“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
Has God made you promises? Has He placed dreams in your heart you desire SO much to come to pass? Are you becoming discouraged, thinking it will never happen? Have you been tempted to take things into your own hands to make those dreams come true? Or have you already tried that and realized it’s not working?
Let’s pause for a moment and have a little Bible lesson.
God made a promise to Abraham. A promise of children and descendants too numerous to count. While waiting for this promise to happen, Abraham and Sarah, his wife, became impatient. Month by month, year by year, Sarah failed to become pregnant. Nervousness set in. Maybe they should “help” God out. Sarah comes up with a grand idea. “Here, Abraham. Take my maid, Hagar, and go sleep with her. She’ll be able to give you a child.” Have you ever heard of a worse plan? Can you imagine telling your husband to go to bed with another woman so His dreams will be fulfilled? No way, Jose!
Ishmael was born out of this arrangement. There, God’s promise had come true. Now Abraham would have descendants, just like God said. One little problem. God had a different plan, a miraculous plan. A plan that could only happen by divine intervention. And how many of us know divine plans are so much better than our plans?
Sarah grew old, like really, really old. Like ninety something. An angel told her she was going to have a baby. She actually laughed out loud in disbelief. There’s no way that could happen at this point in her life. That’s just not humanly possible. Exactly. We know the story. God renewed her youth and she gave birth to Isaac, the promised child.
Of course, Sarah soon became irritated and jealous of Hagar and Ishmael. Everything was a mess. That’s what happens when humans put their two cents in. God commanded Abraham that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away. That’s how He feels about human effort! Get rid of it!
As we know, the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac have been at each other’s throats now for thousands of years now. The promise of God has been overshadowed because of Abraham and Sarah’s impatience with God. It didn’t have to be this way!
Ishmael’s birth is like the law. The law requires human effort and perfection to bring forth God’s favor and the realization of His promises. Isaac’s birth is like God’s grace. Human effort had nothing to do with it. His birth was the result of God keeping His promise, doing just what He said He would do. God desires us to be completely trusting and dependent on Him. When we place our lives in His hands, His will is accomplished in our lives. “The law demands perfect performance, but God’s grace embraces imperfect dependence.”
Stop trying to make God’s promises happen NOW in your life. His promises are “yes and Amen.” His promises are true. God is not a man that He should lie. If He said it, believe that it will come to pass…in His time.
Our human effort strives for the favor of God in order for His will to be done in our lives. The Bible says our efforts are like filthy rags to God. Sometimes, we too, like Abraham and Sarah, feel the need to “help” God out. When we do “this” and we do “that,” we make a mess and complicate things. He is lining up the perfect people, the perfect places, the perfect situation just for you. Don’t worry about it! Trust Him!
My Emma was quite a handful as a toddler. Many times when she would want me to obey HER, instead of the other way around. She would get infuriated with me. “RIGHT NOW!” she’d scream at me like a maniac. Sounds familiar, huh? Did I give in and do what Emma wanted? No, of course not. And why not? Because Mother knows best. Likewise, when we try to make things happen in our lives, RIGHT NOW, God sometimes says, “No, not yet.” Why? Because, God knows best!
If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, YOU are a child of promise. He has great plans for those who believe and put their trust in Him. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” Galatians 4:28
Have you had promises come true in your life? I have. For over 10 years, God promised me I would be a stay-at-home mom. It didn’t happen when I thought it should happen (RIGHT NOW!), but in God’s time, it has come to pass. Share your story below and encourage someone else today. 🙂