Jordan and I got married at the age of 20, March 3, 2003. It was still cold in Virginia and we stood before a judge in jeans and a sweater and exchanged vows, just the two of us, the day before he deployed. I promised him that I would love him, to stand by his side in the good times and in the bad and I promised him that I would be faithful. He took me at my word and I took him at his because we trusted each other...until we couldn't. A year into our marriage I learned about his pornography addiction and his infidelity, we chose to stick it out and make it work but I didn't trust him anymore and out of spite, 3-years later I was unfaithful to him.
Our view of one another was jaded. We were always questioning (internally and externally) whether the other was being honest and faithful. Our word became void and this perspective spilled onto the relationships around me. I questioned everyone because I had been hurt by the closest person to me, so why would this stranger keep their word? I walked around in a world where a vow meant nothing and a persons word meant nothing and I looked at Jesus the same way.
I would read the Bible because I was supposed to but I didn't believe He would be that person I read about, to me personally. I would come across promises and think, "I don't believe that He would do that for me." I believed a lie about Jesus that altered my perspective of who He is and who I am because of what He did for me. I didn't trust my own word, so why would I trust His?
“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (John 4:50 NIV)
In this story a man came to Jesus asking Him to come and heal his son, who was dying. His son didn't have a cold, his son didn't break an arm...his son was dying and he traveled over 20 miles to find Jesus and ask Him for help because he heard Jesus does miracles like this. When the man asked, Jesus didn't go with him all He said was, "go, your son will live." AND THE GUY TOOK JESUS AT HIS WORD AND DEPARTED!!! I'm sorry, I don't think I would have been cool with that answer. Ummm, I don't think you heard me Jesus, I traveled by DONKEY over 20 miles, I need you to COME WITH ME and lay your hand on him like you did for all those other people and heal my son!
What kind of faith did this guy have to take Jesus at His word? They didn't know each other. They weren't buds or family but this guy trusted Him with the very life of his child. I'm kind of a "word nerd" so I had to look up what the words "took" and "word" were in my concordance because those words MUST have meant something we don't understand in our English language.
Took (pisteuo) - to believe, put one's faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow.
Word (logos) - word spoken or written, often with a focus on the content of a communication.
So, when Jesus told the man "go, your son will live" this man put his faith and trust in Jesus' words and the action that would come from those words. The man trusted that Jesus' words of life would produce that promise. He took him at His word and that father's faith could have been as small as a mustard seed, but that father saw a mountain and went to the One who could make that mountain move, and it did.
We can all be guilty of reading through the Bible and not taking Jesus at His word, often times it's because we are comparing His trustworthiness with the people who have hurt us. The difference between the word of man and God is that His words are alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) ours are temporal (while many times well intentioned, still temporal). Our promises fall short, our promises can fail and let people down but Jesus' words never do.When He says something He means it. If He promises something He does it. He doesn't make empty promises to trick us into believing in Him, He makes promises so we have something firm to stand on when life around us looks completely opposite from His truth. If God said it, He will do it. It may not come in OUR timing but He isn't a liar.
Number 23:19 says, "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
Maybe He has made you promises for your future that you have yet to see with your eyes and you are getting tired of waiting. You feel like God forgot about you or He didn't keep His promise. Maybe you feel defeated and lost. He is not a God who is inactive on your behalf, He is doing things we can't see, He is preparing us for a better door, He is preparing a better opportunity. He is not a GOD WHO SHOULD LIE. Even if all of the people in your life have let you down, not kept their word, lied or hurt you, God won't. He is faithful, He is true, He is good, He is kind, He is for you, He loves you, He cares for you, He is your provider, He is your healer, He is your joy, He is your peace, He is your refuge, He is your strength, He is your security, He is your protection, He is your Savior.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (MSG) says, "Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete."
What would our lives look like if we took Him at His word? How differently would we approach challenges? When we are faced with opposition what would our response be? When we have to wait longer than we think we should, what would our perspective be? While you read the Bible begin to accept the promises He is making to you. Don't read them through the lens of human hurt. Read them from the heart of the Creator of the heavens and Earth, who knows all, sees all, and holds your world in the palm of His hand. Read them, believe and know when you take him at His word the actions that will follow will be miraculous.
So today, I encourage you to take Him at His word, He is not a God who shall lie, He will do what He says He will do and He won't change His mind. When He makes promises He will fulfill them because He is faithful.
1. Do you have a hard time taking God at His Word? If so, why?
2. What promises are you believing Him for?
3. What scriptures are you standing on as a foundation for those promises?
4. Write down in your journal the Promises He has made to you and thank Him for keeping His word to you.
(**Side note - by the grace of God our marriage was restored, we learned to forgive and trust again. We have been married over 13 years and we love each other more every day.Through Christ we really have been made into new creations because I don't even recognize who we were then and I am so thankful for a husband who is faithful and honors me.)
I would love to invite all you ladies to join me for an online Bible Study. It will begin Sept. 1 and end Sept 30th. It will be through a Facebook group and you can join us here.