Do Not Produce "Ishmaels"
Ishmael was the actual physical son of Abraham, but he is also a spiritual type we can learn from.
GALATIANS 4:22-24 NKJ
22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar --
GENESIS 16:1,2,15 NKJ
1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.
2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
God did not tell Abram and Sarai to do what they did. They were not obeying God and following His instructions -- they were just trying something on their own -- to fulfill God's promise to Abram that he would father multitudes.
Do Not Mix With The World
"Ishmaels" result from trying to produce something for God using worldly ways and worldly people, of which Egypt, and Hagar the Egyptian, are a type.
GENESIS 25:12 NKJ
12 Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maidservant, bore to Abraham.
It is not possible to produce something spiritual by the works of the flesh. God does not want you to figure out how to bring His will to pass -- just to obey Him.
What Is An "Ishmael"?
"Ishmaels" are produced by your own plan or effort to bring God's will to pass -- trying to do it yourself.
An "Ishmael" is something that you got an idea from God on, then accomplished using your own plan, by the work of the flesh.
Things produced on your own, without God's involvement, are "Ishmaels."
God has promised to guide you by His Holy Spirit, and you can expect His guidance. But you must continue to seek Him, and be careful not to step outside of what God directs you to do.
When God gives you guidance: (1) Do not make a paragraph out of a sentence by adding to what God said, and (2) Do not force God's will to come to pass by fleshly effort.
Whenever people try to help God they produce "Ishmaels." God does not need any help -- all He wants is your obedience.
ZECHARIAH 4:6 NKJ
6 . . .`Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts.
Ishmael was the result of human logic and impatience.
Abraham seemingly "worked" just as hard to produce Isaac as he did to produce Ishmael. We do have our part to play. God does require us to cooperate by obedience and trusting Him. But Isaac -- who was God's promise -- was born when and how God said.
GALATIANS 4:28 NKJ
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
The difference was in Abraham trying to figure out a way for God's Word to be fulfilled -- instead of patiently allowing God to fulfill His own Word.
It can take extreme patience to possess the promises of God. God often seems to wait until the promise seems impossible before fulfilling it. That way everyone knows it was God and not us who brought it to pass.
There are a lot of "Ishmaels" running loose today. No matter how well-intentioned the motives of their "parents" -- they always cause trouble.
GENESIS 16:11-12 NKJ
11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her: "Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him. and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."
GALATIANS 4:29 NKJ
29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh (Ishmael) then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
God Will Not Use Ishmael
GENESIS 17:18-21 NKJ
18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!"
19 Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
20 "And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful . . . .
No matter how much we may plead with God to bless and use our plan -- God will do it His way -- which is by His Spirit through our faith in His promise. God's way is always best anyway.
God may bless your "Ishmael" (verse 20), so do not conclude that something is an "Isaac" just because it seems blessed of God.
All of our planning and scheming and working in the flesh will not bring God's true Word to pass. God will fulfill His own Word by His Spirit -- in His timing.
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