Posts Tagged ‘Ishmael’

I have often referred to the emerging generation as the “Drive-thru Generation”, in recognition of their steady refusal to endure anything that isn’t quick and easy.  But in many ways, we older folks are no different.  Just because we can remember a time when we had to warm-up leftovers on the stove, or to find a pay phone, doesn’t mean that we’d be willing to do that today.  In fact, we are the ones who are principally responsible for cultivating this expectation of convenience within the lives of our children.  As human beings, we tend to want what we want, and we want it now.  And to be honest, we’re perfectly willing to sacrifice nutritional value to get it.


Unfortunately, this paradigm often spills over into our spiritual lives as well.  We can say that we are committed to following God’s principles, or maybe even the leading of His Spirit, but we regularly find ourselves unwilling to submit to His process or timetable.  Like the prodigal son, we can legitimately claim to be an heir, but we are unwilling to wait for our inheritance.  In Charismatic circles, we often try to masquerade this impatience as “faith”, by boldly declaring our desired outcome as being attained; but like a baseball player trying to hit an off-speed pitch, we’re way out in front and swinging too hard.  We like to think of it as calling on the promises of God (as though we need to hold God’s feet to the fire in order to get Him to live up to His word), but the reality is that for everything there is a season, and we’re not in control of how a season unfolds.  When “name it & claim it” doesn’t work, we may decide to take matters into our own hands, but in such instances we run the very real risk of giving birth to an Ishmael (i.e. something illegitimate, distracting, troublesome, heartbreaking, chaotic…).  Like Abraham and Sarah, we can try to rationalize that we just want to see God’s promises fulfilled, but our real struggle is rooted in the fact that we’re just not willing to wait on the Lord.


If Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was not willing to do “anything” until He saw His Father do it first, how can we expect to proceed differently?


(Note:  See Genesis 16 & 17 for an account of Ishmael).

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