Ishmael or Isaac?
The women’s group I attend, called “Serious Coffee” at my church is currently doing a study on the book of James.
James 1:14 really struck me “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
I thought to myself what are my deepest desires that would lead to sinful actions and cause sin to grow?
Not that I don’t already have enough weaknesses that I deal with throughout the day, but I really wanted to know if my desires were leading me away from God’s plan for my life.
Was I being misled, like it says NOT to be in James 1: 16?
A couple of months ago, during a conversation with a friend, I shared how I was praying about an issue and what I was doing to try to resolve it. No matter what I did or tried, nothing came through. The issue was still there.
She said, “You better watch out, you may end up getting an Ishmael instead of an Isaac.”
Well, that stopped me dead in my thought process.
In the book of Genesis, God promised Sarah and Abraham a son. They waited and waited and …no son. So Sarrah took matters into her own hands and had her husband sleep with her maidservant Hagar so she could become pregnant and then they’d have a son.
Well, when Hagar became pregnant, life got bad for both Sarah and Hagar. I doubt if Sarah wants anyone to ask her, “How did that work out for you?”
Then a day came when God did just what He promised he would do for Abraham and Sarah. She became pregnant and gave Abraham a son, named Isaac.
I mean, I can only imagine she probably had those moments of saying, “if only I’d waited” or “if only I’d trusted God”, then those other bad things wouldn’t have happened.
I suppose everyone has their own, “if only”. I know I have mine. Isn’t it easier to get out there and “fix” the problem instead of waiting to see what direction God would lead or what He would provide? Or to become a complainer and start doubting He is really going to do something in this matter. After all, there are lots of other matters God deals with besides…me.
Sometimes waiting to follow the one who is leading is just plain hard. I mean especially when I really want what I’m praying for then it’s easy to take over and step into the lead. But then I may end up with an Ishmael situation instead of an Isaac.
James 1: 5 tells us if we lack wisdom, to ask God who gives GENEROUSLY to all without finding fault. But James 1:6 and 7 tells us if we doubt we’re not going to get any wisdom. (Paraphrased)
So after reading through this beginning part of James, my pray would be, to be able to resist the temptation and to endure the testing, so I don’t chase after those desires that would lead to sin.
And to wait before I knock down any doors that might open up to “Ishmael!”