Enjoying Everyday Life
Post Date: 03-18-12
What happens when God makes you a promise? Does He always fulfill it right away? If you’re like me, you’ve probably experienced times when you have to wait. The waiting time is what I call the “middle.” What I want to share with you is what to do during that middle time—between the promise and its fulfillment.
God made a promise to Abraham that took twenty years to happen. So however long you may have to wait, you need to keep believing God and remember the promise He made you, whether it’s something He put in your heart or something directly from His Word. Just like He did for Abraham, God will not forget the promise He made to you. He will bring it to pass.
A Promise from God
When Abraham and Sarah were very old, Abraham went to God asking for an heir because they couldn’t have any children. “And [God] brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars--if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5 AMP).
Scripture says that Abraham believed God. He believed that promise wholeheartedly. Now, you might not understand fully why that is so amazing unless you really understand Abraham and Sarah’s circumstance. You see, Abraham was eighty years old and Sarah was seventy when God gave this promise to Abraham. But even though having a child was beyond anything that could happen naturally, Abraham still believed God.
I’ll bet that day outside the tent with God was one of those goose-bump kind of days for Abraham, and I suppose the day Isaac was born was pretty exciting too. But what about the time in between—the twenty years it took for Isaac to be born?
Keep Believing Through the Middle
Like Abraham and Sarah, we spend a lot of time living in the middle, and a lot of important things happen during that time. It’s when we’re tested and tried. It’s when we become real men and women of God, and it’s during these times when we find out if we really trust Him.
It’s not that difficult to obey God and believe Him when you feel and see things in motion or when you’re receiving your promise. But it takes more faith to go all the way through the middle and not give up on God when you don’t see or feel anything. We need to remember this: If we will wait on God and get things His way instead of doing it ourselves, we will have joy from the beginning of the promise until it comes to pass.
So Abraham waited those twenty years. Romans 4:18 (NIV) says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him…” When Isaac did finally come, God’s promise was fulfilled. Abraham had his own child, born in a supernatural way, to a woman who could not have children.
Tired of Waiting on God
We have to guard against becoming weary during the wait. Along the way Abraham and Sarah became weary and took a detour from the promise of God. Tired of waiting, Sarah went to Abraham and suggested he have a baby with her maid, Hagar, because God had prevented Sarah from having children. She had an idea she thought was helping God’s plan, and Abraham listened to her and did what she said.
But when Hagar got pregnant, Sarah and Hagar were filled with contempt for one another. Sarah blamed Abraham for the whole thing and instead of a miracle, they had a mess. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael who did not live in covenant with God, and his life was filled with hostility (see Genesis 16:12; 17:20-21).
So you see, there are two ways we can live:
The supernatural (Isaac)—God gives a promise, you make it all the way through the middle and receive that promise.
The flesh (Ishmael)—You hear what God says, get tired of waiting and do your own thing.
Unfortunately, many of us create our own Ishmael’s. You may even be dealing with a mess right now because of something you got into, trying to make something happen in your timing instead of waiting on God for His timing. But the great news is that you don’t have to stay in that mess. God’s grace will help turn those situations around for good.
Make your mind up that whatever the middle consists of, you're going to make it through and keep believing God. You’re going to have to roll up your spiritual sleeves, get ready to fight the good fight of faith, and be willing to say, "I am here to stay. I am not turning back. I am pressing through, and I am going to be what God wants me to be. I am going to do what He wants me to do, and I am going to have what He wants me to have…no matter how long it takes!"
For more on this topic, order Joyce’s four-CD series Living Without Frustration. You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting www.joycemeyer.org.
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Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living Beyond Your Feelings (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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