NOT Taking Life by the Horns

Success in our world is something that is always chased, we want our life to amount to something and to have meaning. Often people think the best way is to just grab life by the horns, to steer our lives ourselves. But what if that isn’t the best way?

For Abraham’s life in the Bible can be a great lesson for us today. For God gave him promises about the plans for his life and the life of his decedents, that his decedents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and that through them the world would be blessed, that He would make Abraham’s name great.

But in the beginning of Abraham journey even though he knew what God had said, he still had plenty of moments where he tried to grab his life by the horns.

I want to look at two of these experiences real quick. First, where he tried to provide his own protection when we was traveling to follow the promise of God. 11 As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, you are a very beautiful woman. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife. Let’s kill him; then we can have her!’ 13 So please tell them you are my sister. Then they will spare my life and treat me well because of their interest in you.” – Genesis 12:11-13 NLT

Second, He and his wife tried to help God out with starting the family lineage. 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. – Genesis 16:1-2 NLT

You see in these two cases when his plans fell to pieces, they found out that Sarah was his wife and God rejected his first child. For he had to learn that his ways of protection and that his ways of timing weren’t always the best ways. He had to humble repent and return to God, to see the promise fulfilled. Through that and growing his relationship with God he learned what faith truly was. He learned that faith does more than just believe that God can do what He says He can, but that faith takes trusts that God will do what He said He will do and patiently endures to the end.

The evidence of this is found in Genesis 22 when God asks him to go and sacrifice Issac the long awaited promised son. This time Abraham didn’t try to make his own way, he did exactly what God asked him to do because he knew God was in control of the plan. Telling Issac when he asked where is the sheep, “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” (Genesis 22:8 NLT)

Abraham was so faithful in following after the will of the Lord his promise was reemphasized; 15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. 16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” – Genesis 22:15-18 NLT

The question is can we learn from Abraham today? Because God has plans and promises for each and every one of us too, His word promises it!

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Will we let Him have control? Or will we try to strong-arm our way through this life?

Will we place our faith in Him? Will we trust in what He has for us and see it to the end?

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? – Matthew 16:24-26 NLT

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