If we look, we see God in His creation!
WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS
On January 6, I wrote that Bible characters can be good or bad examples. We specifically talked about Abram and Sarai. Today I would like to continue with some of the good and some of the not so good character traits we see in them.
All of us are God’s work in progress–even Abram and Sarai. The more we allow God to work in our lives, the more progress that is made. You see we can’t make ourselves more godly, we may act more godly, we may look more godly, but true godliness comes from our heart and it is God and God alone that can work in our heart to perfect us into the image of Jesus Christ. May sound strange but God does it. He has done it in me.
In Philippians 1:6 in the New Testament Paul tells the church at Phillipi that “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Paul was talking to the church, to believers. God works in those who believe in Him. Believe in the Biblical definition entails trusting in, relying on, and clinging to.
You see, God is a perfect gentleman and he doesn’t work where he isn’t invited. God won’t cross the line and take away anyone’s free will. The following verses are awesome. In them we learn that God reveals himself to everyone, He is obvious.
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO EVERYONE–WE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE
Romans 1:18-20 says: "But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities,–his eternal power and divine natures. SO THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR NOT KNOWING GOD."
The verses that follow Romans 1:18-20 tell us that people think up all kinds of reasons not to believe and worship God. Instead they choose to worship idols. So what is an idol you ask? Simple! We can turn anything into an idol. We can idolize ourselves, our intellect, or our bodies. We can idolize our car, our horse, or other people. We can idolize our job.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TRY TO FIX OUR LIVES
So, now back to Abram and Sarai:
Genesis 16:1-6 is a great example of a woman taking a situation in her own hands and making a mess of things. It is an example of a woman rationalizing how she views her life and then compromises what she knows is right to try and “fix it.”
Sarai hadn’t been able to have children. So Sarai comes up with a plan, a bad plan, a wrong plan. She says to her husband, I can’t have kids, here sleep with my maid. Then she says, “Perhaps I can have children through her.”
And Abram agreed, “Oh, you want me to sleep with your maid?” Okay.
Abram slept with Hagar, Hagar became pregnant, just like Sarai said she wanted–but she wasn’t happy. It didn’t turn out like she thought it would. She got mad, jealous and treated Hagar very harshly. She yelled at her husband and blamed him for her bad idea.
Now Sarai suffered as much as anyone. She was so upset she started treating Hagar with contempt. Why is that? It was Sarai’s idea, it was her own bad idea. She was trying to fix her misery and her problem. She made a huge mistake! And isn’t Sarai just like us! We often, if not always, have a hard time admitting we messed up. And that my precious people is nothing but our pride.
This story of Sarai shows us how not to act and what not to do. We have to quit trying to ‘fix’ everything. We must not compromise what we know is right and rationalize that it is okay because we are ‘fixing’ a problem. Sin is sin, there are always consequences to our sins. Sarai’s ‘fixing’ became sin when she compromised. Sarai sinned when she blamed Abram. Sarai sinned when she treated Hagar harshly.