Dear God in Heaven, I adore you and give you all glory and praise. Thank you for giving us the gift of prayer, and thank you for this time of intentional connection with you. Please forgive me for the times when I have sinned against you and when I have hurt and offended others. Please guide and direct me during this time of worship. Please open my heart and my mind to whatever it is you have for me this day.
In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen!
Hagar and Ishmael
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 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. 3 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. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.5 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.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
God at the center! As we heard on Sunday, God had made great promises to Abram: he would be the father of many nations, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, and through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. There was only one problem - Abram's wife was childless and the couple was getting older. Today's reading is the account of Abram and Sarai's plan to help God out.
This account of Abram, Sarai, Hagar and Ishmael reminds me of all the times I have come up with my own plans for my life - putting myself at the center - rather than praying for and following God's plans. I am blessed that my poor plans are not recorded in a book like the Bible for all to see and read about. But many of my plans have had the same disastrous results as Abram and Sarai's.
I maintain that the sooner we learn there is only one way to live life - God's way - the richer and more joy-filled our lives will be. What I mean by God's way is a life spent walking with God, listening to God, worshipping God, and truly loving God. Living a life in any other way leads to disaster, separation, heartache, and frustration; similar to what Abram and Sarai experienced.
As you go through the paces of your day today ask yourself, "Am I living out my plan or God's plan for my life?" Make a conscious effort to seek God's plan; that plan will lead to a full and abundant life with Christ.
May God be the center of your life today!