Abraham was noted at a great man of faith because he trusted and believed God at His word that he would have many decedents. But if you would read more of the story of Abraham we would learn that he was not always a man of faith. He was just like us, he had fears and failures. We romanticize the stories in the Bible and forget that not only were the people full of faith but they were also full of faults. They were no different than we are today.
God had promised Abraham a son with his wife Sarah. But they were both very old and Sarah was past the age of child bearing. Now you could blame Sarah for having the idea but Abraham could have said no. Abraham must have thought it was a good idea, he didn’t wait for God’s promise and took Sarah’s maid Hagar as his wife (Genesis 16). We know how that ended, Sarah and Hagar came to resent each other and Sarah had Abraham send Hagar and her son away.
Robert Stallman in *They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament says, “What really stands out in this story, however, is the way Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands. The whole Book of Genesis makes it clear that not only does God promise, he delivers. But God always reserves the right to do things His way and in His time. God didn’t need Abraham’s clever ideas and help any more than He needs ours today. Faith does more than believe that God can do what He said He would. Faith trusts that God will do it and then patiently endures to the end.”
Many people ask when we are leaving for Thailand, I have given different dates, then made excuses when that date comes and goes. I want to apologize because it is not me who should be setting the date but God. I have used my knowledge and done my research but what I haven’t done is just sit and listen to when God wants us to leave. I thought I did but what I’ve done is lie to myself and say this looks good so it must be God. God doesn’t always function like that. What looks good to us, is not always His will. If it was in my power, why would I need God? My focus needs to be on His desires not mine. He has made me a promise and I need to wait on Him. God doesn’t need my help. “God always reserves the right to do things His way and in His time.”(Stallman) He doesn’t need my ideas to help things along.
Studying God’s word should always be our priority.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV ) I don’t claim to have it together, I claim to be a servant and one that is willing to learn. I am thankful that God uses me despite my failures, He will even uses my failures for His glory. It can be embarrassing when I have to back peddle and have God straighten me out. But I would rather stop, ask for forgiveness, have Him correct me then continue in my error and mess things up more.
So to everyone that wants to know when we are leaving. I don’t know.
God has called us to go, He has made promises and has confirmed His calling in us but it is not time yet. He will let us know when. It is my job to serve God, draw closer to Him and continue to be patient (not something I’m real good at.) If I look back to a previous blog post “I Hate Waiting” you would think I had learned this lesson. Obviously not yet, thankfully God is patient with me and continues to teach me, even when it is the same lesson over and over.
So to quote myself “So, I can wait, because I know what He has planned is so much better than what I want. And it is going to be incredible!” and Stallman “Faith trusts that God will do it and then patiently endures to the end.”
Time for me to take my own advice and Gods.
Time to Wait, have Faith, then Repeat previous instructions as needed.
*They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament by William C. Williams, Springfield, Mo. : Logion Press/Gospel Pub. House, ©2003