Has God ever made you a promise that you were anxious to see fulfilled? Maybe He told you that you were to start your own ministry, that you would pastor over thousands. Maybe He promised you a future spouse with whom you would do many great works for the kingdom of heaven. Maybe He promised you that child for which you’ve been praying for years now.
After a while, did it ever seem like God was being too slow in bringing those promises to fruition? You wondered, Did He forget? Can He still do it? You prayed and asked for an update, but an answer never came. You felt like you wasted enough time already, so after waiting impatiently for God to do what seemed to amount to nothing, you decided to take matters into your own hands, do things the way you believed God should have done it. You gathered together a handful of members from your home church, without your pastor’s permission, and told them to leave and join your ministry. You married that person you met online even though you knew he or she was not the one and not even saved. You attempted to get pregnant through artificial insemination, stepping outside of your marriage, or as a last resort, you adopted.
How did those plans work out for you? Did you still receive God’s promise after doing things your way, or did you make a mess of it all? Your church never grew, your marriage fell apart, you strained your family so much going through all those processes to have a baby that the child you do have is not loved. Would things have been different if you had only waited on God?
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
We’ve got to get out of the habit of thinking that God needs our help. He is God! Everything He needs is already within Himself to do. For crying out loud, He created the universe with one simple phrase— “Let there be . . . ” and there was, and it was good! What on earth could we possibly do to help? God says to Job in Job 38:4, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” Where were we when God created heaven and earth? Where were we when He made land and sea? Where were we when He separated day from night? And did we happen to be present when He first breathed life into man’s lungs? No, not even close!
In fact, according to Acts 17:26, God has already marked out the appointed times when we will occupy the earth. So, if God created heaven and earth, if He gave us life and everything we’ll ever need to live this life, if He has already mapped out when we come and when we go and knows all that we’ll do within that short time span, why do we think we need to insert our own agendas into the things He has planned for us? We should get out of God’s way!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8
Abram and Sarai thought God needed their help. God had made them a promise that was unbelievable, and truth be told, God will say some things to you that sound absolutely crazy in your own understanding and impossible to ever accomplish. But remember what Jesus said; “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). When Abram tells God his only heir will be his servant because he has no children, God says to him, “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir . . . Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them . . . So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:3-5)
And Abram believed him, at least for a little while, but as time went on, doubt must have crept in, and he started to question if God could really do it. Abram was nearly 100 years old, his wife well beyond child bearing age. How could they possibly have a child in their old age? So they went down to Egypt, picked up a slave girl named Hagar, Sarai instructed Abram to sleep with her, and she bore him Ishmael. But when God comes to Abram again to make his covenant and change his name to Abraham, for he is to be “a father of many nations,” He again tells Abraham that he will have a son with Sarah, that He will not establish His covenant with Ishmael, but with the son Sarah will have in the next year, Isaac (Genesis 17:15-22).
Despite their stepping outside of God’s will, taking matters into their own hands, despite trying to pull in God’s promise the only way they knew how, which only created problems (Genesis 16:3-6), God still tells them the same thing He said before, that Abraham and Sarah will have a child. “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14). Remember, if God created the entire universe, is giving a 100-year-old man and 90-year-old woman a baby really that hard for Him? Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” There is nothing too hard for God. He’s sovereign, all-powerful, and He needs no one’s help but His own. And sure enough, a year later, Sarah had a baby.
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God has promised him.” Genesis 21:1-2
God’s promise is coming. Hebrews 10:36 tells us we need only patience. It also tells us to do God’s will. Have you done the will of God? And if He told you to do nothing, then listen and stay out of His way, don’t attempt to help Him out, simply wait on God to do what he’s promised. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” The following verse says, “The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” The moment you accept that God created heaven and earth by Himself, that He made all things by Himself, that He turned an old man into the father of a people as numerous as the stars by Himself, then you will begin to accept that He can fulfill His promise to you by Himself, without your help.
So does God need our help? The short answer: No. We need only to keep our faith, continue to trust in Him to do what He said he will do. Sit still and let God be God.
“Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who at of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” Romans 4:16-17
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for ever doubting your ability to fulfill what you have promised, for your are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all the we could ever ask, think, or imagine. Help us to remember the great things that you have already done so that we may strengthen our faith in what is yet to come. You redeemed us from sin and death. You came down from heaven to die on the cross and rise so that we could be saved if we just believe. If we believed you then, we must believe you now, for there is nothing too hard for you, there is nothing you cannot do. So we relinquish everything into your hands, knowing that your plans are far higher and greater than anything we can think, and that they always come together for our good. We thank you for all that you have done, and all that you will do. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.