Promise Without Compromise
Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you.“ – Genesis 15:4 NLT
Have you ever felt like God could use your help? Sounds ridiculous, I know, but the truth is, we’ve all stepped in at one time or another to give God a hand. Just think about it, God has promised us abundant life through His Son, but we somehow feel like our life is not quite as abundant as we would like it. So we step in to help give the abundant quotient a boost. God has promised to give us joy, but we somehow feel like we could use a little more joy, which we tie to pleasure and happiness. So we surround ourselves with an endless array of entertainment options.
Time and time again, we step in to help God fulfill His promises to us. And that’s exactly what Abram was tempted to do. God had promised to give Abram an abundance of descendants. But there was a slight problem: Abram was old and his wife was barren. Not a good combination when it comes to being fruitful and filling the earth. So Abram decided to approach God with an alternate plan. He wasn’t doubting God’s promise. He was just trying to help God get past the roadblock of Sarai’s infertility and his advanced age. Abram’s logic was flawless. “But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since I don’t have a son, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir'” (Genesis 15:2-3 NLT). Abram saw a solution to the problem. It wasn’t ideal, but at least it was a move in the right direction. It would fulfill God’s promise and accomplish the objective.
There is no plan B
But God had other plans. His own. “Then the LORD said to him, ‘No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you.’ Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, ‘Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that––too many to count!'” (Genesis 15:4-5 NLT). God didn’t need Abram’s advice or help. He had a plan and He was going to work that plan. It really didn’t matter how things looked to Abram. God was not limited by Abram’s lack of vision. He was going to fulfill His plan His way. And only He would receive the glory. Our plan B is always a poor substitute for God’s plan A.
Then He Believed!
At this point, Abram was forced to take God at His word. He had to step out in faith and give up his plan for God’s. He had to trust what He could not understand or see. He had no way of knowing how God was going to give he and Sarai an offspring in their condition. But he believed anyway. He placed His faith in God to fulfill His promise. In response, “the Lord considered his response of faith as proof of genuine loyalty” (Genesis 15:6 NLT). God counted Abram’s faith as righteousness. Not his works, but his faith. Over in the book of Hebrews we are told that “without faith is it impossible to please” God (Hebrews 11:6 NASB). Abram’s life was characterized by faith. Sure, there were times he doubted and took matters into his own hands, but the overwhelming characteristic of his life was faith. Hebrews 11 goes on to say, “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith––for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child, even though they were too old and Sarah was barren. Abraham believed that God would keep his promise” (Hebrews 11:8-11 NLT).
Abraham believed that God would keep His promise. Do you? Or are you trying to come up with ways to help God out? When we doubt God, we usually double our efforts to help God out. We get short-sighted, focusing on the immediate, when God is asking us to be future-oriented, trusting Him to fulfill His promise in His time and according to His divine plan.
Father, forgive me for my arrogance for thinking that I could ever help You. But to be honest, sometimes I just panic and take matters into my own hands because I don’t see you working. I want things to turn out a certain way, so I step in and muddy up the water. I want to learn to trust you. To live by faith, not by sight. Give me patience to wait on You, because Your plan is always perfect and perfectly timed. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men