Deal with Your ‘Ishmael’
Ishmael was born as a result of Abraham attempting to hurry up God’s plan and fulfil it through human effort. Are you doing that? We all have our ‘Ishmaels’: a good idea that was not God’s idea, and it can complicate your life. You say, ‘But didn’t God love Ishmael too?’ Yes, and He blessed him (Genesis 17:20). But God said He would only fulfil His plan through Isaac. When you run ahead of God, or try to replace His will with your will not only do you suffer, but the people you love suffer too. Spiritually speaking, when God says to you, ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son’, He’s saying, ‘It’s time to deal with your past and clean out your cupboard.’ But notice something else in this story.
Like Isaac and Ishmael, sometimes your miracle and your mistake can grow together under the same roof. Things can be so bad in one area, yet so good in another. Today God may be saying to you, ‘Because of the destiny I have in mind for you, you’ve got to put this thing out of your life.’ It’s painful letting go of something your flesh creates, but you have no choice. Here are your options. You can be moved by their pleading and miss God’s best. Or you can say, ‘As much as I love this, I love God more.’ When you’re willing to walk away from something you love because you love God more, that’s called the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). And when you offer it up to God, you position yourself to receive the fullness of His blessing in your life.