The Promise Keeper


He is the Promise Keeper.

I’ve come to know this One who never breaks a promise.

I remember sitting in my bedroom one evening, crying out to God for direction. I wanted to know his plans for my life. I had come to a crossroads in my career and I wasn’t sure what was next. So I began seeking God.

This was not the first time we’d been here.

I’d asked him years before to lead me, to give me passionate pursuit of his purposes. And he had answered. After nearly two years of seeking Him on this topic of destiny, I “stumbled” across a job posting that would ultimately change the course of my life. At the time, I was in the middle of sorting out many different paths. I was restless and ready to make a move.

Restlessness is a good first sign that transition is coming. God begins to stir the nest.

I honestly didn’t know what to do next, so I just started doing everything. I was applying to grad school for international development. At the same time I was job searching for something closer to home. I figured if I was going to be unhappy in my job, at least let me survive it with an easy commute!

Thinking too small, “for survival sake,” is a good first sign that you’re on the wrong track.

God is never thinking small. There is no lack in him. When he says he’s going to do something, he always does it. And he does it BIG.

He had begun breaking my heart for the least of these. It was subtle at first. On the metro ride and walk to work, I would find myself in tears over the homeless on the streets of Washington DC. I would be broken over the news of hardship around the world. And out of this compassion grew a heart of intercession. I began praying desperately – Lord, use me! Let me do something that is meaningful. Let my life make a difference. You saved me for a reason.

It was not a cliché prayer.

Over the years the Lord had begun highlighting for me how much he had spared me from – he had preserved my life for a purpose.

I was supposed to be born into poverty and war.

All of the odds were stacked in favor of that reality. I was born in Liberia, among the poorest countries in the world. But God in his infinite grace had placed me in a family of means and privilege. We had everything we needed, and more. We moved to the States after a devastating coup d’état in Liberia. Many of my family members were in leadership positions in government. Some lost their lives. But my immediate family had miraculously been spared.

I was only four years old at the time. Years later in my adulthood, I would begin asking the Lord why he spared us.

To whom much is given, much is required (Lk. 12:48). But what is required of me?

Those were the words I wrote in my journal, alone in a student hostel in France. It was my first time living abroad so far from the shelter of my family. And it was there that the Lord began to put these questions of purpose in my heart. I wasn’t walking closely with him then, but he was so close to me.

Jesus is always near, desiring closeness with us, even when we are not desiring him. He comes close in pursuit of the ones he created.

He is the Promise Keeper.

So years later as I found my heart breaking for the poor as I commuted to work, I also found that Jesus had always been pursuing me. He began answering my prayer to do something meaningful, and out of the confusion of applying to grad school and random jobs closer to home, came a clear answer to my specific prayer. I stumbled across a job posting at International Justice Mission (IJM) that was written just for me. I’d asked God to work at a Christian organization and to serve people in the developing world.

He did it – but that prayer was still too small.

I served at IJM for twelve years in various capacities. Each role was a new and profound answer to prayer. Remember that evening in my bedroom that I mentioned, when I was crying out to God for direction?

I’d been at IJM for five years at that point and I was in graduate school for organization development. I was restless – tired of my current role as Director of Strategic Events (that’s a fancy title for planning dozens of chicken dinners!). I was like “Lord, if I plan one more chicken dinner it’ll be the end of me!” I’m good with the drama. He was like “Connie, will you do it for me?”  That question broke me. He had done everything for me. I love him, because he loved me first.

So I did. I planned those dinners for another year after I’d started praying that desperate “get me out of these chicken dinners” prayer!

And in that season of waiting, he began unfolding to me his purpose.

There is always a waiting season when God is transitioning you. It is the time when you most feel like giving up, but that’s precisely the time to lean into Him and persevere in the waiting.

He began speaking to me clearly out of his Word and during my times of stillness with him. I remember journaling a thought that I had about being called to the work of intercession. I even wrote down in my journal “I don’t think I’m hearing correctly but I’m writing it just in case it’s God.” Because my next thought was, “The work of intercession? What kind of job am I supposed to get as an intercessor? Who’s gonna pay me to pray?!?”

Well, not long after (though it felt like an eternity), I was offered a job as the Director of Prayer at IJM. It was a position that was created for me. But it required the waiting. It required obeying God to stay when I wanted to move. It required trusting that his plans for me were better than my own.

He is the Promise Keeper.

After another few years in that role as Director of Prayer, God began nudging me through restlessness once again. And I began asking him for next steps. I kept having this sense that my season at IJM was coming to an end, but I didn’t know what was next. I continued to pray (and whine a little bit) through that for nearly three years.  One thing I’ve noticed about the Lord is that he’s often working like this – slow…slow…painfully slow…FAST! That’s how it feels. Like for three years nothing was really changing, nothing was moving but then suddenly! Everything changes in the blink of an eye.

He is the Promise Keeper.

I need to remember that today, in the waiting. I need to remember that I know the One who is the Promise Keeper. He never, ever, neglects his Word. When he asks you to do something, he always backs it.

I’m in the middle of the waiting.

Two years ago, I stepped out to do this work at Unveiled full-time. It too was borne out of a season of desperate prayer and waiting on the Lord. Because honestly, I didn’t dream of Unveiled. It was not on my radar until God put it there. I had other much more “logical” plans for my transition out of IJM. I would go to school to get prepared for whatever was next. Or maybe I would put my master’s degree to work and find a job at a consulting firm. Surely I would do something that “made sense.”

This next step that he was unveiling did not make sense.

It often still doesn’t. I find myself at times nearly jumping ship to do something a bit more “normal!” But God keeps confirming and encouraging me right at the moments when I’m praying that same ole “get me out of these chicken dinners” prayer!

The waiting is important.

It is critical for trust building. It is essential for remembering. It is necessary for exposing hidden wounds that can only heal under the Light.

You cannot skip the season of waiting.

It is where the pressing happens. There’s new oil coming. But it must be pressed. You must be pressed. It’s the only way to know what is in you. To get the best oil, there must be pressing.

You are waiting in Gethsemane (the oil press). You are in the Gardener’s hand. There is pressing and pruning to be done. It's uncomfortable. And it takes time.

But He is the Promise Keeper.

Everything he begins, he completes.
Every word he speaks, he brings it to pass.
He does not leave unfinished work.

And you are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared ahead of time that you should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)

Jesus will never break his promises to you.

But to know what he has promised, you must seek out those promises in his Word like your life depends upon it. Because it does.

My life is dependent on the Word of the Promise Keeper.

My word will never return to Me void. It will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Are you at one of life's crossroads? Ready to take the next step in pursuing God's voice and calling in your life? Click here to learn about the Unveiled Cohort program. We'd love to have you join us!

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