Don’t Force It: A Strong Faith Never Holds on Too Tight

Is your faith in God, or in the blessings He gives you?

I am reminded that “strong faith” means not holding on too tight, even to a blessing.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 

Hebrews 11:17-18 New INTERNATIONAL Version (NIV)

God gave me a task to be a writer and a promise that He would bring it to completion. But right now and for the past year, I have been tested. About a week ago, I failed.

“WILL YOU WRITE FOR ME, OR WILL YOU WRITE FOR YOUR EGO?”

The Lord gave me a kick start to 2019 with a theme for the blog this year. How dare I think I could improve on his plan. Yet still, I muddied the message with details inspired by my impatience to see the needle move faster than His divine timeline. I then got caught up spending too much time on learning about promotion and social media.

Lesson for today: Not all inspiration is divinely inspired. We get this great idea or see this “sign” and think it’s God, not realizing that we are simply justifying our own desires.

I didn’t receive His promise, I took it. I attached his promise to my ego, and that is a BIG problem.

What blessings has God promised you? Are you holding on too tight? Are you tempted to “make it happen” sooner than it’s time like I did?

What He speaks to us are His promises to fulfill, not ours to force. Let’s be real with ourselves: Is our faith right now in Jesus, or this one thing (or one person)?

OFFERING BACK THE PROMISE

For Abraham, it was his son, and for me it was the tiniest bit of recent social media traction. Views, likes, and re-posts are motivating. I could say (and I did for a few days) that the motivation came from seeing God’s Word reaching others. But Proverbs 16:1-3 and time in His presence brought my real motives to the surface. I realized that I held on too tightly, seeking the promotion sooner than he planned it.

Who or what is your Isaac? Are your motives in growing your relationship in Christ, or in protecting your promise from Him – or maybe speeding up the process before it slips away?

If you are worried your Isaac will slip away, was it ever really yours?

What do we gain from taking something into our own hands? Let’s reflect on the difference between Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael (born of Hagar, because of Sarah’s doubt and insecurity) and Isaac (born of faith in the promise God made):

His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

Galatians 4:23 New International Version (NIV)

God fulfilled His divine promise (Jesus Christ) through Isaac’s lineage, not Ishmael. Sadly, Ishmael’s circumstance is painful and sad. I am sure Sarah regretted her actions when she realized she caused such pain by moving ahead of His perfect will.

IF WE ARE TO BE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST…

If we are to be followers of Christ, we need to come to a place by training, grace, and obedience, that we get our motivation from doing the will of Him who sent us (John 4:34). If we speak, we should do so as if speaking oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11), using the gifts He gave us for HIS Glory, not our own.
Following Him requires that I – we – seek Him above all else (Matthew 6:33).

So now I leave that post up as is – to be a reminder not to move outside of His direction nor ahead of his provision.  One day, He will give the go ahead to move. Until then, I live my life in response the question God asked me:

“Would you rather see what you can do, or wait and see what I can do?”

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Ephesians 3:20-21 New International Version (NIV)

With a clean heart and a clean slate, I now refocus on writing.


In the name of Jesus: Please, Father, do not let us stray from your will. In faith like Abraham, we will move forward under your direction knowing you will bring your plan to life according to your timing.


Verse Summary (click for full & accurate verse):

Hebrews 11:17-19 – Abraham in faith, offered Isaac as a sacrifice

Proverbs 16:1-3 – Our plans and our motives seem pure, but only God knows…

John 4:34 – My food is to do the will of him who sent me

Matthew 6:33 – Seek First the kingdom of God

Colossians 1:16 – All things are by Jesus and for Jesus

1 Peter 4:11 – Whoever who speaks, (should do so) as one who speaks oracles of God


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10 thoughts on “Don’t Force It: A Strong Faith Never Holds on Too Tight

  1. Rachel says:

    First of all, thank you for your humility. This post was exactly what I needed to read today. ” I didn’t receive His promise, I took it. I attached the promise to my ego, and that is a BIG problem.” I can relate. I do this a lot. The promise that I have the hardest time not gripping too tight on is marriage. Every time I think a romantic relationship has the potential to turn into something deeper, I have held on too tight and it has fizzled out. Your post came at a time where I am battling to keep my focus on God and not allow disappointment to once again cloud my vision. Please keep writing. I am looking forward to future posts by you!

    Like

  2. Efua says:

    Hi Abigail. This is a very good post and relatable post. I have fallen into that trick of making the numbers become my motivation. I still do sometimes to be honest. It’s an area I am consciously alert on so I don’t stumble. I also love when you said not all ideas are from God. Sometimes we make things up and attach the name of Jesus Christ to them. I can imagine Him shaking His head in heaven saying “I never told you to do that”. We need to be spiritually sensitive always. God bless you sis.

    Liked by 1 person

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