Leviticus 26:3-4 – “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.” NASB
The Bible, both Old, and New Testaments give some of the most amazing promises from God that I sometimes think we read as though they were the promises of yesteryear or fables. I do not mean that to be a railing indictment on anyone but an observation. If I were to point the finger at anyone there would be four more pointing back at me. Believing the Promises and appropriating them into our lives is of concern and interest to me.
For some time, the Holy Spirit has been dealing with my heart regarding ‘expectation.’ I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times and each time I take the journey of discovery in the Word of God, I keep hearing the gnawing question, “Do you believe that?” When I answer in the affirmative, I hear the question, “Do you expect it to be a present reality?” That question is not so easy to answer, because I believe that God knows our hearts and to answer without total honesty would be both foolish and detrimental.
Look at what the passage offers in the “if” and “then” portions of the Promise. It is nothing short of amazing and although God is offering to do spectacular things for us regarding personal benefit, prosperity, and sustenance, He requires something of us. Many years ago, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart and I have confirmed that in the Word, to my satisfaction, that God is unwilling to be our Candy Store. By that I mean, He is unwilling to indiscriminately give us the bounty of heaven without a commitment of our hearts.
Before anyone assume that I am suggesting we can somehow earn God’s Grace, Mercy, or Blessings, let me affirm that I AM NOT! However, the obedience factor is not inconsequential and when God details the “if” in order to receive the “then” He is serious.
I am reminded of God’s declaration in Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” We make promises that we have not thought out or do not have the ability to fulfill. God on the other hand, never makes an idle promise or one that He is incapable of fulfilling. (Luke 1:37).
We read in Isaiah 55:11 – “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Jesus echoed that in Matthew 5:18 – “For truly I say to you until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.” He also declared in Luke 1:37 – “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Therefore, if God says that we will have the needed rains for our crops to thrive and produce and that our fruit trees will have an abundance of fruit, which means His provisions for our personal benefit, He means it! He intends to provide exactly what He said! When He then adds the addendum or caveat that there is a requirement to receiving that, He is serious and not manipulative. The requirement for having all that God promises is here declared to be walking in His statutes and keeping His commandments.
The truth could not be more powerfully articulated than in the words of Jesus in John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” Imagine a life where there was no lack. Imagine a life where we had guaranteed answers to our prayers. That is the Promise of God to those who fulfill the “if” clause in His Promises.
Let me caution each one that if we “ask” amiss or with wrong motives we are guaranteed nothing. If our focus is on ourselves and our motivation is rooted in selfishness, we are promised nothing. But, if we follow the prescription of Matthew 6:33 and make God first above all and seek Him first before all allowing His Kingdom to come and His will to be realized in our hearts and minds, we are in a position to receive the “then” portion of this and every promise because we will, from a pure heart, be fulfilling the “if” portion.
God bless you as you seek Him first and foremost and enjoy His bountiful provisions and blessings!