Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so, she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So, after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. (Genesis 16:1-4).
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned, and on the day, Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. (Genesis 21:5-12)
There is something powerful to be said about someone who has a promise from God. Some people have faith, some people have praise, but some people hold on to promises. And people who hold on to promises from God are very very dangerous to hell. The devil knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he can not take somebody out that has a promise from God. David could not die that day when he fought Goliath, no matter what Goliath said because David had a promise from God, ‘he would be king one day’ and until that day showed up he could not die. Simeon could not die, no matter how old he got because he had a promise from God that he would see the Messiah before he passed away, so he refused to let go.
There are people who have suffered, been through a lot but held on to a promise that God gave them either through a message pastor preached or through a phone call or through reading Bible or while praying, you heard the voice of God.
While you were dealing with today and you were dreaming about tomorrow and you said, ‘somehow, someway God will do this for me’ and you grabbed on to a promise and you went through storm and you went through the flood and you went through the fire and you went through the death of a loved one and you said I am not letting this go, God has promised me that He will never leave me or forsake me, greater is He that is in me than he that’s in the world. I could give up, I probably should give up but something on the inside saying, ‘do not let go, you got a promise and you cannot quit when God put a promise in your life.’
God gave Abraham a promise when he was 75 years old that he would have children. Even though he never had kids and his wife is 65, God says, “you are going to be the father of the nations, father of the faithful” and Abraham said I believe it God and I think it’s going to happen. But after a while when the promise did not come to pass, doubt said that ‘it must be us, it must not be God. We thought it was God, but the promise hasn’t happened yet, so we need to help God out.’ Sarah said to Abraham, “I can’t have kids Abraham, I can’t do it, I am passed the age of barring, but I don’t want to make God look bad so let me hook God with my miracle.” So, Sarah asked Abraham to marry her slave and have kids. God doesn’t need me or you to hook Him up for His Word coming to pass. From the beginning of the time God has never needed any human help to get His will done. Some people absolutely believe that if I don’t do it, it will not be done. And Sarah said, “Hagar, this is the only way we can make God’s Word come to pass. You have to marry Abraham and have a baby, so, God doesn’t look bad.”
Be careful elevating things God has given you power over. Hagar was underneath her, but Sarah elevated something she had power over, to be her equal. And when she elevated what she had power over, Hagar started despising her. Because whatever God has given you dominion over, if you elevate it and let it back up in your life, it will now look down at you.
There was a person, nine years ago, God completely delivered him from cocaine. He was amazing, he wasn’t afraid to talk to anybody about what God could do. But there was this one little thing, he started to smoke the cigarettes. Nine years after being delivered from cocaine he starts smoke cigarettes. He thought it was no big deal but after a while cigarettes weren’t enough and before few months gone by, he was back on cocaine. After nine years of deliverance, what happened? He elevated the slave.
We got to be careful, when God has brought us out of something or given us victory over something, we don’t let that thing back in our life. Hagar was never supposed to be Abraham’s wife, never supposed to have a child, never supposed to be in the picture, never supposed to be in program, but Sarah tried to help God out and what God meant to be a miracle ended up being a mistake. And Ishmael is born, half son and half slave. And it’s not Isaac’s picture on the wall now it’s Ismael’s picture. Ishmael moves in the house and the mistake grows up in the house where the miracle should have been. Year after year Sarah sees the picture of the mistake, every morning Sarah wakes up to the mistake not the miracle. The potential was there, the promise God gave to her was there. But she made a mistake. And the mistake each day would get bigger. And after couple of years, mistake start talking. Everyday Ishmael was there not Isaac, year after year after year, no word from God. God gave her a promise, but she turned it into a mistake. It’s now fourteen years old. And Ishmael is talking and growing up, and the mistake is getting bigger, there is no miracle anywhere. Devil starts talking then, ‘he says, it’s not going to happen to you, you will never be anything, you will never accomplish anything, you had your chance.’
Aren’t you thankful that even though you make mistakes, a promise from God is always a promise from God. If you got a promise from God, it is going to come to pass. Devil wants to convince us that what you did five years ago or five months ago or ten years ago is going to stop what God can do next week in your life. He is a liar, it doesn’t matter what the mistake was. If God has a promise for your future, then let God bring the promise to release. Fourteen years went by and Sarah gets pregnant with the promise.
Sarah gave mistake a chance to grow in her life. Even though she made a mistake, now, the promise is delivered. This is true in the lives of so many of us, God has promised something to us and instead of waiting for our promise to be delivered, we lose our patience, we start thinking in our own ways, we start calculating our own ideas. And we ended up giving place to mistake instead of miracle. Today, I want to remind you that if you received a promise from God, no matter what, it will be delivered on God’s time.