Genesis 17:15 – And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
Genesis 17:16 – And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
Genesis 17:17 – Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
Genesis 17:18 – And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Hello readers, no power to produce. When will you realize you have no power to produce righteousness? No power to produce a life acceptable to God? No power to produce anything acceptable or pleasing to the Lord. We don’t have the power, the capacity, the ability. We got nothing, we are nothing. This is a world and Christianity included that is trying to produce it’s own righteousness, it’s own life, it’s own light, it’s own service to God even. They’re trying to produce through their flesh, their own efforts which arises out of their unbelief… rather than trusting in the power of God for salvation, the promise of the Spirit and to live it… which is all by the obedience of faith.
God wants to show us that we don’t have what it takes. God had made some promises to Abraham, and they were bound up in him having a son. But he just couldn’t have that son, he and his wife had no child year after year. That’s tough? But as those years went by their ability to produce… to have that child… their power diminished to nothing.
It can take a lifetime for God to get it through our thick heads that we don’t have the power to do anything. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t redeem ourselves. We can’t walk right, think right, speak right. We just always seem to fail, and our lives are as barren and utterly impossible Sarah’s womb. They couldn’t fix it either, what can you do when you just can’t have a child?
So often we have an aversion to relying on the power of God. Because that takes faith. To trust him to deliver. We like to have life in our power, but God wants to take us to where we trust him for power. Power to repent, power to believe, power to trust, power to obey, power to live the Christian life. The Christian life takes power. Look at your own thought life, your secret life, your life in general, look at your past life… it’s just littered with failure, with sin, with deceit, with lust, with pride, it’s ugly isn’t it.
God wants to show us we don’t have the power to produce anything acceptable to him. And let’s not forget… everything God has for us is a promise. Salvation is a promise. Righteousness is a promise. Forgiveness is a promise. Eternal life is a promise. It’s all a promise. God had made Abraham a promise. God’s promises are received by faith. That takes faith to trust God. And God took it to an impossibility for Abraham to produce that promise. It took the power of God for them to have a son.
It took the power of God for Abraham to have his son Isaac. Abraham was no less human than you and I. Yes he believed the Bible says, but we also see a struggle, a warfare. Faith is a warfare people. Believing God is a spiritual war. Abraham saw it as so impossible that he said please God, just accept Ishmael! So often we want God to accept our Ishmael lives because it’s just too hard to trust him… it’s too hard to trust God to give us the power to live a life that we have no ability to birth and produce and live ourselves. And that’s right. It is impossible without the Holy Spirit to live a Holy Spirit filled and led life.
See, there’s gotta be an Isaac born in your life, that’s where you are saved and born again. Jesus said you must be born again. But being born again and living it… that’s produced by a life of faith, trusting in Jesus Christ. But the hardest part is us dying to our efforts, our ability, our power… and God took Abraham far beyond his power… so it’d be God’s power. But boy it tested his faith. Imagine waiting all those years, hanging on a promise.
Abraham wanted God to accept Ishmael, the son he’d had of the slavewoman Hagar. See, Abraham and his wife had gotten to doubting the promise of God. They were past having children, so they thought they’d help God out. They’d made it happen. Rather than trusting God’s power, they took it in their own power, they decided to make it happen. And the result was a child called Ishmael. But… Ishmael was not the promised seed, the promises of God to Abraham were not bound up in Ishmael.
O that Ishmael might live before thee! That’s what Abraham said. What a statement. God just take this Ishmael I’ve produced and make all those promises happen through him! We’d love our flesh, our fleshly efforts, thinking, speech and religion to be acceptable to God, we’d love it that way, rather than just trusting the promises of God just like Abraham had the promise of a son.
This world hates God because he doesn’t accept them, he doesn’t accept their person and their lives, he doesn’t accept their efforts, he doesn’t accept what their flesh in their unbelief produces. Our flesh tries, but it can’t. Our flesh doesn’t have power to produce. So we need to die to our flesh, so we can be raised up with the Spirit of God that is given unto all who place their faith in Jesus Christ.
