“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah’…
Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-2, 5)
When it comes to fulfilling the promises, God takes all the initiative. Israel completed her time in exile; the time for the return of the people had come. Yet, God did not wait around for the people to decided when they wanted to come back. He had a promise to fulfill and a mission to complete. He was going to bless the nations through the seed of Abraham and make the Davidic king rule forever. Thus, the people of Israel had to come back from exile. And so God moved both king and people to come back to the land of Israel. God didn’t wait on Israel to fulfill the promises, He would fulfill them Himself.
How comforting to know that God is still completing His mission and fulfilling His promises today. He is not sitting around waiting for perfect churches full of perfect people that follow His leadings perfectly. That is because He is the one taking the initiative to fulfill the promises. He works with our weaknesses and is not bound by them. Even though we are not strong or focused enough to follow Christ perfectly, He shows Himself to be absolutely sufficient to do what He has promised.