Sunday, 19 December 2021

The Danger of Self-will

 Scripture:  Genesis 16 v 2:  "And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her: and Abram hearkened unto the voice of Sarai....

(v 16)..Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram."

Our God makes His will very clear to us. He speaks into our heart that which He proposes for us to do. In the above case, He told Abram that he would be the father of many generations of people. His wife was barren and over 90 years old.  Sarai and Abram agreed that Hagar should be the mother of Abram's son.  They were helping God out in a seemingly impossible situation.  

We call this "Making an Ishmael"!  Doing things in unbelief to help God sort out an impossible situation has unforeseen complicated consequences!

God visited Abram and changed his and Sarai's names to Abraham and Sarah which changed their lives dramatically.  Names are very significant in spiritual matters, certain names have hidden blockages in them.  For example Saul means Destroyer, like King Saul, and Saul of Tarsus.  The latter name was changed to Paul, meaning Worker.  The change in Abraham and Sarah unblocked her womb and led to the birth of Isaac in their old age.  There is a spiritual factor in names that can change destinies when those names are altered!

Philippians 2 v 9 - 10: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"

Jesus has a name that is higher and more powerful than any other name.  He changed the name of Simon to Peter, which changed him into a submitted and committed follower who would one day, after His ascension to Heaven, be an Apostle.  Why is the name of Jesus higher than any other name?  It's because Satan has hidden his evil demons in our names!  

One of the greatest assets to discern spirits is what the Holy Spirit reveals in people's names, especially ancestral curses or hereditary issues.  Also hidden bondages are shown very clearly.  There was only one case where I recommended that the child's name be changed.  He was the 4th generation first born son to be called Johan Jacob.  Every previous son i.e. his father, grandfather and great grandfather had been insane and died violently.  This child had seen his father shot dead and was already heading into madness.  

Isaac, son of Abraham, husband to Rebecca, was the father of Jacob who had 12 sons which became the 12 patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Ishmael, Abraham's son through Hagar the handmaid, also had 12 sons from which the main Arab nations sprang. These claim that Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn son and therefore they are the true inheritors of the land of Israel. But God's covenant was not with Ishmael it was with Jacob, son of Isaac.

Romans 9 v 7: "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called."  

And neither side will give way!

We 'make an Ishmael' every time we use some handy practical substitute to fulfil prophecy or an instruction from God, causing a warp in His perfect plan. In our cleverness we add a short cut, or subtract a seemingly inconvenient obstacle to "help God get it right". Our Lord God doesn't need our help! We are instruments He uses to get the job done but if that instrument is busy doing its own thing, He chooses another.

It results in hurt, confusion, anger, jealousy and other fleshly manifestations that will require much ministry and healing to restore the person. As Israel is experiencing, we must too, there are long term unhappy consequences when we alter and amend God's plan for us. In every case prevention is better than cure.  It is the problem called Self-will.  It is a very dangerous problem.

So if you are busy with something right now and realise you are on your way to making an Ishmael, now is your opportunity to scrap it and let God bring it to pass in His own time and way. He really knows what He is doing and every seeming obstacle is actually there for us to put ourselves right for miracles to happen.  Surrender your self-will for God's will to prevent calamities.  We really don't know what's best until we discern it from the Holy Spirit.

Self-will is defiance against the will of God.  It can manifest in large or small ways.  It can accompany stubbornness, self-righteousness, pride and unteachableness, which together cause multiple problems in relationships, spiritual fellowship, violent outbursts, escalation of angry encounters.  Our Lord loves a meek and quiet spirit and blesses those who have it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I acknowledge that Your ways are higher than my ways. It is vain for me to try to improve on Your perfect will. Forgive me for insulting Your intelligence and I release everything You have initiated back into Your hands for a perfect outcome. Help me to break my self-will down and be obedient to You.  In Jesus' name. Amen.