In our All-IN series we are reading about the life of Abraham, whom God called to have a legacy; God made Abraham into a great nation that would bless the world. But in order to have this kind of legacy that honors God, Abraham needed to trust God, be used by God, and have the favor of God. We’ve learned that in following Abraham’s example, we need to honor God with everything we keep and everything we give away, recognizing that all we have is His and should be available for whatever purpose He has for it. Like Abraham, we want a God-given legacy for our lives and our church to lead people to the Lord long after we are gone!
When you are walking with God, it’s important to remember that God is not as interested in the destination as He is in the journey.
Whenever you go on a journey, you have the option to take the long route, God’s route, or a shortcut. Shortcuts can be a temptation to cut out the drama (or so we think) or to arrive at our destination more quickly (or so we think). When you are walking with God and trying to follow His plan, it’s important to remember that God is not as interested in the destination as He is in the journey. He always has something to teach us, and this can’t be rushed. He calls us to be in the process with Him, patiently walking alongside Him without fretting about how to make things move more quickly.
As we read about the life of Abraham as a model for being all-in with God, this week we see that Abraham was tempted to take a shortcut when it came to God’s promises about His family and descendants. Shortcuts around God’s plan are never good – if He says to stay committed and take a path, then that’s what we should do no matter how our own opinions may differ from His plan.
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.” Genesis 16:1-5
Though God had promised Abraham a son with his wife, Sarah, Sarah and Abraham felt that her child-bearing years had passed and that they must find a different way for Abraham to have a child using their own means. This decision and action only led to conflict and problems – and showed a lack of trust in God to fulfill His promise to give them a son.
Shortcuts express a lack of trust in God’s promise. Whenever you take a shortcut and take matters into your own hands, you are telling God that you don’t trust Him.
1. What part of God’s promises don’t you trust? (For example: His ability, willingness, faithfulness?)
God wants you to give your life to Him and walk with Him. Is there something you don’t trust in regards to Him? Has He ever been unfaithful to you? Do you believe He is not able? Does He not love you? If you look back over His faithfulness throughout the Word and even throughout your own life, you can know there is no reason not to commit to Him when He calls.
God wants you to just trust Him and to know that nothing is impossible for Him! He will give you the how and the when. Do you want to see God do something impossible in your life? Don’t take a shortcut. Pray, surrender, and let it be; don’t try to force things in your own power.
2. I can spiritually invest in the lack of trust in God’s promises by _____________
For you to be fully committed to God often means you will have to surrender something else. God is calling some of you through this All-IN campaign, and may require you to no to something else.
If you are lacking trust in God, ask yourself, “How can I be more committed to God?”
What idols are you holding on to? Is it your ideas, your savings, your home, or possessions? How can you be more invested in God’s calling? This will likely mean you’ll need to be less invested in something else. You can’t have two masters. Just as you would not likely be happy having a girlfriend or boyfriend for 6 days a week and sharing him or her with someone else on the day 7, God wants all of you.
3. If you can make a financial commitment to a cell phone bill, a mortgage or car payment, why can’t you make a financial commitment to God?
God deserves commitment from us more than anyone or anything else in our lives. Don’t lose faith – trust Him! Don’t take your life back into your own power and do what you want.
In a few weeks, we will be challenged to give financial All-IN commitments. But for today, we are being challenged to give a spiritual All-IN commitment. God created your soul, and only He can deliver what your soul really needs. Don’t try to fill it your own way, taking shortcuts that cause you to miss the growth and opportunities God has for you.