Lindsey Shiflett

He chose the short-cut

Sometimes we are faced with the choice of either trusting God to provide in His timing, or to take a short-cut and provide for ourselves.

We just started our new series in the student Lifegroup revolving around the idea of “trust.” Practically trusting God. With our time, our relationships, our university studies, our suffering, and the future. We kicked it off with the theme revolving God’s timing and looking at some people in the Bible who really did not follow Gods timing so well.

 Flashback to Genesis 16-when Abram (Abraham), Sarai and Hagar. Abram is about to leave his homeland for the great unknown. He has been invited by the Great I Am for a pretty big adventure; one that would go down in history and be told to people all around the world. He is about to be the forefather of the Jewish nation. But how would that be possible with a wife who cannot conceived? They are both very old at this point in their life, we’re talking mid seventies, grandparents vibe.

 Sarai suggests that Abram go sleep with her slave Hagar so that the Lords promise of their offspring filling the nations would come to fulfillment. Sarai was barren and the situation looked hopeless. She wanted to help God out, she could not see how she would possibly be able to have a child one day in her old body. It appears like a “semi goodish” suggestion. Taking control, manipulating the situation, and using Hagar to get what the Lord had promised her husband Abram. (This is all before the Lord changes his name to Abraham and hers to Sarah)

 And you know what Abram went right along with it. He allowed her suggestion become his truth/guide and did not even consult the Lord about it. It’s easy to look at them and be shocked that they would possibly even do that. How could this possibly end well with Abram sleeping with his wife’s slave and having a baby with her?!

 But how easy it is for us to try to speed up processes and get what we believe the Lord has promised for our futures.

 Let us not be a people that takes shortcuts. Let us not be a people that work out of the flesh. Ishmael, the son of Hagar and Abram was born from the flesh. Issac, the son of Sarah (Sarai) and Abraham (Abram) was supernaturally born from the Spirit; it was impossible, yet the Lord made a way. Let us not be a people that manipulate others in order for our own selfish gain in what we believe we need.

 God delivers. Not in their timing or ours, but certainly in His. It took 25 years for Abraham and Sarah to actually have a child-Issac.

 So my encouragement to all of you and myself is never to force something or a situation to “help God out.” Never use people or things for your own gain and claim that you are just following God. The heart is deceitfully wicked and can make us blind at times to the destruction of what a certain action may do. Look at Ishmael and the events that followed his arrival to the world.

 The Lord is faithful to His promises.

Lindsey is currently serving as a resident with East Mountain in Stellenbosch. She serves among students at Stellenbosch Baptist doing discipleship. Lindsey has a passion for Jesus and she enjoys photography. 

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