Standing on the Promises

God is not a man, so he does not lie.
    He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
    Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
~  Numbers 23:19 (NLT) ~

The song came into my sleepy mind as a wisp of fog that slowly dissipated until the lyrics were clear. It was, “Standing on the Promises.”

The first verse brings the promise of an eternity. According to 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “It is God who enables us, . . . to stand firm for Christ. He has . . .  identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.”

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Teri Gilbert, Getty Museum, @ 2015

Teri Gilbert, Getty Museum, © 2015

The refrain echoes Paul’s encouragement in his epistles to stand strong in the Lord and is summed up in 1 Corinthians 16:13.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Verse 2 reminds me of His promise to never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). When I feel like I am sinking into the water, Jesus will take my hand and walk with me just as He did with Peter. Sometimes, even the most stouthearted will have “little faith,” but even the tiniest bit of faith will please the Lord.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Verse 3 assures me of the truth of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV).

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Verse 4 reminds me that I am clothed in the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and of His promise that nothing can separate me “from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus [my] Lord” (Romans 8:39, NKJV).

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Finally, in verse 5 is the key to standing—having ears to hear what the Spirit says to us. The only way to do that is to daily abide in Jesus (John 15:4).

Standing on the promises I shall not fall,
List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call.
Resting in my Savior as my All in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Dear Father, because of Your great grace and mercy, “When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,” we shall stand strong. Because Your word is hidden in our hearts, we shall “[overcome] daily with the Spirit’s sword.” And because of Your presence and Your Son’s love and encouragement to find rest for our souls, He is our “All in all.” In Jesus’ precious and life-giving name we pray, amen.

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