Well, duh! That golden ticket isn't worth much if you don't claim it, right, Charlie?
I've been learning a great deal while journeying through the book of Joshua. One recurrent theme is that God is always faithful to his promises. But in conjunction with his faithfulness is our responsibility to name his promises, and to claim them.
When there were no sons to claim a father's inheritance in the Promised Land, the daughters of Zelophehad went to Joshua to make their claim (Joshua 17:3-6). The sisters named the promise made to them by Moses, then claimed it for themselves. In a male dominant culture, the women showed great courage, and they received their inheritance, just like the men in the family.
Dear Reader, I wish I could tell you I've mastered the practice of naming and claiming God's promises. It's not that he hasn't honored his promises, he has! The promise of a safely born child, the promise of a vocation, promises large and small, I only needed to name his promise to me and claim it in order to receive it.
And yet, even after naming and claiming promises for those nearest my heart, I have found myself literally beating my head against the wall. Does that sound like a person full of faith to you?
Yes, Dear Reader, I've yelled at God, more than once. But the screams of an anguished spirit connected to the integrity of our merciful God. In my desperation, God honors another promise, "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep(s) (my) heart and (my) mind in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 4:7)
Dear Reader, what promises is God waiting on you to name and claim? Perhaps this love note will help: "Lord, you are my God.
I honor you and praise your name, because you did amazing things. The words you said long ago are completely true; everything happened exactly as you said it would." (Isaiah 25:1 ERV)