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Inspect Your Heart Many of God's promises are conditional. If you don't fulfill your part, God cannot fulfill His.
The Bible speaks of unforgiveness, fear and secret sin harboring in your heart. A harbor is an area of water where boats park. If the fulfillment of God's promise seems slow in coming, perhaps there's something harboring or parking in your heart. Inspect your heart and don't allow anything ungodly to harbor there. No parking allowed!
Sherry was a vivacious girl who genuinely loved the Lord. She was strong in God's Word and never wavered when diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis.
But seven months passed, and Sherry's symptoms had grown worse instead of better. When she questioned God about this dilemma, He said nothing. Instead, He began to deal with her about an unforgiving attitude toward her mother-in-law.
She told me: "The more I talked to God about my sickness, the more He talked to me about my unforgiveness. Finally, I released my bad attitude, and within 10 days, I was completely healed."
Sometimes God promises are postponed or completely aborted because of sin. David said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear" (Ps.66:18, NKJV). I am not saying that sickness is always because of sin, but if your victory is not forthcoming, take some time to inspect your heart.
Be Patient Have you noticed that God's promises aren't always manifested instantaneously? So what are you supposed to do between the "Amen" and "There it is"? You'll find the answer in Hebrews 6:12: "Do not be sluggish [lazy], but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (emphasis added).
Just whom should we imitate? Abraham is a good start. He gripped God's promise about his inheritance and held onto it for 25 years before his promised son, Isaac, was born. Joseph walked through 13 years of nightmares before his dream from God about ruling over his family was fulfilled.
Ask anyone whose walk with God you admire, and she will tell you that patience has been an important factor. What a key for possessing the promises of God!
Patience and faith go together, yet they function differently. Faith aggressively stands on God's Word, while patience says, "I don't care how long it takes; I will continue to trust God." Faith believes and patience waits, but if you develop both, victory is guaranteed.
When I was young, I spent time each summer in Minnesota with my grandparents. A neighbor of theirs had a long rope that swung over the lake. In a fit of mischief, two neighborhood kids and I taught the neighbor's bulldog, Oscar, to grip the rope, and we swung him back and forth over the water.
One sunny afternoon, we were on the patio when I noticed Oscar dangling motionless on the rope. I realized that we had taught him how to grip the rope but not how to let go! (Eventually, he learned.)
Reminding me of this incident one day, the Spirit of God said, "I'm training you to grip My promises like that dog and never let go." I have often said that the only difference between a bulldog and a woman of God is lipstick!
If your life seems to be falling apart, get a grip! Grip the promises of God and don't let go until you experience God's best.
Rachel Burchfield is the co-founder of Burchfield Ministries International (www.burchfield.org).
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