We need to trust God. The Bible says we are the children of promise. What that means is, we trust God’s promises. And to receive those promises and live it, that takes the same faith that Abraham had when he believed God. We all struggle with doubt, with trusting God, with the impossibility and hopelessness of the situation of life. Don’t trust your flesh, that’s not going to produce anything acceptable and blessed. Trust in God’s promises. Because God not only makes us the promise, but he supplies the power as well. He did give them power to have a son finally called Isaac. It took God’s power, because they were dead reproductively speaking.
Our flesh tries, but it’s an Ishmael, who was to be cast out. Our flesh can’t produce it. My flesh has tried, but it can’t produce anything remotely acceptable. All my flesh does is sin. All my flesh does is persecute the Holy Spirit, just as Ishmael poked fun at baby Isaac. See, when you’re born again, there is a war inside, and you gotta decide who you gonna walk in, because the two can’t coexist. One of the two boys had to go, and Abraham cast out Hagar and Ishmael. We are going to have to put our flesh to death if we want to walk in the Spirit. That’s realizing our flesh is fallen and sinful, and it’s trusting in God to birth us, to lead us, to guide us, to produce life and fruit through us. It’s by faith people, trust him, he performs what he has promised to us. Let him perform forgiveness, righteousness, holiness, obedience in your life.
Ishmael was born first and grown up when Isaac came along. When you get born again, there’s already fully fledged flesh nature there. Our flesh, he’s big and strong and walking around before Isaac is born. See, we are very good at sinning and doing wickedly, but we’re babes when it comes to trusting God and letting him lead us through his Holy Spirit.
Instead of trying to make God accept what your flesh is producing, let’s cast that flesh out and trust God to move in our lives. If salvation relies upon the faith and power of Jesus Christ, so does living the Christian life. It’s not salvation by faith and then we take it from here, it never stops being a life of trusting in Jesus Christ. See, that’s what he’s doing in heaven right now. He’s interceding for us, he ever lives to make intercession for us, that means he’s living in us and through us. He truly is with the believer now and with the believer forever.
Abraham and Sarah didn’t have the ability to produce Isaac. No matter how hard you try, how much you want to, nothing you can do can please God. It’s faith that pleases God. See Abraham’s son Ishmael wasn’t a product of faith… but unbelief and disobedience and fleshly effort. Having Isaac took God’s power, because it was past his power to produce Isaac. Salvation takes simply trusting God, taking him at his word, believing on his Son Jesus Christ.
God will birth a new life in you when you come to an end of your fleshly efforts. They had Isaac when they came to an end of themselves. They were like, nothing’s worked. One last ditch effort… God please just accept Ishmael. But no. How far is God going to have to take you to finally realize you can’t do it. You don’t have power. He has the power. When you go beyond the point of your righteousness, your effort, your capacity, your ability, your power, your thinking, your philosophy, your everything… when you come to a complete end of yourself… that’s when God is ready to birth a new creature in you.
Salvation takes the power of God, just as them having Isaac took God’ power. Being born again takes the power of God. Living the Christian life takes the power of God. And it’s just by believing and trusting him. So simple! Is it that hard? God wants to take us to the faith zone, not my own effort zone. God took Abraham and Sarah beyond child bearing years to show them that it was he who performs his promises. God performs our salvation, all we do is trust him and realize we are nothing and we got nothing.
It’s all about Jesus Christ, just trusting in him. You see, Jesus would come through the line of Isaac, and he was the promised seed through whom all blessings would flow. The promises of God are wrapped up in the man Christ Jesus. Just believe on him today, he has the power to save you, to change you, to make you a new creature, and to live in you and through you. Stop trying to coexist with your flesh, cast him out, throw out a life of slavery to sin, slavery to self effort, and just believe God’s word and God’s power. We have no power to produce, we need to trust God, and rely on his power in our lives today. And that takes us to the faith zone, the trust God zone. Maybe you are at that barren, end of yourself stage in life… I give up… and you’re still wanting Ishmael to live before God… but no… cast him out… trust God. Trust him to be saved, and trust him to live it, he will supply the power… we only need to trust him.
Romans 4:18 – Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Romans 4:19 – And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:
Romans 4:20 – He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Romans 4:21 – And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Romans 4:22 – And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 4:23 – Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
Romans 4:24 – But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Romans 4:25 – Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)