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Daily Devotional
July 30
 
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Galatians 4:21-23
 
To validate his argument, Paul appealed to Abraham, father of the Jewish race, to whom God said, ‘I’m going to bring you into a new land. I’m going to give you a new name. I’m going to make you great. And from you will come forth a people as innumerable as the stars in the heaven or the sand on the seashore.’

Abraham believed God — but when he was eighty-six years old, with the promise yet to be fulfilled, his wife said, ‘Honey, I realize God spoke to you, but let’s be practical. You’re eighty-six. I’m seventy-six. This promise isn’t going to come to pass the way we thought it would. Therefore, take my slave girl, Hagar, have relations with her, and the child you produce will be the promised seed from which will come the nation God promised you’ (see Genesis 16:2).

Folks, when God gives a promise, almost invariably there is a gap of time between the giving of the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. And it is in that gap of time that we get impatient. ‘Time is running out,’ we say. ‘I’ve got to make something happen.’

Abraham agreed to Sarah’s plan, the result of which was the conception and birth of a baby boy named Ishmael. Thirteen years went by. Then God spoke to Abraham again, saying, ‘I’m still going to give you a child.’

‘Let Ishmael live,’ said Abraham. ‘He’ll do.’

‘No,’ said God. ‘Ishmael is not the fulfillment of My promise. He’s only your fleshly attempt to help Me out.’

As I look back over my life, I see that every time I got impatient and tried to help God or take things into my own hands, the result has always been trouble — Ishmael. Now, because God is so good, the promise still comes because He’s faithful to His Word. But the problem is that now I have a bunch of Ishmaels to deal with. You see, to this day blood is shed daily in the ongoing struggle between the Arabs and the Jews — the children of Ishmael and the children of Israel. So too, in my own life, whenever Ishmael is born as a result of my own fleshly efforts, strife, anxiety, and tension are also birthed in my life.

Push God, rush God, help God out — and you’ll have an Ishmael on your hands. Abraham was a great man, and yet, this friend of God, this father of faith, this incredible saint had a problem which God recorded as a lesson for each of us today: He was impatient.

‘Impatient?’ you say. ‘He waited how many years for God to keep His promise?’

It was at least twelve years between the time Abraham was given the promise and the time he went in to Hagar. But it could have been as many as eighteen years. Some of us think, ‘I’ve been waiting eighteen days, eighteen weeks, eighteen months. When is God going to fulfill His promise to me?’ Abraham waited eighteen years before he said, ‘I better help God.’ But it was a disaster nonetheless.
 
This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Days Journey" by Pastor Jon. "A Days Journey" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament.  If you would like your own copy of "A Days Journey" you may click here to go to the SearchLight Store