God's Way or The Highway

God's Way or The Highway

Welcome to Part 6 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're getting impatient with God's plan, this blog series is for you. For Part 5, "You Can Trust God's Will" click here.

Proverbs 14:12(NKJV) - There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

When human beings start coming up with their own ideas that contradict God's plan they end up in serious trouble. Have you ever completely disobeyed God because you thought you knew better? I won't ask you how it ended up. I can just imagine. Even though sometimes we think our own path is right because we think we really know what's best for us we really screw up when we stop trusting God. It's even worse when we know His promises will come to pass but we just don't feel like waiting anymore. Here's a perfect example.

Genesis 16:1-12(NLT) - Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.) 4 So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!” 6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. 7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” 11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

As we discussed last week, God spoke to Abram in Genesis 12 and gave him a big picture idea of where his life would end up. Therefore, both Abram and his wife Sarai knew the destination. However, they did not know the plan. Since they could not understand how God planned to get them to their final outcome they devised a plan of their own in Genesis 16.

God had promised them a son but they decided to trust their understanding of Biology instead of trusting God's Word. They were both very old and naturally they could no longer have children. Maybe Abram had a chance but definitely not with Sarai. So Sarai told Abram to sleep with her servant, Hagar. The plan "looked" good at the time but it started to unravel the moment Hagar had her son, Ishmael. As human beings they lived with one glaring disadvantage and that's the inability to see the future.

Hagar got an attitude because she became the mother of Abram's son while Sarai remained barren. However, that was nothing in comparison to the future stress and heartache their decision caused. Eventually, they had to kick Hagar and Ishmael out the house in Genesis 21. Had they known the full price of that one attempt to force God's hand maybe they would have reconsidered. Ishmael would not just go away even after Isaac came. Ishmael grew up to become everyone's enemy and his descendants today are no different. He was the gift that kept on giving and will continue to give until Jesus returns. 🙂

You Can Trust God's Will

Genesis 17:18-22(NLT) - So Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing!” 19 But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant. 20 As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.” 22 When God had finished speaking, he left Abraham.

In Genesis 17:18, Abram tried to get God to accept their bad decision by asking Him to choose Ishmael for the special blessing but God refused. He didn't choose Ishmael so they still had to wait for Isaac. You can't disobey God and then ask Him to accept your disobedience. How many times have you seen people do that? Does it ever work? If you are out of the Will of God your best move is not to try to get God to accept you there because He won't. You just need to find out how you can return to the Will of God because that's where The Blessing is located. I'll say it one more time. God will not accept disobedience.

What's the moral of that story? When you try to force God's hand you end up with an Ishmael even though God promised you an Isaac. Ishmael might look like a terrific plan at the beginning but on the tail end you will suffer so much that you will wish you had waited on God. Don't be the impatient Christian woman who marries an Ishmael instead of waiting for God to give you Isaac. Don't be the impatient businessman who signs a contract that's an Ishmael when God intended an Isaac for you. Don't be the impatient consumer who buys an Ishmael instead of waiting for Isaac to go on sale.

Say no to creating Ishmael when Isaac is God's promise. The biggest problem with creating an Ishmael is that you have to pay the consequences for the rest of your life. In Abraham and Sarah's case the rest of the world continues to pay for their Ishmael. His descendants still create havoc all over the world and refuse to go away. Don't follow their example. It's God's way or The Highway.

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