Genesis 16:1-2, 16
Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian
servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, 'Behold now, the Lord
has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I
shall obtain children by her.' And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore,
A godly man, a great man, a man with a calling from God…a
man who made a really bad decision. A
decision that put his future in jeopardy.
A decision that put his family in turmoil. A decision he made all because he was impatient.
Isaac was God’s plan for Abraham, He had promised him a
son. Abraham believed the promise, but
he didn’t know when God would deliver this promise. Time went by…precious time…time that Abraham
didn’t think that he had. So, like many
of us, Abraham caved into his impatience and acted upon it. He gave into pressure, settled, and Ishmael
was born. Ishmael was the result of
Abraham was a man just like us. I love that the bible tells the whole story
about the heroes of faith, even when their faith was not so heroic but was
weak, impatient, and foolish. When I
read this story I see myself. I’ve not
done exactly what Abraham did, but I’ve done many things that showed just as
much weakness, impatience, and foolishness.
Impatience never pays off. It gets in the way. It worries us. Frustrates us. Consumes us.
When we act upon it, it messes a lot of things up…for us and for
others. I’m an impatient person and
truth be told, we all are to a degree.
There are many times in our lives where we’ve all settled for Ishmael
and missed out on the blessing of Isaac.
Just like Abraham, God makes to us many promises as His
children of faith. He gives us many
opportunities to receive incredible and impossible blessings…blessings like
Isaac. But just like Abraham, our
impatience tries to get in the way and threatens to ruin it all and put our
future in jeopardy and our family in turmoil.
I’d like to tell you 30 things about waiting for Isaac in
your life and hope to encourage you to refuse to settle for Ishmael.
Why do we settle
1. We live by the clock and calendar. We allow our lives to be dictated by deadlines,
alarms, schedules, dates, appointments, and agendas of the world. God's clock and calendar must always trump
this world’s and ours.
2. We hate waiting.
Waiting causes us to look around and search for solutions to fix the
wait. Options and solutions are always out there that seem to promise quick
answers and quick fixes.
3. We worry.
We are worrywarts when we have to wait.
Anxiety on top of anxiety builds.
Pressure upon pressure presses us.
4. We get desperate. Desperation tempts us to opt for good things
over waiting for great things. Sometimes
we so badly want answers and so desperately want out of a situation that the
good and better can divert us from waiting on the great and Godly.
5. We will always be tempted to listen to people
who are just as impatient as we are. We
are impatient and so are others. We have
a problem with faith and so do others.
But, we also need the advice and wisdom of others. Getting advice and counsel from others is
wise, but their counsel can also be flawed.
This creates a confusing situation that will sometimes send your mind
and heart on a roaster coaster ride. We
must keep in mind that all people are impatient and that the good advice of
others doesn't always constitute as God's advice. People will advise us, pressure us, draw
ultimatums for us...sometimes in the name of faith and love. Please, do take and consider counsel from
others...it's just foolish not to (see Proverbs 12:15), but act based up the
council of the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Remember that human advice can be, well,
human…everyone looks in the mirror dimly just like we do (see 1 Corinthians
6. We sometimes mistake progressive action as faith
action. Progressive, bold, and
courageous action is not always the action of faith. God doesn't always lead us to take a 'leap' of
faith. Sometimes He desires us to take a 'walk' of faith, a 'wait' of faith, or a
'lesson' of faith.
7. Impatience creates unnecessary drama
8. Impatience creates unnecessary heartache and
9. Impatience creates inerasable situations
10. Impatience tempts you to partake in compromising
activity and sin
11. Impatience can consume us and confuse us. Because we are impatient we are always
thinking and analyzing every opportunity and every scenario and every piece of
advice and looking for signs. Impatience
will take you over and it will drive you nuts.
Too many hours of sleep have been lost, too many Tylenols, Advil,
Ibuprofen have been taken because of the anxiety, worry, and confusion the
consuming nature of my impatience has caused.
12. Impatience is a lack of faith, period. People will tell you it's understandable,
excusable, and justifiable, they are liars.
It is not. It's selfish, foolish,
and arrogant. It is natural, and we do
come by it honestly, but such is the
case with all sin. Acting in impatience is sin and a slap in
the face of a faithful loving God who has prepared his best waiting for you. I’m not good at math but I have learned this
equation: faithlessness + pride +
arrogance + selfishness + foolishness + narcissism + lack of trust + rashness +
ignorance = impatience. You say you are
being too harsh. Fine, but understand
that I'm pointing the finger at myself first.
Every instance of my impatience has ultimately been because I’ve lacked
faith in a Faithful God.
Some Advice on Waiting
13. Trust God.
Give Him the benefit of the doubt.
He’s never fallen short on His promises before and you won’t be the
first. Just trust Him.
14. Pray and
mean "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Every impatient person prays the same
prayer, but actually means, “thy will be done on earth as it is at McDonalds."
15. Continually remind yourself of what God has said
and what God has promised. His Word and
His voice must always speak louder and heavier than others. We must always be reminding ourselves of the
good Word of God and the good promises of God.
It may not match up to our demanding and hurried timetable, but His Word
never returns void, but always succeeds (Isaiah 55:11). And isn’t his time always better than ours?
16. Truly wanting God's results will help you wait
for God's results.
17. Learn to discern the still small voice of God
from the hurried loud voice of the flesh.
18. Take one step at a time, one foot at a time.
19. Follow your heart but lead with your head.
20. Learn the difference between the work of God
verses the work of man.
21. If it doesn’t line up with God’s Word and God’s
way then it’s never right and will always reap compromised results, very often,
22. Put pleasing God above pleasing self and others.
Waiting for Isaac
23. Patience brings Gods's best
24. Patience grows us
25. Patience builds our faith
26. Patience puts us on the ride of a lifetime
27. Patience honors God
28. Patience builds a compelling testimony to God’s
29. Patience makes room for the Holy Spirit in our
lives. Impatient people are missing out
on the true work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
30. One last thing about waiting on Isaac
Sometimes we don’t wait.
We settle for Ishmael. When you
do...because you will or you already have…Know that there is grace. Abundant and sufficient Grace! God’s grace was sufficient for Abraham,
Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, and Ishmael. And if
you’ve acted out of impatience His grace will be sufficient for you too. The
door to experience God’s grace in light of our impatience was opened through
the Cross. God desires his will be
done. By his grace He does His will even
in spite of the interruption of our will.
Abraham settled for Ishmael, but God forgave him, and still gave him Isaac. He’ll do the same for you too. That’s one of the things that is so amazing
Be patient. Trust God’s promise, trust God’s
timing, and trust God’s way of doing things.
Wait for Isaac and don’t settle