“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.” Ps 143:10 NIV

When God promises you something and it doesn’t happen right away, it’s easy to get impatient, start doubting Him and think He needs you to go to work and make it happen. Abraham did that. God promised him children “as numerous as the stars” (Ge 22:17 NIV). Tired of waiting, he took matters into his own hands and fathered Ishmael with his wife’s maidservant, Hagar. And that’s when his troubles began in earnest. Now, God loved Ishmael and had great plans for him, but Abraham had to let go of him in order to fulfill God’s will. It was one of the most painful experiences of Abraham’s life. So: (1) Refuse to let the Enemy send anything into your life that will undermine what you have been waiting and praying for. (2) Be careful who you take advice from. Fathering Ishmael was a “good idea” Abraham’s wife Sarah had. (3) Because you are willing to take responsibility for your actions doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences, long-lasting ones! Be careful where you lie down; getting up again may not be as easy as you think. (4) There are things you can give up effortlessly, and other things that will take every ounce of grace you’ve got. And it’s especially hard to give up something you’re attached to and see yourself reflected in, like a job you love, a house you’re living in, or a relationship you’re tied to. But when you’ve gone as far as you can with your “Ishmael” and you’re ready to see God’s promise fulfilled in your life, you must be willing to let it go.