Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good intentions aren't always God's intentions

In Genesis 16, Abram received his own 'unleashed' promised. God promised him land, and lots of it, and generation after generation of descendants.

The problem was he had no children. Worse, Sarai, his only wife, was barren and past child bearing years.

Almost 10 years after the promise, Abram and Sarai were still childless. So Sarai made a suggestion that Abram take a second wife, the servant Hagar, and Abram can have children through her.

One commentator says, "By the custom of the times it is altogether proper, even if somewhat personally humiliating, for a woman of Sarai's position to give her servant to her husband for the purpose of bearing children...

When viewed from a strictly human perspective, Sarai's suggestion is both unselfish and ostensibly designed to bring about God's promise to Abram"

Remarkably, even though the promise was from God to Abram not Sarai, when Sarai makes this suggestion - neither of them take the idea to God to say, "is this what you meant?"

Despite Sarai's best intentions, this was not God's intention. This is not how God planned for the promise to be fulfilled.

Despite Sarai's best intentions, their actions created a multitude of complex and dynamic problems including pride, jealousy, alienation and disunity.. for generations to come.

God's way is not only the best way - but the only way.

Hebrews 13:21 says that God "equip us in every good thing to do His will"

Philippians 2:13 says "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure"

God equips us, and works in us to do His will. The ultimate responsibility for the fulfilment of God's promises rests with God.

"We are like passengers on a 747 jet. The way we travel is to rest in Him. His power is what will get us to our destination, not the frenzied flapping of our own wings" (Practical Life of Faith, Chuck Swindoll, p133)

In 2009, we have entered a season of being unleashed. But that does not mean we all start flapping like crazy. We'll get burnt out going nowhere!

The key to living out God's intentions are found in these verses:

Psa 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].

Pro 16:9 A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. [Ps. 37:23; Prov. 20:24; Jer. 10:23.]

God shows us the "what will come", but we have to wait on God for the "how to get there" - step by step.

Don't doubt the promise even if it takes a while. Don't try to force the promise. What for the "God opportunity", then take a step of faith.

When faith, obedience, and God opportunities collide, it is exciting to watch.

2009 is going to be exciting to watch!

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