Birthing an Ishmael

It's Worth the Wait!

When I was young in the Lord, I heard a great sermon based upon the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael. As you may know, Abraham was promised a son by God. The promise took some time to be fulfilled; 25 years in fact! During Abraham’s wait for the fulfillment of the promise, he did what most of us do: he began to question how God was going to make this happen. Since having a son was impossible in the natural due to the advanced age of Sarah and Abraham and the inability of Sarah to conceive, Abraham and Sarah decided that what they needed to do was to give God “a hand”. So, they decided that Abraham would sleep with Sarah’s servant, Hagar and have produce an heir through her.

Hagar did conceive a son and Abraham named him Ishmael. Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86 years of age.

At 99 years of age, God spoke to Abraham and told him that Sarah would conceive and have the son that he had promised and told Abraham that the boy’s name was to be Isaac.

The basis of the sermon that I heard was this: if God has made you a promise, do not try to make it come to pass in your own strength. Wait on the Lord. Don’t birth an “Ishmael”! Wait on your promised “Isaac” from God.

Great word, huh?

How often do we get a word from God regarding a coming relationship, a coming opportunity, a coming ministry and, when we tire of waiting for it, we go out and try to make the promise come to pass on our own. This is known as birthing an “Ishmael”. Ishmael may walk like a promise from God and may even talk like your promise, but he is missing some important aspects that God will include in your “Isaac”.

We have lost the art of patience. Waiting is not easy for us. Friends tell us that we need to “hurry”. The mirror tells us that we need to “hurry”. Our parents tell us that we need to “hurry”. It is easy to forget that God is not just the God of the “right thing” but He is also the God of the “right time”. Things that are “rushed” usually don’t turn out well, whether they be meals, building projects or destinies.

God works on His own timetable. As you carry your own promise from


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