Protect the promise

If you’ve made a commitment to someone, how far will you go to see that it happens? If someone has made a commitment to you, how far will you go to see that it happens? And what about what God has promised to you? How far will you go to hold on to the promises that you have from the Lord? Only until it gets a little uncomfortable? Only until it’s inconvenient and doesn’t really fit into your plans?

What if we could see the end at the beginning? Would it change our response to God’s promises? It certainly made a difference in Judah. God had promised that David’s line would never end. David would have an heir on the throne forever. But as we read in 2 Chronicles, that line was in serious jeopardy. Upon the death of King Ahaziah, his mother took it upon herself to destroy every possible heir. But one got away. Just a child, but an heir nonetheless.

Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David. Now this is what you are to do: A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors, a third of you at the royal palace and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the other men are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the Lord. No on is to enter the temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the other men are to guard what the Lord has assigned to them. The Levites are to station themselves around the king, each man with weapons in his hand. Anyone who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.

2 Chronicles 23:3b-7 (NIV)

That is an awful lot of fuss for a kid just barely out of kindergarten. Yet Jehoiada knew that this boy was heir to far more than just the nation of Judah. He was the heir of a promise that would extend throughout eternity and they would protect that promise with their lives.

We have a book full of promises from God. How far will you go to see those promises come to pass?

The thing is, just because a promise has been made, doesn’t mean that we aren’t required to do anything. It doesn’t mean that we just get to sit around and let it happen around us. Had Jehoiada decided to leave matters be—it’ll all work out in the end, won’t it?—Joash would have been killed along with the rest of his siblings. The last of David’s line gone. And then what? It’s not as though God couldn’t have come up with another plan for salvation. But that’s not what God does. He’s not a God of plan B. He doesn’t even have a plan B. It’s plan A. Period.

So how do we know that God will keep His promises?

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (NIV)

If God has made a promise to us, we can be assured that He will keep it. But we also have a responsibility to protect that promise. We must arm ourselves as Jehoiada armed the priests and Levites to protect Joash. God has given us His Spirit so that we can stand firm in the face of our enemy and declare the Amen—let it be so—with confidence that if God has promised it, He will perform it.

Do you have a promise from God? Protect it. With your life.

Read: 2 Chronicles 23-25, John 16:16-33

Restore

On day King Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money brought as a sacred offering to the Lord’s Temple, whether it is a regular assessment, a payment of vows, or a voluntary gift. Let the priests take some of that money to pay for whatever repairs are needed at the Temple.

2 Kings 12:4-5 (NLT)

Joash was a very young king, but even in his youth, he had more wisdom than his predecessors. Though he did not tear down the pagan shrines, he took it upon himself to have the Temple of the Lord repaired and restored.

Good for the kid king, but what does it have to do with me and my life right now?

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT)

I believe that this verse is often used to say that you are the temple of God or I am the temple of God. But in this translation all of [us] together are the temple of God. God doesn’t just inhabit one person. He lives in and through the entire Church—globally. So what happens when even a small portion of that temple has fallen into disrepair? Other parts can make up for it for a while, but in time, as other pieces collapse, the entire building will begin to crumble.

Christianity is not a solo sport. We are not individuals, we are a body.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up on whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:12, 27 (NLT)

All of you together.

Imagine what we, the Church, could accomplish if we would live like one body? If we would act like parts of a whole instead of trying to do our own thing and wondering why we can’t see anything (because you’re an ear, not an eye).

The purpose of Christians working, living, and learning together is not so that we can all be one big happy family (of course we can, though). It is because we are stronger together. We were created to work together. We are to hold each other up while the other is being restored. And we are to hold each other accountable. If the part beside you is in need of repair, don’t let it continue to fall to pieces, rather address the issue and fix it—together.

Like in the time of Joash, I believe that the Temple of God—the global Church—is in need of repair and restoration. We’ve fallen apart and separated into pieces we were never meant to be because we were meant to be one unit. The Temple. One building. One body. One Spirit. One Saviour. One Church.

Daily Bible reading: 2 Kings 12-14. John 5:25-47