11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You! (Psalm 84:11-12, NASB)
God’s plan for us takes into account all of our talents, gifts, skills, and dispositions. He plans to mature us and bring certain aspects of our lives to pass at a certain time. But sometimes God’s timing is not our own. And that fact causes some dissonance for us. The intensity of our desire, the feelings of perceived need we have sometimes overrule our spirit’s will to wait on God. Abram and Sarai’s journey to the son God promised them is a perfect example of how our desires can lead us to shortcut God’s plan for us.
God told Abram he would be the father of many nations. To do that, he had to be somebody’s daddy. Of course Sarai, his wife would assume it would be through her. Well, that wasn’t happening. So, the story goes that she convinces Abram to marry her maid and have a child with her. Well, Sarai’s plan shortcuts God’s will. And it wreaked havoc in their family. Her desire to be used by God, her need to fulfill her husband’s desire caused her to step outside of God’s will to make it happen on her own. If I’m honest, I totally understand Sarai’s impatience. And I’m, sure you do too. Have you ever had something you know was coming, but it wasn’t coming fast enough, so you decided to do what you could to help it along? I know I’m guilty!
However, in those moments, rarely do we consider how those choices, those deliberate choices affect our direction. Our shortcuts are grounded in pride; how we feel we need to help God out.
Did you read that? How we need to help God out. That’s ridiculous to even type. Abram should have told his wife, Bye, Sarai! Go sit down and be patient while God does His thing.
Throughout their ordeal, I know Sarah and Abraham were changed. They came to know God more deeply, more intimately. They came to rely on him more than they did before. They got to see His will come to pass. To me, this deeper knowledge and understanding, and even God’s fulfillment of His promise (despite their behavior), is just more evidence that God surely will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
If you take one thing away from this devotional today, it is God does not need your help! Each time you are tempted to help Him out, remind yourself that God has all things, knows all things,
and can do all things. And on that alone, nothing you can do will enhance His plan for your life.
Dr. Charles Stanley said something that stuck with me on a message about shortcutting God’s will.
God makes a promise.
Faith believes it.
Hope anticipates it.
Patience waits quietly for it.