Wanting Things My Way,
But Grace Has Won
And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Genesis 17:15-18 KJV
Dijo también Dios a Abraham: A Sarai tu mujer no la llamarás Sarai, mas Sara será su nombre. Y la bendeciré, y también te daré de ella hijo; sí, la bendeciré, y vendrá a ser madre de naciones; reyes de pueblos vendrán de ella. Entonces Abraham se postró sobre su rostro, y se rió, y dijo en su corazón: ¿A hombre de cien años ha de nacer hijo? ¿Y Sara, ya de noventa años, ha de concebir? Y dijo Abraham a Dios: Ojalá Ismael viva delante de ti.
Abraham the Father of our faith, did not start off as one perfect man. He was not a person of valor and total belief in God. Though He initially set out to walk in the path God had given him.
What God told him to leave his home ans go to far country, Abraham obeyed. So he set off.
But along the way, he doubted. The one person by his side, his wife, also doubted God’s promise. Abraham was taken so by his doubt that he almost forfeited the blessing of the promise all together. His wife had asked him to take their maidservant as His own and to utilize her to fulfill the promise.
Sometimes our short vision does not allow us to trust God. We see the promise of God a far off. We believe somehow, we must take matters in to our own hands.
We enter in to the wrong jobs. We make the wrong commitments. We join in relationships that God never intended for our lives. Yet we then desperately try to make it fit God’s plan for us.
If we read Genesis 17 verses 15 to 18 here given, we note two things. Abraham had another son, Ismael first. He did in fact take Sarah’s advice. He bore a son with the maidservant. He deviated from God’s original plan.
The consequences were far reaching.
To this day we see the conflict between Israel and Ismael, hence, the Middle East.
But note verse 18, Abraham tried to have God modify His plan by pleading God that Ismael might live before God.
Abraham wanted his decision to stand over God’s plan. We all come to places that we have taken a direction where God must redirect us back to His original plan for our lives.
You see, our doubt can lead us to sin against God. Our inability to trust God fully will bring consequences that will hurt. Decisions that will draw us temporarily from God’s design for us.
But for grace! But for favor! But for his mercy and love we have not been consumed. I speak of my own life, not pointing the finger at anyone. I too, took hold of things I should have never agreed to. I chose by my decisions to err, to then ask God to bless my choices. And the pain and struggles I have faced…
The persistent turmoil and vexation of the heart was of my own doing.
We can look back at our lives and think we have deviated too far form God s objective for us. We can think it may be too late. But I look back to Abraham. I see how he eventually laid down his doubt and received the promise.
The Bible tells us that if the just shall fall 7 times, God Wil raise him up.
Jesus, when asked how many times one ought to forgive, he said, 70 times 7. We can know that though doubt may at times sway us in to wrong decisions, God is greater than our doubts. He is able to draw us back to a place where we complete the mission. He can cleanse us and restore us and remake us. Ismael was not God’s plan for Abraham. The consequences were clearly seen. But God’s grace was powerful and His ways are higher than our ways. In the process Abraham’s faith in God grew, to the extent that we now call him, The Father of our Faith.
I love the fact that even in this we can note that the Protagonist of Abraham’s story is God.
In our lives, the Author and Finisher of our faith is God. Jesus died on the cross as the Protagonist of our salvation. He is the hero in our lives. Because He died and rose again, we can rise up again after failures, after poor choices, after lost years, after wrong paths…
We can rise up and still His mercy will reach us. He will complete that which He began in us.
We don’t need to abort the mission.
He is able to use our doubts, fears, and shortcomings in order to transform us into people of great faith.
Remember the story is about Him. The final word in the book, is written in his blood.
Scripture tells us that he has blotted out our transgressions. He has made all things to work together for our good. He will remove from us the pain of our poor decisions. He will re establish us in the race. He will enable us to be aright before Him. He will draw us once again to an unwavering trust. So much so, that we will be called Believers. We will be known for our faith and love in Him.
God is able to take the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Well this includes you and me. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. But in Him we will fulfill the call. He will not discard the mission. He is the Potter. We live constantly being molded in to His image. We have not arrived. We continue to grow in to the stature of that perfect man, Christ Jesus. And this is a lifelong process.
So don’t throw in the towel. Don’t think it’s too late. God is able to work in our mess and still bless. He is able to give us beauty for ashes. He is the one responsible for the masterpiece of our lives. He knows how to mix the colors well…
He knows how to take the reds and blacks the dark and light, the blues and hues and create a canvas that will bring glory to His name. Wait on Him. Trust Him. He is able.
He knows how to replace disgrace with His Grace. From my way, to His Grace. He is the writer of my story. He will produce the final product to His glory.
The song “Mercy said No,” comes to mind.