We can so easily become anxious and become wrapped up in the promise as being the treasure rather than understanding that Jesus is...
So often we try and cultivate God’s promises on our own ability. Rather than implementing the two key ingredients that come into play, faith and patience. You see, in Hebrews 6:12 it says that, “faith and patience inherit the promises of God.” It isn’t anything based on our performance or how much “good” we do, it is patience and faith. In fact, you cannot have patience without faith. They go hand-in-hand. Patience is the faith that God’s timing is better than our own.
In the Bible, there is an example of how impatience and operating in our “fleshly,” fears can hinder the timing of receiving what God has promised us. Let us go to the book of Genesis in chapters 16-17, where Abraham, who was then Abram, and his wife Sarai had a moment of impatience. The promise was that they would have a son. You see, both Sarai and Abraham were up in age and past child bearing. So, in the natural God’s promise was impossible. In-turn they decided to “help God out,” and they took the situation into their owns hands and out of God’s.
Sarai had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. She was a good bit younger and was still “in the natural,” of child bearing age. Sarai then tells Abraham that the only way they will be able to have children is if he bears a child with her maidservant. Can you say, “scandalous?” And because Abraham was operating in fear as well, he agreed and bore a son with Hagar and his name was none other than Ishmael.
There are so many things we can glean from this story. We can so easily become anxious and become wrapped up in the promise as being the treasure rather than understanding that Jesus is the treasure. As Sarai operated in fear she then put her will over God’s promise to them. See, it is when we grow weary in what we think is the end of a season that we birth Ishmael’s. Sarai and Abraham both looked at their natural circumstances in being of old age, not having any children, and comparing their circumstance to God’s promise. They saw their circumstance larger than God’s ability to fulfill His promise to them.
I, myself, have birthed Ishmael situations in my life. For example: When I was 21 and had just graduated with my Associates degree from SGSC I knew I needed to go to a bigger college because it was just “the thing to do.” I had no regards as to what God was wanting for me. I made this impulsive decision based on my outlook and anxiousness to make a decision. You see, so many times we will birth an Ishmael because we allow fear to sink in and the thought of it being the end of a something.
Although I learned many things from making the decision it was definitely not where I was meant to be. In my experience, when you are in an Ishmael season there will be a lot of anxiousness and not a lot of peace. That is the epitome of what I felt. It was because I did not rest in His promise of guidance and direction that I experienced this. Not because God caused anything to happen but because I put myself in a place of disobedience and unfulfillment. Knowing that it wasn’t His will for me, but out of obligation to the norm.
Are there things you are believing God for? Maybe you are believing for a child, a job, a spouse, a loved one to come home? Whatever the case may be, learn from Abraham and Sarai’s story. I’m sure we all have been tempted to get ahead of God and try to speed up His promise fulfilling process at some point in our lives. Even when we make a mess of things, God is faithful to make all things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28)
Isaac was the promised son to Abraham and Sarai. God is so sweet; from the beginning of time He has been faithful to His promises. Even after all of the mess that was created because of unmet expectations, doubt, fear, anxiousness, etc. God was still faithful to His promise. Isaac was then, as promised, birthed into existence by Sarai.
There are more than 3,000 promises from God in the Bible. These promises are yes and amen to you. Discover them for your life and choose to believe He is able and willing to do above and beyond all you could ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) What is it you are dreaming about? What is it you are believing God for? Choose to apply the key ingredients of faith and patience to your life and enjoy God’s best for you!