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Image by: pixelgruppe
Text: Selected scripture portions from the book of Genesis Chapters 14, 15, 17, 18.
Look at the picture above. You see a mother who is expecting to give birth to a baby. The baby will not be born over a night. It takes 10 months for the baby to be fully formed in Mother’s womb and after that period he is ready to see this world. In other words the appointed time for his/her birth comes after 10 months and the parents have to wait patiently while taking care of the unborn child.
God also has an appointed time for everything. The bible says,
“For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NET)
God is never too early or too late. Every time He wants to move in my life he does so according to a time appointed in advance. This could be instant or a very slow process that comes to pass over the years and generations.
Abraham was a great man who waited patiently till God really started to move in his life. In today’s study let us learn from Abraham “How to wait for God’s appointed time?”
1. See the full picture, Genesis 15:1-5
A. Don’t be limited to your current situation.
a. According to the first verse God had a great plan for Abraham.
b. God said that He will bless Abraham, but Abraham’s biggest problem was that he didn’t have a son to be his hair.
c. Abraham wanted just a son. But God had bigger plans. He wanted to bring forth a whole new nation through Abraham’s generation.
B. Message for us: Our expectations are limited to our imagination, but the picture is not complete without God’s bigger plan.
2. Trust God, Genesis 15:6
A. Trust God to do the impossible.
a. Abraham didn’t even have a son. But he had faith and waited for God’s promise to come to pass one day.
b. God’s promises are not empty. (Isaiah 55:11)
B. Rest in expectation
a. The dictionary meaning for “Waited” is “Rest in expectation”.
3. Don’t rush God’s plan, Genesis 16:2-4
A. Human methods are futile and faulty.
a. It was the custom of those days to get a child through the domestic servant if the wife failed.
b. But this wasn’t God’s plan. It caused more problems.
B. God’s plans are not like our plans, Isaiah 55:8
C. There’s a way seems right to man. But at the end there’s disaster, Proverbs 14:12
D. Message for us: We must trust God and His word regardless of visible situations. His promises are not empty. If I trust Him I can rest in expectation. God has His own way of doing things. Therefore we must not rush His plans or attempt to do it in our own way.
4. Keep the conditions
A. Obey the Lord, Genesis 17:1-2
B. Separate yourself for the world, Genesis 17: 9-14
C. Circumcision was a symbol of separation unto God
D. Christians should circumcise their hearts. (Read the following verse)
Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving you today for your own good? The heavens – indeed the highest heavens – belong to the LORD your God, as does the earth and everything in it. However, only to your ancestors did he show his loving favor, and he chose you, their descendants, from all peoples – as is apparent today. Therefore, circumcise your heart and stop being so stubborn! Deuteronomy 10:12-16 (Emphasis mine)
E. God Expects Christians to be different
a. Live worthy of your calling, 1 Peter 2:9
b. Be different from the world by renewing your mind, Romans 12:2
F. Message for us: Obey the Lord. Never compromise with the world
5. Don’t succumb your faith to external factors
A. Natural boundaries, Genesis 18:11-12
a. Sarah and Abraham were very old
b. Sarah had passed the age of child bearing and pregnancy was impossible.
c. God said nothing is impossible
B. Message for us: We should do the possible (trust God) and God will do the impossible.
Abraham had to wait for more than 13 years before Isaac was born – for this was God’s appointed time. He was 86 years old when Ishmael was born and 100 years old when Isaac was born. God gave him the promise long before Abraham laid with Hagar.
The rest of the promise was to be fulfilled in the future generations. Abraham did not live to see Kings coming forth from his generation. He rather saw it from a distance in faith (Hebrews 11:13)
In 1948 Israel became a nation followed by thousands of years of God’s promise to Abraham! Today most probably Israel is the most powerful nation and the country with the best army in the world.
God has given a promise to each one of you. May be you are asking God to move in your life in a special way. He will grant your request, but only in its appointed time. Therefore keep in mind the principals we learned and wait for that appointed time in faith patiently.