Summary: This is the second in a series on the names of God. El Shaddai speaks of God’s omnipotence.

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Who is God?

The God Who is Able.

(“El Shaddai”)

Genesis 17:1-8

God is able to, “do what He asserts Himself to do.”

Discuss the Background of “El Shaddai”

"The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost when thinking about it."

Blaise Pascal, Pensees

"When you have nothing left but God, then you become aware that God is enough."

Maude Royden

Question? “How do we get some of that power

down here, Lord?”

I. God will show His strength when we are obedient to Him. (Gen. 12:1-4)

A. God has a plan for each of us.

1. Illus.: Rick Cooper’s testimony.(before the Lord

2. Gordie and Rick swapping war stories.

- whisper: “They scared me!”

3. Rick is a man who loves the Lord with all his

heart, now.

4. If God has a plan for Rick, he has a plan for


B. It is up to us to be obedient to God’s call.

C. What did Abram need for his obedience?

1. A Relationship with God. Communication.

a. You can’t obey without hearing His voice.

b. “It was easy for Abram to know what God

wanted of him, He spoke right to him.”

c. How do I know God’s plan for my life?

d. I can’t tell you what your plan is, but I can

tell you where to start. Jesus Christ.


2. Faith in His promises.

D. What are the implications for obeying God?

1. God sometimes calls us to the unknown. (v.1b)

a. God :“Go to the land I will show you.”

b. Us: “How ‘bout you show me the land and

then I’ll tell You if I want to go or not?”

c. Illus.: My son and the Haunted Mansion

(Disney World).

- He went in clinging to my arm.

- That is how God wants us to enter. It’s OK!

2. God sometimes calls us to the impossible. (v. 2-3)

a. Abram was 75 at this time.

b. Chapter 16 = 86: Chapter 17 = 99.

c. Big promises. “ Well, You better hurry.”

3. God always calls us to sacrifice. (v. 4)

a. Abram left his “comfort zone.”

b. Illus.: Baseball sacrifice fly.

-There are times in baseball when a batter approaches the plate with instructions from the manager to hit a pop fly into the outfield, expecting it to be caught and get out. Sound crazy? Why would someone want to get out on purpose? It is call a sacrifice out. It is done with the goal of advancing a runner either to a scoring position or to actually score for the team. That is an idea of sacrifice.

II. God will show His strength despite our mistakes.

Don’t read yet. (Gen. 16:1-4)

A. Do you ever feel that you don’t deserve anything

God can give you?

1. Why would God want to do something through me?

a. I’ve made some pretty bad decisions in my


b. Read Gen 16:1-4

2. Abraham and Sarah were great people of faith,

but they made their own share of mistakes. (2)

a. Trip to Egypt: “Sarai is my sister.”

(Genesis 12)

b. Abraham and Hagar. (Genesis 13)

B. God’s work in our lives in not dependant upon our

worth, but upon His purpose and will.

a. Illus.: Persoanl testimony would be good here.

b. I’m nobody special!

c. I am where I am because God chose me to be.

C. God’s success in our lives is not based on our

ability but on God’s power. (I Cor. 1:27-28)

III. God will show His strength even when we doubt

Him. (Gen. 18:11-15)

A. The promise was reinforced. (v. 10a)

B. Abraham and Sarah had trouble believing the


1. It had been 25 years since God first called


2. Abraham = 100; Sarah = 90yrs .

3. Having a baby was “inconceivable”. Pun intended.

C. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

1. We need to ask ourselves that question more


2. Illus.: Building on Orange Rd.

a. It wasn’t silly because it was $4.5 million,

it was silly because it wasn’t part of God’s


D. Why does God still bless even when we doubt?

1. Why is God still faithful even when we lack


2. This world: “Well if you are going to do that,

I’m going to do this!”

3. God doesn’t allow outside influences to effect

His inner attributes.

a. God is a faithful God, even if we don’t \


b. IE. Salvation: eternally secure.

E. God will never change no matter how often we do.

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