Oct 28, 2020, 1:17 PM
“For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38)
After God had confirmed that Sarah would beget a son in her old age, He remained silent, totally mute. As time slipped sluggishly by without any major event however, the couple must have been convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that after all it could have been wishful thinking, a pipe dream. To think that God could accomplish this miraculous feat as He predicted began to exercise the minds of Abraham and Sarah.
It was time to implement plan B. The waiting game had been painful; nothing of God’s plan had hatched. How often do we attempt to come to God’s rescue? When things don’t go the way we expect they should, don’t we look for solutions elsewhere and gear up to go it our own way? As it turned out, the couple decided to give God a helping hand. Sarah took the lead.
Whilst God was bidding His time, Sarah was getting all jittery that the whole affair was dragging. So she went into action. Plan B got the approval of Abraham. “The Lord has kept me from having children.” She said to her husband. “Go sleep with my maidservant, perhaps I can build a family through her.” (Genesis 16:3) Apparently, there was a problem and Sarah sought ways to remedy it. She asked her husband Abraham to come forward and play an active role in the implementation of the plan. Abraham then slept with Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maid, and she gave birth to a son they called Ishmael. Was God’s promise fulfilled in this engineering feat? Well, for the couple probably; but according to God’s plan, He had absolutely no hand in this.
The promise God made to Abraham and Sarah was clear. The process God decreed was not to be through a surrogate mother but through Sarah’s womb. It was through the couple and not any substitute that the miracle should be birthed. “You (Abraham and Sarah) would be blessed with a son and his name would be called Isaac.”
There is nothing unusual about having an alternative plan in life but in this instance it was an alternative to God’s promise. Nothing can beat God’s plan unfortunately. Abraham and Sarah were denying God’s ability to make Sarah a mother in spite of her age. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” No, nothing is too difficult for God to accomplish!
Sarah had put her problem-solving skills into play by resorting to her own method of addressing the matter. The protracted process in the fulfilment of God’s promise provoked Sarah’s impatience. Compounded by the fact that she wanted to take control of the problem, she was propelled into action.
Rather than wait, trusting in God’s ability to perform what He had promised, she forced the pace to make the promise a reality. Based on her own timetable and depending on her own strength – instead of leaning on God’s word – she was proud that God’s promise had come true. That false move activated the commencement of Sarah’s problems.
Hagar once Sarah’s maid became her rival. Henceforth, there would be no peace. “She despised (looked down, hated) her mistress.” (Genesis 16:4) And who does Sarah blame for this? Abraham. “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering: I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” (verse 5). Sarah started mistreating Hagar until she was obliged to leave. When we operate outside the will of God, we heap only trouble and problems upon ourselves.
We may be overexcited and enthused to do the will of God but did we consult with Him in the first instance? Are we working in our own strength or according to God’s will? To know and walk in God’s will, it is in our interest to consult Him and lean on His word, the Bible. Then shall “… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
God took Sarah’s dead womb and brought it back to life at ninety years - at a time when she and Abraham had given up on His word. They had said they could not wait. Both of them had ruled out the chances of God’s divine action ever materialising. In life, if we put God’s word first, we can be sure every other thing – our hopes, needs and wishes will be met in a way that would stun us. (Matthew 6:33)
In the dark days of our existence, when we have a burning desire for God to hear us, let us be certain He has not forgotten us. God wants us to know how much we rely on Him for our daily needs so He could get us to a height where we would rely on Him for mightier deeds.
In God’s time, Isaac, the child of promise was born out of Sarah’s womb. Great was her joy! “Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’(Incidentally that is the meaning of Isaac - laughter) And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:6-7) In the kingdom of God the impossible happens and all for His glory.
Whatever your status is now do not see it as a dead end street. No! God will make a way where there is no way. Just listen to Him and watch Him accomplish His will in your life. We should stop doing God’s will in our own way and strength – both of which constitute a sheer waste of time; that will not bring us any satisfaction. If any, it would be temporal and not cost-effective. God is supreme. He has the last say. His way is by far the best and is long-lasting.
Our life experiences should teach us that one of God’s characteristics is that He is Almighty. His ways are past finding out. We have serious limitations and undoubtedly cannot compare with Him. we will be hitting our heads against the wall with every attempt to do so.
If you want to know what God’s will is, spend time with His Word – the Bible: the infallible Word of God. Seek His kingdom and learn from Him. He is available 24/7. He never slumbers, He never sleeps. Talk to Him, He has a listening ear. He never drives anyone away. (John 6:36)
Our Lord Jesus said to His Father, as captured in the Book of the Psalms. “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll; I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:7) Christ is our example!