” Amen.
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