‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son.’ Genesis 21:10 NKJV
When Abraham tried to hurry the plan of God and fulfill it through well-intentioned but misguided human effort, Ishmael was born. Perhaps you have tried something similar yourself. We all have our ‘Ishmaels’—a good idea that wasn’t a God idea. And it can complicate your life. So God told Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son.’ In other words: ‘It’s time to deal with your past and clean out your cupboard. This thing is holding you back, and until you deal with it you can’t move forward to your destiny. Get it out of your life and don’t look back!’
Sometimes your miracle (Isaac) and your mistake (Ishmael) can live together for a while under the same roof. Things can be so good in one area of your life, yet so bad in another. But there comes a time when God says, ‘Because of the plans I have for you, you must put this thing out of your life.’ And that’s not easy. It’s painful letting go of what your flesh craves or cherishes. But you have only two options: be led by your emotions and miss out on God’s best, or say, ‘As much as I love this person or thing, I love the Lord more.’ When you’re willing to walk away from something you thought you had to have because you love God more, that’s called ‘the sacrifice of praise.’ (Hebrews 13:15 NIV) And when you offer it up to God, you position yourself to experience a new level of His blessing. Is God speaking to you today about something similar in your life? If so, let it go!