Wait for the Promise

In life, we have a choice every day to live by faith; to hold fast to what God has spoken or to make other plans.

To choose Ishmael or to wait for Isaac.

This conflict can arise in many ways. We can often have friendships in our lives that are not productive. These may be friends from school, colleagues or even close family friends. When you are around them, you cannot speak the truth like you ought to. They may lead lives contrary to God’s standard of holiness, but their level of familiarity stops them from heeding your rebuke or advice. They do not value the things you value and they pull you into their world, rather than being pulled into yours.

Yet, they remain in your life.

For others, it can be through a relationship. You know that things are not quite right and as your relationship develops, you see behaviour traits and notice patterns that leave you feeling unsure. I am not talking about superficial things, rather foundational issues and challenges that are unresolved and even when you think you have gotten past them, sooner or later, they arise again. You tell yourself, “It’s fine, no one is perfect. At least this man is caring, has a good heart or is trying his best”, or “she knows my family, she is a good cook, she’s been waiting for me to propose for three years…”

But you KNOW in your heart that this is not what God intended for you.

In ministry, we can allow ourselves to be stuck in a place that does not stretch or challenge us. We stay in places where the truth is not spoken and people turn a blind eye to sin and ungodliness. We know the gifts we possess or the burden God has placed in our heart. However, because we have served on the team for months, or have attended the church for years, or because mum is friends with the pastor, we stay where we are. We ignore the call of God on our lives because of fear.

Will you choose Ishmael over Isaac?

God has a promise for us, yet we have our own free will. We must choose to obey Him, choose to act according to His Word. Choose to wait patiently, despite ridicule or rebuke.

For some of us, this will involve acting in faith; it may be leaving a job, ending a relationship, speaking up where you have been silent.

But we must remember who we serve. Our God is faithful and will accomplish His word for His own sake.

Genesis 21:1-2 says:

“And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”

At the set time, God will do it. We must lay down our own plans and submit our lives to Him, trusting that He is able, and knowing that He has not forgotten us.

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