Have you ever noticed that the word – compromise – is mostly made up of the word – promise?

Another fun fact: the prefix “com” means with/together/in association.

Preceding compromise is the promise of something.

Adam and Eve had been given Eden by God.

Esau had his inheritance as first born.

Saul had divine favour and support as king.

Compromise results as a departure from the original promise to an alternative promise.

For Adam and Eve, it was the promise to be more like God in their knowledge of good and evil.

For Esau, it was the promise of a bowl of stew that would satisfy his hunger.

For Saul, it was the promise that his sacrifice would be more pleasing to God than his obedience.

On the surface, none of these alternative promises look like a terrible thing. Until you consider the price that was paid for them.

Adam and Eve lost the life God had intended for them in Eden.

Esau lost his inheritance.

Saul lost God’s approval and favour on his life as king.

Not every promise is worth the price tag it comes with. Especially if it means settling for far less than what was rightfully yours.

As believers, we have a ton of promises from God through his written and spoken word. But these promises often require us to wait for their fulfillment. In this period of waiting, we are vulnerable to compromise. Because, let’s be honest, waiting for something we deeply desire to have can get rough.

On the flipside, being familiar with a promise already fulfilled can also leave us open to compromise. When we’re used to the idea of having something or enjoying something, we never stop to think that one bad decision could result in us losing it forever.

There are three root causes of compromise I want to delve into:

The fear of being short-changed by God.

Re: Adam and Eve

At the core of this fear, is a lack of complete trust in God in a particular area of your life. There may be some trust but there could also be some doubt mixed in there. This results in a dangerous cocktail of I’m kind of with God but I’m also kind of not sure He’ll come through for me so I need to have my own back.

Ergo, taking up an alternative promise that gives you the illusion of control over a situation.

Are there aspects of your life where you struggle to fully trust God’s intentions for you or His ability to provide for your needs and desires?

Can you trace back to when this fear first began? Was it something that happened or didn’t happen as expected? What truth of that situation does God want you to now see and understand?

The hunger of now.

Re: Esau

Long-term promises like inheritance require a lot of wisdom in stewardship. What works in one season, won’t necessarily work in the next.

This stewardship requires you to balance your present needs with your expectations for the future.

How do you feed today’s hunger without squandering tomorrow’s promise?

The Israelites had the future promise of Canaan as they journeyed through the wilderness. But they also needed their daily supply of manna to keep them going. It didn’t just fall on their plates though. They had to go out each day and collect it as per God’s instructions.

What manna is God providing you with daily to sustain the promises He’s given? What instructions has He given you about how that manna should be consumed?

The fallacy of good intentions.

Re: Saul

Saul outrightly disobeyed God with the aim of honouring Him in the process. When put this way, it’s clear there was something off about his plan all along.

Good intentions are inherently not a bad thing. But when we exalt our good intentions above God’s intentions for us in a matter, we’re essentially elevating ourselves above God. Our hearts saying – we know better than You do, God, and so we can do better than You can.

The root of this is pride. It takes humility to acknowledge that we don’t know best and God’s way could actually be better than our own. Especially when we can’t logically see the how at the time.

This pride becomes all the more dangerous because it separates us from God. We can’t attain to/sustain the original promise we have from God without God.

What areas of pride may be resident in your heart that are causing you to steward God’s promises your way instead of His way?

Good stewardship is not an automatic ability that some have and others don’t. We all start from ground zero and have to learn. With intentionality, it’s something we continually grow in and work towards. Mistakes can and will happen. Grace and restoration abounds. When you’re diligent in reminding yourself of what’s at stake, you won’t be as quick to jump onto a fleeting moment at the expense of your eternal destiny.


When God Speaks II: Threshing Floor

This is a continuation of last week’s post so check that out first here if you hadn’t read it.

When God speaks, He’s giving a life forecast. He’s intimating what His heart and mind for you and your life is and what to expect in your current and/or future seasons.

If you expect God to handle your circumstances the way you would, there’s a likelihood you’re going to be ill prepared for everything that starts to happen. Even if things are similar to something you’ve been through before, God hardly ever does things the same way. He’ll certainly get it done, but you must be open and flexible in how it’s going to happen.

Part of the how involves the role you need to play in the manifestation of God’s word in your life. There’s an insightful sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes titled the Deceptive Nature of Grace where he talks about the cost of grace. Just because you get something for free, doesn’t mean it didn’t cost the One who gave it to you. Just because you get something for free, doesn’t mean keeping it won’t cost you.

The assumption often made is that God will take care of all the hard work that comes with His promises and we get to sit and do nothing as we wait for Him to hurry up and get it done. And yet, while we don’t buy God’s promises, it does cost us to prepare for them and to handle them. It’s the cost of stewardship.

This is where the threshing floor comes in. It’s the place between what is in your life and what is to be as God intends. God has to condition and position us to receive and steward what He’s promised us.

The condition of our being needs to be attuned to what God’s speaking will unlock in our lives. Our minds need to be renewed to see and understand the promise the way God does. Our hearts need to be calibrated to learn how to steward the promise without dethroning the God who gave it; to own the promise and not have the promise own us. Our wills need to be undergirded and trained to do that which God requires of us. Our spirits need to be sensitized afresh to the leading of the Holy Spirit in so far as the promise is concerned.

Our position spiritually and in the natural also needs to change. There are divine promises we cannot access without moving to a higher dimension of spiritual acuity. For instance, this could mean God has to connect you with someone who can impart a certain grace to you to give you the capacity to steward what He has for you. Your position in the natural may also need to shift to accommodate what the promise of God is bringing your way e.g. you may need to change jobs in order to be in the right environment for what God is doing in your life.

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.”

– Psalm 62:11-12 ESV

For all these things to happen, you must realize by now the high degree of direction you need from God to know what to do and how to do it, and what not to do and how to steer clear of it. There’s a principle my husband likes to call the realm of 2nd hearing where you continually go back to God in prayer to inquire of Him concerning something He has said. This means that when we’re praying concerning what God has spoken over our lives, the primary need isn’t really to remind Him (because He hasn’t forgotten) or rant at Him (because He’s not doing things our way); it’s to get direction from Him on what He requires us to do in preparation for what He’s already doing.

There definitely comes a point in the threshing floor when you realize that receiving God’s promises won’t cost you something, it’ll cost you everything. Your choice of surrender is significant because it determines whether you will cede control of your life to God’s leading or you will hold onto the reigns and continue to call the shots. It is folly to imagine that you can appropriately steward anything divine in nature without the One who created both you and it.

Perhaps, the most fundamental reality of them all, is the fact that when God speaks, it’s about you in part, but not in entirety. See, His promises to you aren’t just for you or just about you. Your breakthrough is tied to the breakthrough of others. It’s the bigger picture we must all see before God can grant us full access to His promises for us. His blessing is big enough to not just take care of us but to cater to others who need what He will make available for us and through us.

When God speaks, the question is never whether He can or will do what He has decreed. His part is as good as done the moment He utters His word. What’s really in question is whether we are willing to pay the cost to be the stewards we need to be to receive and handle His promises as He intended.

Are you?