The situation completely backward?

By Dave Henning / September 5, 2021

“We have the situation completely backward anytime we start expecting God to trust us to know what is right and obey our commands so that He might prove His love for us.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley

In Chapter 1 (“The Promise Maker”) of Can You Still Trust God?, Dr. Charles Stanley talks about two categories of God’s promises.  Unconditional and conditional.  And, Dr. Stanley counsels, we must exert extreme care to discern clearly the differences between these two categories.

1.  Unconditional promises.  In this type of promise, God states His intention to do something regardless of any human behavior.  Thus, God acts on His desires with or without any response from us.  Nothing interferes with or keeps God from starting or completing what He intend to accomplish.

2.  Conditional promises.  Here God bases His actions in part on our response to His commands.  However, Dr. Stanley stresses, it’s easy to confuse the two promises:

“Too often, people take some of God’s conditional promises as being unconditional.  This is a very dangerous error to make, and it can lead to frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, and even doubt about the goodness of God.  How so?  Well, if a person regards a promise of God as being unconditional when it’s actually a conditional promise, he may very well fail to meet the conditions associated with the promise because he isn’t looking for any conditions.  He assumes that God is going to do everything and he is required to do nothing.”

In addition, Dr. Stanley underscores, too many people decide when the conditions of the promise have been met.  Rather than trusting God to make that determination.  Therefore, Dr. Stanley suggest the first place to look when you sense an unmet need.  And that place is yourself – not God or Christ Jesus.  What might you be doing that’s keeping God from fulfilling that promise in your life?

Today’s question: When have you gotten the situation completely backward with God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Promise in the Word of God – true for us?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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