Abram, father of the faithful, did not do everything right. God had promised to give him a son, but he had a problem—age. Sarai and he were getting older day by day. With him in his mid-eighties and she in her mid-seventies, they began to get desperate to see God’s plan happen. Being the good wife that she was, Sarai did not want to stand in the way of Abram seeing God’s will fulfilled in his life. So she recommended he take the cute, young servant girl as his mistress to help him have a child.
Living by fleshly urges
Being an obedient husband, Abram slept with the cleaning lady as his wife had suggested. No doubt, she looked good and appealed to his flesh in every way. But this was not God’s will. Man’s plan served its purpose for the moment, but the child born of this relationship brought grief to Abram the rest of his life. In fact, the descendants of Ishmael and those who follow his spirit (the Muslims) have caused more death and heartbreak on this planet than any other religious movement.
What are you doing because your bodily drives push you into it? What are you doing because the Spirit has led you into it? Now compare the two answers. Which are of lasting, eternal importance?
Passion of the Spirit
God visited Abram at age 99 and told him that the child of promise would now come. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham (‘father of many’) and Sarai to Sarah (‘queen’ or mother of many). Even though Sarah had already gone through menopause, God miraculously moved upon her that she would conceive with Abraham and bear their only child, Isaac. This was not a result of their bodily urges but a fulfillment of the Promise.
This young man grew up in the home with his older step-brother Ishmael. This young teen hated his little brother and tormented him. When Sarah and Abraham could stand it no more, he took the matter to God. The Lord told him he would have to kick Hagar and her boy Ishmael out of the house himself.
You broke it, you fix it
People often come to God, after doing their own thing, and expect Him to send out all their bad choices and make everything nice again. However, Abraham had to send out Ishmael himself. If we have made wrong choices, we have to make right choices to undo the damage, not wait for an instant fix.
• God does not have to kick out your girlfriend for you. You invited her in; you must send her out.
• He will not throw out your cigarettes for you. You picked up the habit, now put it down.
• God has no obligation to wipe out your debt. You got into it; you have to do the work to get rid of it.
If we do not send out those things born by our selfishness and human reasoning, they will hang around and torment the things God has birthed into our lives. What Spirit passions can replace your physical urges? What do you need to put out of your life today?