9 years ago, I made a mistake in my business. I allowed an employee too much control in my company and his spending spree blew out our expenses and the business was swept into a huge debt hole. I was not wise enough at the time to pick this up quickly. By the time I realised what was happening it was too late. However, I did not want to declare bankruptcy and skip out on suppliers and clients and leave them chasing money owed, or services not delivered. So I sold our family home to cover the initial blowout and to begin to restore order in the business.
This was a huge impact on my family. Especially my wife, Judith. We moved into a rental property. We struggled for a very long time. I recall that when we had made the decision to sell, God said to me that he would honour my decision to do the right thing. He promised that we would live in our own home again.
The reality for us was that we couldn’t save a deposit faster than what home prices rose by. It was a boom time for housing… but we didn’t have the money to re-enter the market. I tried all sorts of things to try and get back into our own home. All failed.
7 years passed. We had no idea how God could ever fulfill it. We simply gave up and surrendered it all to God.
Almost immediately, when we least expected it, the promise came to fruition.
We had an unplanned window of opportunity for a brand new home built by a builder who was a delight to work with and we moved in to it just recently.
The promise fulfilled, God’s way!
Have you ever received a promise from God. Maybe a prophetic word or a promise in regards to a breakthrough in your ministry, a business result, or a family situation to be resolved? The list is limitless.
There are times when God gives us specific words of encouragement, but I’m talking about when we get a specific promise. It is exciting. Hope rises up within us. We can’t wait!
And, therein lies the problem… we just can’t wait.
So we get our thinking caps on and try and work out how we might help God along in fulfilling the promise. The only problem is that when we do that we usually mess it up. Then when we finally see the promise fulfilled we would never have guessed it would happen THAT way.
It’s okay, it’s been like that way for a very long time:
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
God gave Abraham a promise of a son. But Abraham’s wife Sarah was unable to have children so thought she would help God out by offering a slave woman, Haggar, to her husband so the promise could be fulfilled. Ishmael was born. Then God fulfilled his promise and miraculously Isaac was born to Sarah!
Ishmael was was mans attempt and Isaac was God’s promise fulfilled.
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”
When it comes to God’s Promises, we do not want to be creating an “Ishmael”! As what we create has no place in what God intends for us. In fact, the very thing we create maybe a thorn in our side for a very long time. This is why the Jews (Isaac) and the Arabs (Ishmael) fight each other to this very day!
God is faithful when he makes you a promise. Be encouraged by God’s faithfulness to Abraham and His faithfulness to Judith & I with our new home.
So next time you receive a promise from God, hold on to it by faith and believe that God will deliver on His Promise and in His own timing.