Genesis 16:1-6

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

Has God given you a vision that is as yet unfulfilled? Has He assigned you a task that remains incomplete, though you’ve done everything you know to do?

The “gaps” the Lord creates in our life are designed for His specific purposes. Sometimes they are meant to prepare us for His preordained answer. It’s also possible He first wants to take care of some other necessary component of His plan. Perhaps a delay is intended to test our faith so He can prove Himself trustworthy. Or He may be using a pause as an occasion for correction.

It is always wise to wait on the Lord while He prepares us for His answers. We should pray and trust God, not acting until we’re certain that we have heard from Him and Him alone. Even people with godly intentions can be wrong—look at Abram’s poor decisions after listening to the seemingly solid logic of his wife. The result was that Sarai’s handmaiden Hagar conceived Abram’s child, which was not part of the Lord’s preferred plan.

Anything other than God’s plan carried out God’s way amounts to self-reliance. Depend on His Spirit when deciding how to proceed; any other course of action can lead to serious and lasting repercussions.


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