“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” II Corinthians 1:20

We as woman all wrestle at times with insecurity. Some hide it better than others, but the plague of self-doubt and the longing to achieve the level of spiritual victory that we are convinced true godly women must experience are common to us all. Whether we are eager young women dreaming of being wives and mothers, weary young mothers with husbands and children to care for, concerned mothers of teenagers facing the deep challenges of imparting wisdom, grandmothers desiring to have a godly influence without “stepping over the line”, or single women seeking to make hard decisions without the leadership of husbands, we all face our insecurities. We feel the weight of the consequences of failure. If I’m not what I should be I won’t find a husband; God may withhold children; my husband may not love me; my children may rebel; I may make wrong decisions; or worst of all, God will be angry with me. Our admirable desires to bear good fruit can feed our fears. Our fear of not measuring up becomes a heavy weight to bear. We search for someone or something that will promise us success— if not ultimate success, at least promise us some relief from the fear of failure. And thus we become a target for the “promise makers.”

The “promise makers” are everywhere. They come to you in every form. They eloquently articulate the source of your insufficiency and have just the remedy, sure to relieve you of your inadequacy. One day they come with the promise of health and financial prosperity — that’s what you need. Surely you would be happier and feel some relief from your fears if you were out of debt and ate better foods! The next day they promise relief through self-discipline. A new schedule, an increased exercise routine, a virtuous hobby, a new job, or perhaps a denial of relaxation or entertainment will make you feel better about yourself and will make your failures seem smaller in comparison to virtues. Then they come with religious education. They produce full color catalogues dripping with sentimentality and family values. These catalogs offer items which individually address every failure you’ve ever mourned: a book that promises to make your children best friends; a DVD that tells you how to unify your family and make your home a happy one; a kit to help you achieve financial freedom; a diet straight from the Old Testament; toys that will make men out of your boys and ladies out of your girls; and even books which will make your husband into the leader you always knew he should be! These “promise makers” seem to have an endless supply of cisterns. It seems that you’ve tried them all, and their promise to help distracts you for a time. They mock you by seeming to hold water for a little while. But then you see that they leak, and you’re left with the insecurity and fear of failure once again!

Oh, but there is a living fountain of promises that are sure! “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Sure He uses means, but only when they are taken up by faith and we don’t look to them for our help. It is in Himself that Christ promises true help, strength, wisdom, and security. Unlike the remedies offered by those that would make merchandise of you, His promises must be received by faith not by sight. Faith is the victory! “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith is the opposite of fear. God is well pleased when we delight in the law of God after the inward man by faith, instead of delighting in the methods and traditions of men according to some outward performance by sight.

We have seen the condition of the modern, evangelical church and have concluded that the anemia that is pervasive is a result of the church’s pursuit of power through all the wrong means. Seminarism has replaced preaching; entertainment has replaced worship; activity has replaced service; and performance has replaced prayer. So at our Church we’ve purposed to pursue God in His way, on His terms, through the simple means of grace, and by faith believing that true power is to be found in Christ alone. Our hope for the church is built on nothing less!

Yet I challenge us as women. How many of us apply this same wisdom at home? Do we walk by faith at church and yet walk by sight in our own personal pursuit of spiritual power? Having begun the week on the Sabbath in the Spirit are we made perfect the rest of the week by the flesh? Have we replaced the Word with some “how to” book? Have we replaced prayer with a “3 step program for success”? Have we redefined true holiness by some standard of man-made self-help? Have we put our hope in some newfound method of warfare, or is our hope in the Lord? God’s Word is a treasure of sure promises that are to be received by faith. Let us lay hold of our God and cry with Jacob that we will not let Him go until He bless us. Let us, like the Syrophenician woman, pass up the impressive banquet table of the “promise makers” for the real nourishment that is to be found in the crumbs from our master’s table. Let us experience that spiritual power which we so need, through walking by faith in the great promises of our God to be found in His Word and to be claimed in the place of prayer! This will delight our God and in this He will be well pleased!

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Corinthians 7:1