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24
Nov

Ishmael

Posted on November 24th, 2008

I preached yesterday on Abraham and Sarah’s impatient decision to move ahead of God as they waited for His promise of Issac (Gen. 16:1-4). It is hard to pass judgment on them since I have birthed many an “Ishmael” in my life. Sarah skillfully develops a plan that had worked well for other “ministries” of their day. The only problem is that it was not God’s plan for them! Strategic planning, goal setting, determining our priorities and our “to do” lists are all essential leadership skills. Yet I am also aware how easy it is to use my goals and plans to eliminate the mystery and mess that come with following our living, “wild” God.  So I developed this little “Ishmael Test” out of my pondering that I shared with our church family yesterday: 1. Am I afraid to ask God what His will is in this situation? 2. Am I uncomfortable exploring my hidden motivations? 3. Am I avoiding getting counsel from mature others in case they disagree with me? 4.  Am I too busy and distracted to listen to the voice of God? What do you think? In what ways do you think we actually reward the birthing of Ishmael’s in the church?

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