God doesn’t give us a special calling without also giving us the promise to see us through it. He doesn’t usually lay out all of the specifics of each bump in the road that we may face along the way, but He does promise to be with us every step of the way. Why is it then that we are so tempted to take matters into our own hands and try to scheme and plan on our own what God wanted us to lay before Him and trust Him with? What if seeking Him for the answer is just as important or even more important than the answer itself?
Consider Abraham (one of my absolute favorite heroes of the Bible). God calls him in Genesis chapter 12 to a land that He will show Abraham. Abraham steps out in faith and goes. Pretty awesome faith right? To just “go” even though he really had no idea where he was going. But when the going got tough the very first time, Abraham takes matters into his own hands. The man who trusted God to take him to an unknown land, freaked out in Egypt as he feared for his life because of his beautiful wife. He didn’t ask God what He should do. He didn’t trust that God would protect him…he schemed and planned and ended up a liar. And he caused his wife to sin as well. I wonder how the story could’ve changed if they had sought God and trusted Him for the answer. We can be sure it didn’t involve sinning, and it would’ve brought God a lot more glory than running away from a tortured Pharoah did.
Then, fast forward a bit. God gives Abraham the promise of an heir…a son. A child of his flesh. Abraham is excited and anticipating the fulfillment of this promise. But then comes a problem. It is taking too long. So once again, Abraham finds himself in a position where he could either wait on God and trust Him or take matters into his own hands. Once again, Abraham’s scheming led to sinning and next thing you know, Abraham is in bed with his wife’s maidservant. The liar is now an adulterer. Now, he has to pay the price of his impatience. His two baby mamas (one present, and one future) have some drama. All of which could’ve been avoided and brought God more glory if Abraham would’ve depended on God’s promises instead of trying to fulfill them himself. And for that, the son (Ishmael) and his mother Hagar had to pay a price. They were no longer welcome in the camp. Our lack of trust in God’s promises can affect more than just us. When all of our scheming leads to sinning, there is a ripple effect that touches others too.
But, one of the most amazing things is, that God’s promises are SURE, and they don’t depend on us. God will do what He promises because His promises bring Him glory. That’s where Isaac comes in. Born of a 90 year old woman with cobwebs in her uterus who couldn’t stop laughing at the idea and a man who created a huge mess because of his impatience. God’s plan cannot be “messed up” by us. We can create more problems for ourselves and others, but God’s ultimate will prevails. He gives us our Isaac even though we tried to settle for Ishamael. But, He must be saddened for the hard road we took instead of waiting for Him to fulfill His promise.
So, on the days we are tempted to scheme and make our own plans—to try to deny who we are like Abraham did or manipulate the system because we think God is taking too long, so He must need our help…how do we keep ourselves from scheming and sinning as we face the unknown as we walk down the path of His calling?
1.) Know what He has promised you! Write them down. memorize them, quote them, sing them, and pray them.
“He has granted to us His precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world…” 2 Peter 1:4
“For all the promises of God find their “yes” in Christ Jesus that is why we utter our Amen to God for His glory” 2 Corinthians 1:20
“Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them” Psalm 119:140
“My eyes stay open through the watch of the night that I may meditate on Your promises.” Psalm 119:148
2.) Act in faith based on what He has promised! Whatever the calling, He promises to give us all we need to accomplish it.
“My God shall supply all your needs in accordance to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Phil 4:19
These could be spiritual, emotional or physical needs. Whatever need you have to fulfill the calling, you will have it. Therefore, act in faith and press forward in what He calls you to do.
3.) Wait on God’s timing! Rest in Him. Don’t take matters into your own hands.
“Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary ,they will walk and not grow faint” Isaiah40:31
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
“Our soul waits for the the Lord he is our help and our shield. Be upon us as we wait for You” Psalm 33:20-22
Waiting on God to fulfill His promises without trying to manipulate the outcome builds character in us and is a big part of our Journey. The wait may be painful and may even come with suffering, but know that Romans 5:3 tells us that “We know that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Despite our mistakes and shortcomings, God can still develop our faith. Abraham made some pretty big mistakes but God still listed him as a hero of faith in Hebrews chapter 11, Through all he experienced throughout his calling, He still learned to trust God completely. This was put to the test at Mt. Moriah when God asked him to lay Isaac-God’s own promise to him-on the altar as a sacrifice. God wanted to test his faith and his loyalty. Abraham passed this one with flying colors. And God was faithful to His promise, and provided a Lamb as a substitute…something he would later do for us with His own Son. Jesus. The fulfillment of God’s promise of a Savior. The reason that we have a relationship with God at all. The reason we have a calling.
He is worth giving up everything for the call. I pray he gives me increasing strength to trust in His promises – day by day.