When was the last time you found yourself getting ahead of the Almighty? It is one thing to walk with God along the path of life, but it is another thing altogether to run ahead of Him . . . which is the great tendency for many of us. Abram did that very thing when it came to waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise that Abram and his wife Sarai would be parents to a child of promise. You can read about it in Genesis, chapters 15-16.
Humanly speaking, Abram and Sarai could never have children; he was 100 and she was 90, both long past the biological age for producing children. But they forgot that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Matthew 19:26). And when God makes a promise, HE KEEPS IT (1 Samuel 15:29)! God even confirmed His promise to them in Genesis 17:3-16 by changing their names to Abraham (“father of many”) and Sarah (“princess”).
Unfortunately, Abraham suffered from two conditions that affect all of us. His perception of God was as small as his patience was short!
So . . . where in your life have these conditions afflicted you? Where has your perception of God been way too small? In your finances, your calling, your relationships, your physical health? And where has impatience marked your life? In your single walk with Christ, your desire to be a parent, your hope of a getting out of school and getting on with life, your career?
We serve a BIG God, who works all things together for our ultimate good in His way and in His timing (Romans 8:28). Impatience and a small view of God are harsh taskmasters, and the consequences of either often stay with us for the rest of our lives. We need to remember that God will fulfill every promise He has made, but it may not come to us when we expect it to and it may not look like what we were anticipating. But just as God confirmed His promise to Abraham, so He has confirmed His promises to all those who have placed their trust in Christ’s redeeming work:
No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
It’s important to note that Abraham believed God, even if he did a very foolish thing in running ahead of God. I love the way the Bible describes the faith of Abraham and exhorts us to live in a similar way:
[Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:20-25)
We all do foolish things and can look back on a life littered with our impatience and a small view of God. But don’t let the past keep you a prisoner! Learn from the past and look to the future promises of God. He will accomplish every one of them, in His time and in His way. Remember, regardless of where this finds you today, waiting on God is the best work you can do.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!